Re: USAGE: Romance Diphthongisation
|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, September 29, 2004, 6:17|
On Tuesday, September 28, 2004, at 06:06 , Roger Mills wrote:
> Joe wrote:
>> So, as I soldier on on Latinesque, I need help. Where did
>> Diphthonisation occur in the Romance languages, when, and how?
>> I'm trying to research the history of the language deeply before
>> looking at the surface, so I can describe it accurately, you see.
> Depends on a number of factors-- (1) the area-- whether it's an Eastern
> (Romanian and IIRC Italian and some small relatives) or Western
> (Franco-Provencal/Iberian). (2) whether the VL vowel system goes to 5
> /ieauo/ (maybe with length),
I think that's attested only in Sardinia.
> or 7 /ieEauoO/ (or more, like French, but it's
> another matter).
That's certainly the common western proto-Romance.
> But almost everywhere, IIRC, VL stressed short e and o diphthongize--
That would also have included the Classical diphthong _ae_ which became
pronounce /E/ just stressed short e did.
> "ie", "ue" in every environment, Ital. "ie" "uo" in open syllables but /E
> in closed, and with exceptions of course. Romanian has "ea" and "oa" _I
> think_ for these vowels, but I'm not sure.
Yes, Romanian does. It seem that the proto-Romance pronunciation was [wO]
and [jE] in unblocked syllables. [jE] remained, but [wO] became [w9] in
Gaul and [we] in Iberia. The other difference was that some areas, e.g.
Iberia, the diphthongized pronunciation was used in blocked stressed
syllables also. (Later, in Portuguese, the diphthongs were
This seems to be the extent of common proto-Romance dipthongization. The
Classical /au/ BTW appears to have remained in proto-Romance. Where it has
subsequently monophthongized seem to be independent developments.
> OTOH it might be interesting instead to have the _long_ vowels
> which strikes me as a more natural thing to happen. (More Germanic too)
Well, stressed long o and long e did diphthongize in Gaul, becoming
originally [ow] and [ej] respectively. eventually in Old French they
became [2w] and [oj]. Indeed, if you really want a lot of diphthongization,
the Gallic Romance is the model; but it's not typical of the others.
> You should hunt up one of the books on the Romance languages; I use W. D.
> Elcock's, but there are more recent ones; and I think someone on the List
> has cited an on-line source
I'm sure there must be on-line stuff.
Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight,
which is not so much a twilight of the gods
as of the reason." [JRRT, "English and Welsh" ]