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Re: THEORY: Difthongization across Europe

From:John Vertical <johnvertical@...>
Date:Thursday, February 28, 2008, 11:19
>On 27.2.2008 John Vertical wrote: > > > vowel system -- probably because PIE *h2 and *h3 had > > > merged alteady back when in the dialects leading up to > > > Germanic and Balto-Slavic! > > > > I haven't previously seen the merger suggested as going > > THAT far back. And if these were still buccal consonants I > > wonder why would those two merge but not much else in the > > consonant system? > >Well, why did the Laryngeals disappear? Probably because >they had become oddballs in the system anyway
Oh, surely. Doesn't go too well together with the common attempts to link them to the dorsal consonants, however. My hypothesis, tho I'm again not all that well-versed in PIE issues, has been rather something like this going on in most branches: h2e > a a > o h3e > a versus this in a/o merging branches: h2e > a h3e > a a > A/Q/etc because the idea of all the laryngeals disappearing *simultaneously everywhere* in late PIE when it was alreddy spred out seems suspect. Altho I'm not sure what arcane evidence might be able to separate these two scenarios anyway. As an complete aside: has [N] ever been considered as a value for a PIE laryngeal? Proto-Uralic /N/ disappears in the Finnic branch and probably some others in a manner ultimately quite similar to the "Uralic laryngeal" /x/ and the PIE laryngeals.
> > Anyway, yes, stuff like this WILL happen. It's the > > synchronity I'm wondering about. There's much less > > correlation for, say, a: > o: or a: > e: all across > > Europe. > >It's not all that synchronic: the OHG and Romance >diphthongization happened between the 7th and 11th >centuries, while the Fennic may have been as late as the >16th Michael Agricola significantly writes _ie öö oo_ >for modern _ie yö uo_, which may have been graphic >conservatism and/or interference from Swedish, but shows >that at least for some people _öö oo_ were still >acceptable spellings
He also found <e> an acceptable spelling for the clearly distinct /ä/, didn't distinguish length in non-stressed vowels, etc. The traditional interpretation has been that they were indeed /yö uo/, and Agricola just was working with non-Finnish orthography rules. Anyway, it's a *wave* so non-absolute synchrony should be expected anyway.
>-- and the West Scandinavian >diphthongization falls somewhen inbetween. The Fennic >diphthongization and the West Germanic second wave are >contemporaneous, but not geographically contiguous and >differently patterned.
>/BP 8^)>
I wonder where I might get some relevant dates for Baltic. John Vertical