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Re: THEORY: A possible Proto-World phonology

From:Lars Henrik Mathiesen <thorinn@...>
Date:Friday, June 30, 2000, 11:39
> Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000 21:53:55 +0200 > From: BP Jonsson <bpj@...> > > BTW it has occurred to me that qualitative ablaut may originally have been > a difference in pitch, the lower F0 getting reinterpreted/misperceived as > having lower formants overall.
I don't think we'll ever know exactly how qualitative Ablaut arose. One explanation that has been proposed is that it started like in Arabic, where a distinction /a/ ~ /a:/ developed into /a/ ~ /A/. (And that could well be the actual values of what the reconstructions write as *e ~ *o --- Germanic has *a for PIE *o, for instance --- but it's also possible that the vowels did go to /e/ ~ /o/ before the branches split up). However, IIRC that length distinction was in turn thought to come from a stress accent, to explain why it changes between occurences of the same morpheme. Explaining it directly from a moving pitch accent seems just as valid to me. Lars Mathiesen (U of Copenhagen CS Dep) <thorinn@...> (Humour NOT marked)