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Re: Origin of Spanich /ch/ and /j/

From:Isaac A. Penzev <isaacp@...>
Date:Wednesday, November 27, 2002, 8:51
On Tue, 26 Nov 2002 13:54:13 -0300 Pablo David Flores scripsit:

(note you wrote /ch/, but that's phonemic notation).>>>

Yes, I know. I meant "phonemes /tS/ and /x/", but used orthographic
conventions. I thought it would be more convenient. If I confused somebody,
my apologies.

Arabic itself (_jali:ka_ > "chaleco")>>>

A good precedent.

<<<You mean "j" (/x/).>>>

I do.

<<<Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the sequence
went like this: in Old Spanish there were both voiced and unvoiced
a pair of those being /S/ and /Z/ (written "x" and "j"). OS then lost voice
distinction for fricatives, so they merged into /S/ (that's how "x" and "j"
got mixed up, though later "j" prevailed, except in "M?xico", of course).
Then /S/ became /x/. Maybe the distinction was lost later and there were
/x/ and /G/ for a while; I'm not sure. Portuguese preserved the postalveolar
point of articulation where Spanish moved it back into the velar

I know. The question still is: how can I know if in OS it was /S/ or /Z/?

<<<As for /L/, consider that the postalveolar/palatal approximants in
are rather voluble. In Argentina and many other places, "ll" /L/ and "y" /j/
have merged into [j\] or [Z] (barely voiced). If this has been happening for
a few centuries, it's likely /L/ > /Z/ got caught in the postalveolar->velar

Yes, the change is quite evident. So, does it mean that in OS we had /"oZo/
"eye" and /tra"baZo/ "work"?

<<<It'd be nice to know why the older instances of /tS/ didn't become


<<<-- G'Kar quoting G'Quon>>>

Ah! Good old man G'Kar! I really like this guy! And so does my wife!

> --Pablo Flores
My best regards, Yitzik ~~~~~~~~~~~~~


BP Jonsson <bpj@...>