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**Answer to Pete** Re: [CONLANG] Mismatched phonologies _ accents

From:Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>
Date:Wednesday, January 30, 2008, 18:18
> Ämne: Re: [CONLANG] Mismatched phonologies / accents Från: > Peter Collier <petecollier@...> Datum: Fri, 25 > Jan 2008 01:03:32 -0000 Till: > > ----- Original Message ----- From: "Benct Philip Jonsson" > <bpj@...> To: <CONLANG@...> Sent: > Thursday, January 24, 2008 4:37 PM Subject: Re: Mismatched > phonologies / accents > > > ... >> If the language having the inventory is some kind of pre- >> Old High German I'd expect /s/ to be apical [s_a] (like >> in modern Spanish and Greek), and /z/ not to exist[^1] >> and thus: >> >> /ts/ > /T/ /dz/ > /D/ /S/ > /x/ /Z/ > /j/ or /G/ /tS/ > >> /S/ > /x/ or > /tj/ > /tt/ (/t/ word initially) /dZ/ > >> /Z/ > /j/ or /G/ or /dj/ > /dd/d/ > > Well spotted, the inventory is PGmc. The /s/ is [s_a], so > I suppose to be ultra precise I should list WRom [s_m] > > NRom [s_a].
That's not a mere nitpick, since [s_a] is more [S]-like and [s_m] is more [T]-like. In fact in modern Icelandic "/T/" is [s_m] and "/s/" is [s_a], both alveolar. It is known that in the history of Spanish the following series of changes took place: | s > s_a | > z_a > s_a | k', kj, tj > ts_m > s_m > T | k' > dz_m > z_m > s_m > T | g', j > dZ > S > x | S > x and it is believed that Old French had a similar situation, although there /s_a/ and /s_m/ merged with each other instead, and likewise with /z_a/ and /z_m/. So we can be quite assured that at some time OTL Western Romance had the following sibilant system: | ts_m s_a (tS) S | dz_m z_a dZ (Z) where the parenthesized items were either rare or lacking in some areas. Comparing this to the pre-West Germanic fricatives system I'd not be the least surprised if Germans learning Gallo- Romance would equate the foreign [ts_m] with their [T], especially if there wasn't yet any /ts/ in their Germanic language. The biggest problem to me is what they'd make of [S]. There was perhaps no x to equate it with any more, since Old High German consistently keeps /h/ from Germanic *x and /x/ from Germanic *k distinct, in which case I'd have [S] merge with /s_a/ in substratization. OTOH with a time of contact as early as the first century I'd slate [S] to be equated with *x and then develop to a /h/ distinct from the lost Latin *h. I have wondered for long how k' merged with tj in Gallo- and Ibero-Romance and come to the conclusion that it was *not* via a progression k; > c > tS > ts but rather that k' merged with tj directly. It is believable in that at least to the naked ear the two palatalized sounds k' and t' sound much more similar to each other than the non-palatalized k and t. But how come then that when g' and d' merge they both become /dZ/ and not both /dz/? Perhaps simply because d' was so infrequent to begin with? The variant spellings DAZA and DAIA for the same name suggest that merger in some direction did happen. An older generation of Romanists thought that g' in all positions went through a [j] stage before becoming /dZ/, and that this together with a prestige pronunciation of the letter _z_ as d' worked against a merger. It is notable that the lenited reflex of k' is _dz_ but that of g' is [j]! (There is no "alveolar" diacritic in CXS: [tdnszl] are alveolar by default. I guess the 'retracted' [_-] diacritic could be used as well (which would then agree with the way Dravidianists mark alveolar consonants with a subscript minus); [d_+] could then mean a "postdental" [d] as opposed to interdental [d_d] if one wants to.)
> /z/ of course had earlier rhoticised to /r/, I'd forgotton > about that!
My forgotten note was to be that the phoneme which Keller writes as /z/ is actually /s_m/, traditionally transcribed by Germanists with U+0225 LATIN SMALL LETTER Z WITH HOOK. I consider that a nasty feature in that book. And of course you are right, Gmc. *z > r in WGmc., except *-z which > 0.
> In which case then I guess I'd also need /z/ > /s/ [z]. Do > you think [z] would ultimately devoice and merge with > [s_a], or would it survive long enough to become a > separarte phoneme again?
I thimk it would merge with [s_a]
> I'd also completely fogotten about /L/ My guess is > that would go to /j/, although maybe /r/ is a > possibility there?
/L/ usually becomes /lj/ when borrowed into Gmc. languages; consider Swedish _fåtölj, portfölj_. /J/ likewise > /nj/: _konjak_.