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Re: THEORY: Difthongization across Europe

From:John Vertical <johnvertical@...>
Date:Wednesday, February 27, 2008, 12:47
On Wed, 20 Feb 2008 13:29:35 +0100, Benct Philip Jonsson wrote:
> >> Clearly there may be areal influence at work, as has been > >> suggested e.g. for Old French and Old High German E: O: > > >> iE uO at about the same time (5th- 10th century -- in OHG > >> the progeression in spellings > >> e > ea > ia > ie can actually be observed in manuscripts > >> thru the 6th to 10th century!) > > > > Hmm, that progression partially messes up my hypothesis - > > clearly it couldn't've been a part of the same M: > HM > > difthongization wave then. > >Not so sure about that: if Labov is right (...) I'm sure OHG >_ea ia_ are spellings for [E@ e@ i@], and perhaps _ie_ was >[i@] too initially. Mind you the Latin alphabet had no good >sign for [@]!
OK, point. Nothing compareable exists for Finno-Samic at least so I had assumed a direct one-step change. Maybe something similar is recorded for other IE branches, or maybe, once triggered by Germanic it went more straightforwardly in those, I dunno...
>BTW Germanic "/e:/" and "/o:/" may have been >as low as [&: Q:] even in early OHG; they certainly were in >Common Germanic which had a square > >| i i: u u: >| &i &:i Qu (Q:u) >| & &: Q Q: > >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?
> > (Possibly influenced by it, still.) The Finno-Samic > > and Romance changes might still be linked thru Slavic > > & Baltic... I should relocate that document recently > > mentioned by Amanda, I don't remember if there's a > > date there. > >Don't sweat over it: diphthongization of long vowels (...) >is a spontaneous and automatic consequence of the difficulty >of maintaining the same tung position thruout a long >monophthong, and can happen -- *will happen* -- whenever >long monophthongs arise, except that H: is more stable than >L:.
Well it's not quite a thermodynamic fact, you have languages like Hungarian where H: > H( while L: seems pretty content to stay long. Unless the larger quality difference is to blame. 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.
>I have > >| - i: > ie - y: > y2 - u: > u8 >| - e: > eE - u\: > u\3\ - o: > oQ >| - E: > E& - 2: > 23\ - 3\: > 3\6 >|but >| - a: > a& - Q: > QO > >and only in closed syllables
I notice your Q: is going upwards unlike everything else. Are you getting a *third* wave of A: > o: in there? :)
> >> Common Scandinavian A: had merged with Q:. Only one very > >> old text -- the so-called First Grammatical Treatise > >> distinguishes the two. > > > > Is this a document with Pre-Norse which still actually > > distinguishes the two phonemes or a 1800sy diachronic > > analysis? I would assume the latter, except I can't see > > why would older analyses distinguish more vowels than > > newer, if the language under analysis is still far older. > >It's a 13th cy copy of a 12th cy work.
>/BP 8^)>
Well that's cool. John Vertical


Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>