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[PEER REVIEW] Mutations and sound changes (longish)

From:Peter Clark <peter-clark@...>
Date:Wednesday, October 30, 2002, 4:01
        I think I'm coming down with a case of Maggelity. I had a moment of free time
when I was thinking about how I could have a fairly unique mutational system
when I remembered with Christophe said: "Let's say that if the mutation
system was consistent 1000 years ago, and then evolved like mad, you'd have a
pretty good idea of what it's about." I whipped out my ideas for Proto-Enamyn
and after a little data massaging, got some interesting possibilities. Only
thing is, I need a little help filling in some of the gaps...
        First, the phonology of Proto-Enamyn, as hypothetically reconstructed by some
academician in an ivory tower somewhere:

        i 1 u
        e @ o
        & a A


p_h p b t_h t d c_h c J\ k_h k g
m       n       J       N
f v s z C j\ x G
K l

Notes: you will quickly observe that this is a sickeningly orderly set of
phones, but remember that this is the work of an academician who is toying
with some non-existant data in order to explain an unusual system.
        The mutation system is (was?) something as follows ("?" marks the ones I
would like suggestions for, or am extremely doubtful about):
System 1:

p_h -> p
p -> b
b -> B
t_h -> t
t -> d
d -> z
c_h -> c
c -> J\
J\ -> j\
k_h -> k
k -> g
g -> G
m -> p\ ?
n -> s ?
J -> C ?
N -> x ?
p\ -> B
B -> m
s -> z
z -> n
C -> j\
j\ -> J
x -> G
G -> N
K -> l
l -> ?

System 2:

p_h -> b
p -> p\
b -> p
t_h -> d
t -> s
d -> t
c_h -> J\
c -> C
J\ -> c
k_h -> g
k -> x
g -> k
m -> B
n -> d
J -> J\
N -> g
p\ -> p
B -> b
s -> t
z -> d
C -> c
j\ -> J\
x -> k
G -> g
K -> ?
l -> K

Got all that straight? Suggestions, comments, sharp pins to balloons welcome.
The academician has not yet theorized on what triggered the mutations, mind
        Ok, next up: sound changes: The vowels are pretty straight forward:

i -> i
1 -> M
u -> M
e -> E
@ -> _
o -> O
& -> E
a -> a
A -> O

        For the consonants, we have several series. First, aspirates become

p_h -> p\
t_h -> T *new phoneme to the language
c_h -> C
k_h -> x

Then, the palatal series is lost:

c -> k_j -> kj (before a vowel); c-> k_j -> k (after a vowel)
J\ -> g_j -> gj (before a vowel); J\ -> g_j -> g (after a vowel)
J -> n_j -> nj (before a vowel); J -> n_j -> n (after a vowel)
C -> S *new phoneme to the language
j\ -> G

Finally, we have a couple of more random sound changes at various times:

z -> ts
g -> j
p\ -> p
B -> v
G -> -> R -> R\ -> r (trilled)
N -> n (possibly in allophonic variation?)

        Does this seem plausible? The parts that concern me are the complete loss of
the palatal series and the /G/ -> /r/ transformation. Also, /j\/ by all
rights ought follow /C/ and become /Z/, but since Enamyn doesn't have /Z/,
that just leaves another phoneme to get rid of.
        Also, is it likely that a language would have /K/ and /l/ (treated by the
language as a unvoiced/voiced pair) and not /r/? I suppose I could explain
the late presence of /r/ as a foreign intrusion...
        Thanks for your copious comments and thorough thoughts!


Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Peter Clark <peter-clark@...>