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Re: Sound changes - whither retroflex sounds and glottal stop?

From:Dirk Elzinga <dirk.elzinga@...>
Date:Monday, July 24, 2006, 18:45

On 7/22/06, Patrick Littell <puchitao@...> wrote:
> The glottal stop can affect tone, if you want to introduce tone. It > can lead to either high or low, by different historical processes -- > I'll try to find some examples within a single language family if you > want me to look it up. I believe it will affect tone on the previous > vowel, but I don't know the specifics. (For example, did it need to > be in the syllable coda to affect tone, or could it have been in the > following syllable's onset? I don't know.)
Goshute (a variety of Shoshoni) has nascent tone which developed from a medial glottal stop. In Western Shoshoni, there are several pairs of words which are distinguished solely by the presence/absence of /ʔ/: [tsoʔapʰ] /tsoʔappɨh/ 'ghost' [tsoapʰ] /tsoappɨh/ 'shoulder' [siʔipʰ] /siʔippɨh/ 'sheep' [siːpʰ] /siːppɨh/ 'urine' The Goshute cognate for 'ghost' is missing the glottal stop but has a HL contour; 'shoulder' is the same as in Western Shoshoni (there is also a "de-stridentization" of the affricate): [tθóàpʰ] 'ghost' [tθóápʰ] 'shoulder' [sîːpʰ] 'sheep' [síːpʰ] 'urine'
> Laryngealization of the vowel is another possibility. I'm pretty sure > the laryngealization contrast in the Totonacan languages is derived > from an earlier alternation between V and V? (with the latter becoming > laryngealized V). I could look this up as well, if needed. > > Laryngealization or something like it can be a reasonable source for > low tone later on, if you want it. Straight from glottal stop to tone > would most likely give you high, but if glottal stop goes to > laryngealization, you'll get low instead.
This seems to be the likely route for the Goshute tonal contour; in Western Shoshoni, the vowels surrounding the glottal stop can be pretty creaky. Dirk