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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.
> Span. > "ie", "ue" in every environment, Ital. "ie" "uo" in open syllables but /E > O/ > 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 're-monophthongized'!) 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 > diphthongize, > 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. Ray =============================================== =============================================== 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" ]