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Re: Some questions about Romance langs

From:Roger Mills <romilly@...>
Date:Monday, May 21, 2001, 15:29
Eric Christopherson wrote:

>On Sun, May 20, 2001 at 7:41:20PM -0400, Oskar Gudlaugsson wrote: >> What is the origin of Spanish "como"/Fr "comme", etc? In desperation, I >> might answer Latin "quo modo", but I'm all but certain that I'm wrong.
>> totally stumped :p >[see below] > >> Also, I suppose French "autre" comes from Latin "alter/altra/altrum" >> (correct forms, right?); Spanish "otro/otra", however, would supposedly
>> from "uter/utra/utrum", then? Or is that an isolated case of
>> in Spanish? > >The same l vocalization happened in Spanish, in those words as well as some >others, such as <cauce> < <CALCE>. I don't know offhand, but I don't think
that process was very widespread in Spanish. Agree, not very common. Now that you mention it, there's also "sauce" 'willow tree' < salix~salice-
> >> Speaking of which, why on earth did that Latin velarized-l only vocalize
>> [w]/[u] in French, and not in at least half the Romance languages? >> Typologically normal, or bizarre (as I'm finding it)? Did it vocalize in >> Romanian, btw? > >As I said, it also happened a bit in Spanish, and also Portuguese
>and probably others too>
I'm not sure about the Port.-- that might just be a spelling convention {ou} for /o/, while {o} generally or often is the lower /O/ (IPA backwards c). Throw in the haphazard use of diacritics, and Port. spelling is IMO a nightmare.
>I don't know about the typology, but it doesn't seem an unlikely change to >me. It's happened in various English dialects and Polish, at least.>
Typologically, it would be _one_ of the expected changes; l > y is another one, as you mention. And l>w is ongoing in Brazilian Port. It's just a few centuries behind French. Like Spanish, with its ongoing loss of final and pre-consonantal /s/.
>Not to me. I'm told that that accentuation came from its use as a set >phrase, therefore phonologically a single word (Actually, I just checked my >dictionary and it's listed as <quo:modo>, with no space). As you know, the >accent on words with a light penultimate (short vowel, vowel-final)
>falls on the ante-penult, thus /"k_wo:modo/. What puzzles me is why the >middle syllable didn't just drop, leaving */"k_wo:mdo/.
Probably because d-lenition happened first, producing the anomalous /"k_wo:mo:/