(L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Zekoslav » Fri 20 Jul 2018, 09:33

One of my professors thinks it's a cognate of Proto-Slavic *bedro, of the same meaning. Both would originate from PIE. *bʰedʰr̥ , an r/n-stem neuter noun, as latin femur still is. The problem is that this derivation requires two semi-irregular assimilations: first (*dʰ >) *ð > *β, either because of the syllabic r or because of the initial *f, and then *β > *m in oblique cases before *n.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus » Fri 20 Jul 2018, 22:48

De Vaan, citing Steinbauer, suggests dhenur/dhenuens. The dh- naturally becomes f-, and the theory is that the -nw- in the oblique becomes -m-. The only irritation here is that there's no attestation otherwise of -nw- to -m- in Latin. But it does sound to me like the sort of change that could occur sporadically. *dhenur means "bow", which is a common analogy for slightly curved bones and body parts.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by shimobaatar » Sat 21 Jul 2018, 21:50

So, I know that [lː nː] > [ʎ ɲ] happened in the development of some Romance languages, but is this kind of thing only possible for some sonorants, or could any geminate consonant be palatalized?
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by qwed117 » Sat 21 Jul 2018, 22:09

well, for what it's worth, the *opposite* happens in Sardinian. For example there's Latin HABEŌ, which becomes *aβjo in Vulgar Latin. In Sardinian that becomes "appo"
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by sangi39 » Sat 21 Jul 2018, 22:41

shimobaatar wrote:
Sat 21 Jul 2018, 21:50
So, I know that [lː nː] > [ʎ ɲ] happened in the development of some Romance languages, but is this kind of thing only possible for some sonorants, or could any geminate consonant be palatalized?
I found this:
Many Norwegian dialects also show a form of palatalization that is not triggered by a high/front vocoid. Coronal consonant clusters and coronal geminate stops, nasals, and laterals are realized as palatals (Hanssen 2010)
The original source is Dialekter i Norge (2010), by Eskil Hanssen, but I haven't found a copy yet, nor do I read Norwegian, so I can't give anything further than that.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by shimobaatar » Sat 21 Jul 2018, 22:49

qwed117 wrote:
Sat 21 Jul 2018, 22:09
well, for what it's worth, the *opposite* happens in Sardinian. For example there's Latin HABEŌ, which becomes *aβjo in Vulgar Latin. In Sardinian that becomes "appo"
Interesting! This "opposite" is also a West Germanic thing.
sangi39 wrote:
Sat 21 Jul 2018, 22:41
I found this:
Many Norwegian dialects also show a form of palatalization that is not triggered by a high/front vocoid. Coronal consonant clusters and coronal geminate stops, nasals, and laterals are realized as palatals (Hanssen 2010)
The original source is Dialekter i Norge (2010), by Eskil Hanssen, but I haven't found a copy yet, nor do I read Norwegian, so I can't give anything further than that.
So it might just be possible for coronals? Thank you!
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ælfwine » Sun 22 Jul 2018, 04:12

Some Norn is said to palatalize /l/ in clusters like /ld/ -> /ʎd/ and /nd/ -> /ɲd/. This is something I make use of in Mannish.
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Post by Pāṇini » Wed 25 Jul 2018, 12:32

Does anybody have any good resources on Modern Hebrew syntax?

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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Creyeditor » Wed 25 Jul 2018, 14:29

Much too much, but everything I know of is on some very specific feature. I don't no of any good general intoductory material.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ælfwine » Sun 29 Jul 2018, 23:04

Had any Romance language/dialect treated Latin /a/ differently from /aː/? Or did they merge before any dialectal differences could affect them?
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by sangi39 » Mon 30 Jul 2018, 00:12

Ælfwine wrote:
Sun 29 Jul 2018, 23:04
Had any Romance language/dialect treated Latin /a/ differently from /aː/? Or did they merge before any dialectal differences could affect them?
I can't find anything yet that says that there are Romance languages which do or did distinguish between reflexes of long and short /a/, but I'd assume that if your Romlang developed in some peripheral region of the Roman world, then it might be possible to treat them differently. What I would say, though, is that, at least to me, the other vowels would still change in line with nearby dialects, e.g. either like the Western Romance languages or the Eastern Romance languages (I'm not sure if Sardinian's vowel system had any qualitative distinctions before the long vowels merged into the short ones).
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ælfwine » Mon 30 Jul 2018, 01:20

sangi39 wrote:
Mon 30 Jul 2018, 00:12
Ælfwine wrote:
Sun 29 Jul 2018, 23:04
Had any Romance language/dialect treated Latin /a/ differently from /aː/? Or did they merge before any dialectal differences could affect them?
I can't find anything yet that says that there are Romance languages which do or did distinguish between reflexes of long and short /a/, but I'd assume that if your Romlang developed in some peripheral region of the Roman world, then it might be possible to treat them differently. What I would say, though, is that, at least to me, the other vowels would still change in line with nearby dialects, e.g. either like the Western Romance languages or the Eastern Romance languages (I'm not sure if Sardinian's vowel system had any qualitative distinctions before the long vowels merged into the short ones).
I'm probably not going to treat short and long /a/ differently myself, but out of curiosity, I wonder if a rom-natlang had. It seems like /a/ was first to lose vowel length, and probably during the end of the Republican or Early Imperial era.

Also wouldn't dialects closer to Rome be more likely would treat them differently than peripheral dialects, on account of being the older dialects?
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by sangi39 » Mon 30 Jul 2018, 02:48

Ælfwine wrote:
Mon 30 Jul 2018, 01:20
sangi39 wrote:
Mon 30 Jul 2018, 00:12
Ælfwine wrote:
Sun 29 Jul 2018, 23:04
Had any Romance language/dialect treated Latin /a/ differently from /aː/? Or did they merge before any dialectal differences could affect them?
I can't find anything yet that says that there are Romance languages which do or did distinguish between reflexes of long and short /a/, but I'd assume that if your Romlang developed in some peripheral region of the Roman world, then it might be possible to treat them differently. What I would say, though, is that, at least to me, the other vowels would still change in line with nearby dialects, e.g. either like the Western Romance languages or the Eastern Romance languages (I'm not sure if Sardinian's vowel system had any qualitative distinctions before the long vowels merged into the short ones).
I'm probably not going to treat short and long /a/ differently myself, but out of curiosity, I wonder if a rom-natlang had. It seems like /a/ was first to lose vowel length, and probably during the end of the Republican or Early Imperial era.

Also wouldn't dialects closer to Rome be more likely would treat them differently than peripheral dialects, on account of being the older dialects?
This is only a suspicion I've had, but it seems that in Vulgar Latin dialects, short vowels are lower than their long counterparts, or of the same height, so I've always assumed that because there's nothing lower than /a/, the short version had nowhere to go, and central vowels don't seem to have become a thing in Romance languages until a few centuries later.

I can't speak with any authority to the "older dialect" idea, but I can't see why the age of a dialect would in and of itself affect /a/ vs. /a:/ qualitatively. Barring conquest of Carthaginian territory in the Punic Wars (hoping I understood that bit right), Rome expanded to its most recognisable state in about a century or two, or effectively within about six generations across much of Western Europe. I can't remember exactly how Latin spread, but from what I can remember it was part a "language of education" (in the case of Classical Latin especially) and a lingua franca (in the case of "the actual spoken language of the Roman populus), which at least to me suggests that dialect variation, at least early on, may actually have been fairly uniform across the Empire (I'd assume partly due to population movement within the Empire as well, amongst troops at least).
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus » Mon 30 Jul 2018, 10:57

sangi39 wrote:
Mon 30 Jul 2018, 02:48
Ælfwine wrote:
Mon 30 Jul 2018, 01:20
sangi39 wrote:
Mon 30 Jul 2018, 00:12
Ælfwine wrote:
Sun 29 Jul 2018, 23:04
Had any Romance language/dialect treated Latin /a/ differently from /aː/? Or did they merge before any dialectal differences could affect them?
I can't find anything yet that says that there are Romance languages which do or did distinguish between reflexes of long and short /a/, but I'd assume that if your Romlang developed in some peripheral region of the Roman world, then it might be possible to treat them differently. What I would say, though, is that, at least to me, the other vowels would still change in line with nearby dialects, e.g. either like the Western Romance languages or the Eastern Romance languages (I'm not sure if Sardinian's vowel system had any qualitative distinctions before the long vowels merged into the short ones).
I'm probably not going to treat short and long /a/ differently myself, but out of curiosity, I wonder if a rom-natlang had. It seems like /a/ was first to lose vowel length, and probably during the end of the Republican or Early Imperial era.

Also wouldn't dialects closer to Rome be more likely would treat them differently than peripheral dialects, on account of being the older dialects?
This is only a suspicion I've had, but it seems that in Vulgar Latin dialects, short vowels are lower than their long counterparts, or of the same height, so I've always assumed that because there's nothing lower than /a/, the short version had nowhere to go, and central vowels don't seem to have become a thing in Romance languages until a few centuries later.

I can't speak with any authority to the "older dialect" idea, but I can't see why the age of a dialect would in and of itself affect /a/ vs. /a:/ qualitatively. Barring conquest of Carthaginian territory in the Punic Wars (hoping I understood that bit right), Rome expanded to its most recognisable state in about a century or two, or effectively within about six generations across much of Western Europe. I can't remember exactly how Latin spread, but from what I can remember it was part a "language of education" (in the case of Classical Latin especially) and a lingua franca (in the case of "the actual spoken language of the Roman populus), which at least to me suggests that dialect variation, at least early on, may actually have been fairly uniform across the Empire (I'd assume partly due to population movement within the Empire as well, amongst troops at least).
I think you answered your own question there. In peripheral areas of the Empire, Latin was imposed as a fairly homogenous second language, at least at first. So if you want a dialect that retains features of Latin that had been lost in the standard by the time of that imposition, you'll need to find a dialect that predated that imposition - i.e. a dialect somewhere in rural Italy. Or, perhaps, Tunisia?
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by GrandPiano » Tue 31 Jul 2018, 01:42

Ælfwine wrote:
Mon 30 Jul 2018, 01:20
It seems like /a/ was first to lose vowel length
I think it may be more likely that vowel length was lost in all vowels at the same time, but /a/ was the only vowel whose short and long counterparts did not differ in quality, so it was the only vowel whose long and short counterparts merged completely. To my understanding, the Classical Latin vowel system was something like [aː a eː ɛ iː ɪ oː ɔ uː ʊ]. When length was lost in Vulgar Latin, the different vowel qualities were kept (though [ɪ ʊ] merged into [e o]) so that the length distinction was transformed into a quality distinction for all vowels except /a/.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Sumelic » Tue 31 Jul 2018, 03:08

Ælfwine wrote:
Sun 29 Jul 2018, 23:04
Had any Romance language/dialect treated Latin /a/ differently from /aː/? Or did they merge before any dialectal differences could affect them?
I think Dalmatian or something turned long a into [ɔː], but now I can't find the page where I read about that.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by qwed117 » Tue 31 Jul 2018, 03:31

Sumelic wrote:
Tue 31 Jul 2018, 03:08
Ælfwine wrote:
Sun 29 Jul 2018, 23:04
Had any Romance language/dialect treated Latin /a/ differently from /aː/? Or did they merge before any dialectal differences could affect them?
I think Dalmatian or something turned long a into [ɔː], but now I can't find the page where I read about that.
I haven't found any evidence of that. I believe that they all merged before dialectal difference affected them
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Sumelic » Tue 31 Jul 2018, 03:38

qwed117 wrote:
Tue 31 Jul 2018, 03:31
Sumelic wrote:
Tue 31 Jul 2018, 03:08
Ælfwine wrote:
Sun 29 Jul 2018, 23:04
Had any Romance language/dialect treated Latin /a/ differently from /aː/? Or did they merge before any dialectal differences could affect them?
I think Dalmatian or something turned long a into [ɔː], but now I can't find the page where I read about that.
I haven't found any evidence of that. I believe that they all merged before dialectal difference affected them
Oh, here it is: http://www.nativlang.com/romance-langua ... es.php?e=0 This site says Latin short a generally corresponds to Dalmatian u/a, while Latin long a generally corresponds to u/ua/uo. I'm not sure where the author of the chart got this information from.
Last edited by Sumelic on Tue 31 Jul 2018, 03:40, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ælfwine » Tue 31 Jul 2018, 03:40

sangi39 wrote:
Mon 30 Jul 2018, 02:48
Ælfwine wrote:
Mon 30 Jul 2018, 01:20
sangi39 wrote:
Mon 30 Jul 2018, 00:12
Ælfwine wrote:
Sun 29 Jul 2018, 23:04
Had any Romance language/dialect treated Latin /a/ differently from /aː/? Or did they merge before any dialectal differences could affect them?
I can't find anything yet that says that there are Romance languages which do or did distinguish between reflexes of long and short /a/, but I'd assume that if your Romlang developed in some peripheral region of the Roman world, then it might be possible to treat them differently. What I would say, though, is that, at least to me, the other vowels would still change in line with nearby dialects, e.g. either like the Western Romance languages or the Eastern Romance languages (I'm not sure if Sardinian's vowel system had any qualitative distinctions before the long vowels merged into the short ones).
I'm probably not going to treat short and long /a/ differently myself, but out of curiosity, I wonder if a rom-natlang had. It seems like /a/ was first to lose vowel length, and probably during the end of the Republican or Early Imperial era.

Also wouldn't dialects closer to Rome be more likely would treat them differently than peripheral dialects, on account of being the older dialects?
This is only a suspicion I've had, but it seems that in Vulgar Latin dialects, short vowels are lower than their long counterparts, or of the same height, so I've always assumed that because there's nothing lower than /a/, the short version had nowhere to go, and central vowels don't seem to have become a thing in Romance languages until a few centuries later.

I can't speak with any authority to the "older dialect" idea, but I can't see why the age of a dialect would in and of itself affect /a/ vs. /a:/ qualitatively. Barring conquest of Carthaginian territory in the Punic Wars (hoping I understood that bit right), Rome expanded to its most recognisable state in about a century or two, or effectively within about six generations across much of Western Europe. I can't remember exactly how Latin spread, but from what I can remember it was part a "language of education" (in the case of Classical Latin especially) and a lingua franca (in the case of "the actual spoken language of the Roman populus), which at least to me suggests that dialect variation, at least early on, may actually have been fairly uniform across the Empire (I'd assume partly due to population movement within the Empire as well, amongst troops at least).
So it couldn't have become say, /ɐ/? Or otherwise changed in quality?

My thought was that perhaps since the Latin that expanded the Empire was "newer," older variations of it back home could have developed differently.
Sumelic wrote:
Tue 31 Jul 2018, 03:08
Ælfwine wrote:
Sun 29 Jul 2018, 23:04
Had any Romance language/dialect treated Latin /a/ differently from /aː/? Or did they merge before any dialectal differences could affect them?
I think Dalmatian or something turned long a into [ɔː], but now I can't find the page where I read about that.
From what I can tell, stressed [a] (post-merger) became [ɔ] and then broke to become [uo] (or something similar phonetically.)

I'm getting my book on Dalmatian soon. I know that Vegliote has some pretty odd vowel changes (such as diphthongizing the high vowels, something no other romance language did).
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus » Tue 31 Jul 2018, 13:38

GrandPiano wrote:
Tue 31 Jul 2018, 01:42
Ælfwine wrote:
Mon 30 Jul 2018, 01:20
It seems like /a/ was first to lose vowel length
I think it may be more likely that vowel length was lost in all vowels at the same time, but /a/ was the only vowel whose short and long counterparts did not differ in quality, so it was the only vowel whose long and short counterparts merged completely. To my understanding, the Classical Latin vowel system was something like [aː a eː ɛ iː ɪ oː ɔ uː ʊ]. When length was lost in Vulgar Latin, the different vowel qualities were kept (though [ɪ ʊ] merged into [e o]) so that the length distinction was transformed into a quality distinction for all vowels except /a/.
I think this is an important point. It's easy to get lulled in by the old comparative textbook approach and talk about different branches of Romance developing different 'systems', as though it were a cohesive process.

In fact, the Romance vowel systems can be all be derived through just five soundchanges:
1. short vowels lower
2. length distinctions are lost
3. /I/ merges with /e/
4. /U/ merges with /u/
5. /U/ merges with /o/

1 happened in urban Roman culture fairly early on, and was spread across the empire. Only rural Sardinian dialects (Sardinia being settled early on, but always being a total backwater) and perhaps some rural sicilian or south italian dialects, avoided this change.

2 happened everywhere, probably quite early.

3 arose in the urban communities of Rome and spread rapidly throughout the entire late empire.

4 happened specifically in the Danubian provinces. It may reflect the fact that the Danubian provinces were military colonies, with many auxiliaries who would have been non-native speakers, and also doubtless a lot of Greek speakers from over the border; this may have encouraged this merger of two u-sounds with relatively little semantic import.

5 then happened everywhere, except that it couldn't happen in the Danubian provinces because /U/ had already gone by that time.

The precise details are debatable - it could be that '5' happened before '4', didn't reach the Danubian backwater, and that led the Danubians to deal with their clutterer backspace by innovating '4'. Aelfwine probably remembers the evidence on this chronology, if there is any, better than I do.


Sardinia can be explained in either of two ways. Above, I've said that '1' didn't reach Sardinia. That's the simplest explanation. The alternative though would be that '2' happened earlier in Sardinia than elsewhere. This would presumably be because Sardinia was Punic and only adopted Latin slowly; there were some contemporary comments about Libyans (who would also have been originally Punic-speaking) having trouble with length distinctions. Maybe Punic had lost the length distinction (present in Phoenician) already? Then again, this may just indicate that '1' had already happend very, very early and the Carthaginians struggled with Latin "length" because it was already at least partly quality, and when they're accused of pronouncing the long vowels as though short and the short vowels as though long, their Latin critics (who may not have noticed the quality difference) just meant they pronounced both long and short with the same qualities.
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