No Proto-Boreanesian Vowel Theory (was: Re: [Re: [Re: Roll Your Own IE language]]
|From:||Kristian Jensen <kljensen@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, April 8, 1999, 21:54|
Raymond A. Brown wrote:
>It seems that things have not progressed much. IIRC the theory is
>also associated - at least by some - with the 'no PIE vowel'
>theory. According to this the language possessed onlt 'sonants'
>which could have a vocalic or consonatal value according to
>environment. IIRC (and I probably don't :) they were: l, m, n, r,
>j, w, H1, H2, H3.
A 'no vowel' theory might be applicable to Proto-Boreanesian. I have
been discussing Boreanesian phonology in a thread with And Rosta a
while back, and that discussion brought forwarded the idea of such
patterns that could associate the different kinds of segments in
The pattern for instance associated the vowels of the modern
/a/ low central unround
/@/ mid central unround (schwa)
/i/ high front unrounded
/u/ high back rounded
with the approximants of the modern language:
/l/ alveolar lateral approximant*
/G/ velar approximant
/j/ palatal approximant
/w/ labio-velar approximant
*[Regarding /a/::/l/; And has pointed out that it has been suggested
that coronality is the consonantal/nonnuclear manifestation of
lowness in vowels.]
In Proto-Boreanesian, the above approximants were originally:
alveolar lateral tap or trill, pharyngeal trill, palatal
approximant, and labial approximant respectively.
If I were to extend this to the Proto-B's vowels, then it is
perceivable that the vowels were perhaps sonants rather than true
vowels. If indeed there WERE vowels, then its perceivable that they
were probably FRICATIVE vowels rather than normal vowels, i.e.:
voiced lateral fricative or trill, voiced pharyngeal fricative or
trill, voiced palatal fricative, and voiced bilabial fricative.
I have kept Proto-B purposely vague. Perhaps as vague as PIE. In any
case, if a no-vowel theory in both Proto-B and PIE is true, then it
would make both proto-languages quite unusual for natlangs. I can't
help but wonder if all this is just a desperate attempt by both me
and Indo-Europeanists to make our respective Proto-langs more
phonologically regular in certain aspects but at the same time
bringing about unintentionally some bizarreness in other aspects.