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R: sound changes in proto-romance/vulgar latin

From:Mangiat <mangiat@...>
Date:Sunday, September 3, 2000, 18:23
> I read an article at about the romance languages. It > touched a decent amount on the sound changes from vulgar latin to the > romance languages, but really didnt go into detail (it touched on the > changes that happened to intervocalic p and t). I'm mostly interested in > the changes to the vowels. What were some of the other sound changes? If > it's too much to post here, are there any books I can check out to read > about this, or websites to visit? > > (yes, i've been contemplating a possible romance lang of my own ;)).
This is the part of my dialect's grammar I've been translating to put on the web... but it's very long (about 40 pages) and I've translated only 3 of them. So even the phonology isn't finished. But it can be interesting (especially the part about vowels): << Sound changes This little note isn't pretentious, and here we don't want to solve all the problems posited by the laws that rule the evolution of the words from latin down to the dialect. It will be only to give an idea of the system, with some opportune exemples, to bring out these rules that determinated the passage from a Latin word (etymon) to the dialect (sometimes we'll also have to deal with an Orobic or Etruscan substratum - especially in toponyms - and with a lot of Longobaridian words). When we speak about Latin, we shouldn't consider the classical language, that of Cicero or Vergilius, but the vulgar Latin, the spoken language, the alive tongue used in the whole Empire during the first centuries of the Christian Era and already divided in regional varieties, conditioned by local substratum. And when we speak of vulgar Latin nouns or adjectives we always refer to the singular accusative without its -m ending. This for two main reasons: because in the vulgar regional varieties the ending was already dropped, and because the most surprising phenomenon within the passage from Latin to the Roman languages is the loss of the declensional system, whose relics are the accusative and, sometimes, the nominative. Vowels Classical Latin had the following vocalic system, based on lenght: high: i i u u mid: e e o o front: a a We'll see which have been the particular outcomes of this vocalic system in Cumasch, bearing in mind that we'll have to deal with two sounds, ü /y/ and ö /Y/ that are characteristic of Galloromance and Altoitalian dialects and that lack in Italian. Sudying the vowels, we'll see how important is to distinguish stressed and unstressed vowels; amongst stressed ones we'll have to distinguish those in an open syllable, that is at the end of the syllable, and those in closed syllable, that is not at the end of the syllable, but is followed by another consonant. This concept is obviously to be refered to the vulgar Latin etymon. The evolution of the vowels from Latin down to Cumasch can be spontaneous (i.e.: o --> o in closed syllable) or conditioned, generated by next sounds or by particular conditions, as will be seen in the following text. Stressed vowels Vulgar Latin a (classical Latin a and a): it remains the same in Cumasch in open syllables (casa > cà; sabbatu > sabat; rapa > rava; carru > caar; tabula > tavul) as well as in closed ones (mamma > mama / mamm; valle > vall; calcaneu > calcagn; largu > largh; sartu > sart); the rule applies also with -an, which in other regions of Lomardy is a particular case (pane
> pan; cane > can; de mane > dumàn; santu > sant; quandu > quand; germ.
blank > bianch; glanda > ghianda; mandiu > manz; campu > camp); In some cases we have a > o in the town's surroundings (altru > altar CT oltar; caldu > cald CT cold) or even a > u (calcina > calcina CT culcina, culcinett). The -are ending of the infinitive becomes -à via -ar(e) (parambulare > parlà; portare > purtà; rutare > rüzà). From -arj > -air we have two different outcomings: -éra (cal(i)daria --> caldéra) and -èra (aria
> èra farmyard). For -ariu we have different outcoming forms as well: -aar
(januariu > genaar; telariu > telaar; macelariu > macelaar); -ée (mulinariu
> murnée; pristinariu > prestinée; pullinariu > pulée); -aa (cocleariu >
cügiaa; oculariu > ugiaa). The -ame desinence becomes -amm (laetame > ledamm; coriame > curamm; strame > stramm). The -ata ending becomes -ada (strata > strada; spatha > spada). -atu and -aceu become respectively: -aa (mercatu > mercaa; cognatu > cügnaa; pratu > praa) and -asc (homaceu > umasc; ministeriaceu > mesterasc). Vulgar Latin i (classical Latin i): it remains unchanged in Cumasch in open syllables (vita > vida; urtica > urtiga; primu > prim; mori / morire > murì; oboedire > übidì) as well as in closed ones (visculu > visc; biscoctu > biscott; circulu > circul). -inu becomes -in (vinu > vin; vicinu > visìn; catinu > cadìn; basiu-inu > basìn). Sometimes we have i > é (strictu > strénc; tinca > ténca) or even i > è (lignu > lègn; graminia > gramègna; tiliu > tèj; miliu > mèj; picea > pèscia). Vulgar Latin u (classical Latin u) generally becomes ü in open syllables (luna > lüna; cunula > cüna; duru > düür; aerugine > rügin; pulice > pülas; luce > lüüs; fumu > fümm) as well as in closed ones (suctu > sücc; curtu > cürt; fructa > früta; tructa > trüta). The numeral unus becomes (v)ün, (v)üna as well, but the article is un, una. But u can become u in open syllables (cutica > cùdiga; cruce > cruus) as well as in closed ones (mundu
> mund; cultellu > curtell). And rarely u can become i as well ((in)subulum > sibi) or even ö (gubba > göbb / göba; excutere > scööt)
The diphthong au becomes ò, also in secondary derivation (auru > òor; tesauru > tesòor; auca > òca; paucu > pòoch; ca(p)u(t) > cau > cò; claudu > ciööd; para(b)ula > paraula > paròla). Sometimes it becomes u (ausare > (v)ulzà); some other times it remains unchanged (lauru > làur; flautu > flàut); whatsmore it can become av (Mauru > Mavar; Maurinu > Mavarìn; but Mauritiu > Maurizi). Vulgar Latin é (classical Latin e and i) is nearly always preserved in open syllables (seta > séda; rete > réet; acetu > asée; apotheca > butéga; debitu
> débit; peju > péec; pienu > pién; fide > féed; vidua > védua; nigru >
négar; piper > pévar; dominica > duméniga; cinere > scéndar; viride > vérd). In closed syllables the outcoming is generally è (sagitta > saèta; episcopu
> vèscuf; magister > maèstar teacher/ maìstar foreman; capillu > cavell;
pectine > pètin; pectu > pècc; tectu > tècc). Even in the suffixes -illu / -ettu it becomes -ètt (homettu > umett; parapettu > parapett; lagu+ettu > laghett). In the town's surroundings many of these voices have the é outcoming instead. Vulgar Latin è (classical Latin e) often becomes é in open syllables (decem
> dées; ministeriu > mestée; integru > intréech; tepidu > tévid; tene > tén;
vene > vén; heri > iéer; pede > pè). But it can become è as well (meliu > mèj; mediu > mèzz; pretiu > prèzi). In closed syllables it always becomes è (septem > sett; pelle > pell), also if followed by r (tertiu > tèrz; cuverclu > cuvèrc; persicu > pèrzich; merlu > mèrlu; hibernu > invèrnu; apertu > (a)vèrt; herba > èrba; terra > tèra; ferru > fèer); it becomes è also when followed by s and another consonant (festa > fèsta; vesper > vèspar; mespilu > nèspula). The suffixes -ellu / -ella become -èll, -èla (castellu > castell; fratellu > fradell; bellu > bell; patella > padèla). Before a nasal the outcoming is é instead (ventu > vént; tempu > témp; gente
> gént; semper > sémpar). Metaphonesis sometimes changes the vowel to i in
the passage from singular to plural (quèll > quij / quèj; quèst > quist / quèsti). Vulgar Latin ò (classical Latin o) usually becomes ö in open syllables (focu
> fööch; volet > vöör; jocu > giööch; ovu > ööf; scola > scöla; sola > söla;
rota > röda; morior > möri; oculu > öcc; core > cöör). But homo > òmm. In closed syllables it becomes ò instead (cornu > còrn; hortu > òrt; porticu > pòrtich; forfice > fòrbis; hospite > òst; ossu > oss; molle > moll; extortu
> stòrt; corpu > còrp; hordeu > òrz; nocte > nott / nocc; coctu > cott; octo > (v)ott; somniu > sògn; corda > còrda). Before an n it becomes u in open
syllables as well as in closed ones (fronte > frunt; monte > munt; ponte > punt). Vulgar Latin ó (classical Latin o and u) generally becomes u in open syllables (scopa > scuva; hora > ura; flore > fiuur; voce > vuus; sapone > savùn; statione > stagiùn; seniore > sciuur; prehensione > presùn; pipione > püviùn; leone > leùn; a(d i)ll(am h)ora > allora > alura; sole > suu; illorum > luur; amore > amuur; dolore > duluur; honore > unuur). In a closed syllable the outcoming can be u (promptu > prunt; ordo > urdin; cepulla > scigula; curte > curt; gutta > guta; ne gutta > nagutt CM; furnu > furnu; crusta > crusta; pulvere > pulvar; vulpe > vulp; dulce > dulz; ung(u)la > ungia) or ü (spongia > spügna; pullu > püj; nos > nün; vos > vü; duo > düü). Unstressed vowels It has to be said, above all, that in Cumasch as in the most of the Gallo-Italic dialects (in the Emilian dialects the phenomenon is even stronger) often befalls a weakening or the complete disappearence of unstressed vowels. So many unstressed vowels undergo apheresis word-initially and inside the word (ericie > risc; ecclesia > gésa; episcopu
> vèscuf; aerugine > rügin; hirundine > rùndina; acuculata > gügiada;
amorosu > muruus). Medial unstressed vowels' disappearence add other complications to the elisions characterizing the passage from classical to vulgar Latin (cerebellu > cervell; digitale > didaa; seminare > surnà ARCH; Carolu > Carlu; merolu > merlu; ministeriu > mestèe; molinariu > murnée; prehensione > presùn; verecundia > vergògna). Naturally the lack of the vowel is not compulsory and there's plenty of exemples of words that retain it (cutica > cùdiga; dominica > duméniga; saetula > sédula; manica > màniga; simula > sémula). Pretonic a remains generally unchanged (radice > radiis; captivu > catiif; farina > farina; gallina > galina; catinu > casìn). In some particular cases it can become u (calce+etta > culzèta / calzèta; falce+inu > fulcìn) or even e (falce > fólc). In two particular cases it becomes é (placere > piesè ARCH for piasè; Abbiategrasso > Biegrass). Posttonic a becomes u as well (cannape
> canuf).
i generally remains unchanged in pretonic positions (gingiva > gingiva; castigare > castigà; tirare > tirà; gigante > gigant; ministra > minèstra; sitella > sidèla) as well as in postonic ones (pertica > pèrtiga; porticu > pòrtich). Sometimes it becomes e (linteolu > lenzöö). e behaves in a completely irregular manner: it can remain unchanged in pretonic (septembre > setémbar; tempesta > tempèsta; mercatu > mercaa; laetame > ledamm; februariu > febraar) and in posttonic position (vipera > vìpera); it can become i especially in pretonic position (cepulla > scigula; genuculu > ginöcc; jejunu > digiün; oboedire > übidì; securu > sicüür; fenestra > finèstra); it can become a when pretonic (serrare > sarà; credentia > cardénza ARCH; sternutare > starnüdà) as well as when posttonic (generu > génar); finally it can become u (sementia > sumenza). o generally becomes u in pretonic position (formica > furmiga; ortica > urtiga; homettu > umett; moneta > munéda; coltellu > curtell; coriame > curamm) and in posttonic position (episcopu > vèscuf). Sometimes it becomes ü (cognato > cügnaa; cocleariu > cügiaa). u generally becomes ü (sudore > süduur; germ.buska > büscà; lucanica > lüganiga; erucare > rügà; muralia > müraja; extufatu > stüvaa). The diphthong au becomes u (auricula > urègia; pauperettu > puvarett). But augellu > üsell and auditore > üdituur. au can even remain unchanged (autumnu > autün) or become ul (ausare > (v)ulzà) The diphthong eu becomes ü (Eusebio > Üsébi; Eufrasia > Üfrasia; Eufemia > Üfémia). In proparoxytone words medial unstressed vowels are preserved (légura, pèrtiga, fèmina), but we must, above all, say that many proparoxytones have become, in Cumasch, paroxytones because of the loss of the ending vowel. As for final unstressed vowels we can say that a is always preserved, also in proparoxytone words as we have just seen (buca, pianta, furmìga, pèrtiga, fèmina). Other final unstressed vowels e, i, o, and u are almost always lost. Merlu, merli; furnu, furni; invernu, inverni are not real exceptions because -u and -i are added to make the pronounciation simpler. There are then some educated loanwords: sòci, cunsili, prèzi, gili. As for Romance endings -re, -ro and -ru we must remember that the reflex is almost everywhere -ar(magru > magar; patre > padar; latro > ladar; ventre > ventar). A widespread tendence in the dialect is the passage from unstressed e and i to a in secondary final position, where other Lombard dialects have -e (asin > asan; duodecim > dudas; tredecim > trédas; homines > òman; termine > terman; mantice > mantas; fraxinu > frasan; larice > laras). Consonants Also consomamts undergo many modifications that, as for vowels' ones, can be spontaneous or conditioned. Naturally we'll have to distinguish initial, medial or intervocalic and final consonants (and many times medial consonants become final ones); simple consonants or clusters. Initial consonants b is alwyas preserved in Cumasch (bove > bò; bellu > bell; balneu > bagn; germ.buk > büüs; bonu > bun). c is preserved before a, o and u (castellu > castell; corda > corda; coda > cua); sometimes we have sonorizations in g (carophyllu > garòfan; cavea > gabia; cattu > gatt; cubitu > gumbat). It becomes an affricate /tS/ before e and i, as in Italian (cerebellu > cervell; centum > cént; cincta > cinta; coemeteriu > cimitéri; cera > céra); but it can become also sc (cinere > scendar; cimice > scimas) or even z (cincta > zénta CT ARCH). d remains unchanged (dente > dént; digitu > diit; decem > dées; duodecim > dudas). f remains unchanged (farina > farina; fenu > fén; fumu > fümm; fel > fiéel). g is preserved before a, o and u (gallina > galina; gula > gula; gustu > güst) and is really rarely affricatized (galbinu > giald, perhaps influenced by Old French jalne). It becomes an affricate /dZ/ before e and i, as in Italian (gelu > géel; genuculu > ginöcc; gerula > gèrla; glire > giir). h is completely lost word-initially. j becomes an affricate /dZ/ (januariu > genaar; jocu > giööch; juniu > giügn); this happens also for French and Provençal loanwords (jardin > giardìn). l is preserved (lana > lana; lacte > latt / lacc CT; lectu > lett / lecc CT; lignu > lègn; lume > lümm). m is unchanged (manu > man; malva > malva; mundu > mund; mulu > müll). Rarely we have n (milza > nilza ARCH; mespilu > nèspul). n is preserved (nasu > naas; negru > negar; nodu > nööd; nidu > niid). p is almost always unchanged (pinu > pin; pulice > pülas; palu > paal); sometimes we have sonorizations in b (apotheca > butéga; epiphania > befana; pruna > brügna; pruina > brina). q remains almost always unchanged (quandu > quand; quantu > quant; quattuor
> quatar; quadru > quadar; quartu > quart) Quinque becomes cinch, and the
affricate is kept in all derived words except quindas. r is preserved ( rana > rana; risu > riis; rota > röda; remu > rèmm). Consonantal Clusters
Sorry, the other parts are not yet available! Luca