Re: [tied] Nominative: A hybrid view

From: Miguel Carrasquer
Message: 22202
Date: 2003-05-24

On Fri, 23 May 2003 23:43:39 +0000, Jens Elmegård Rasmussen
<jer@...> wrote:

>Can the lost opposition /s/ : /z/ in Spanish be recovered on purely
>synchronic evidence? Could it be shown, for example, that some /s/'s
>are former geminates which caused the syllable to become closed and
>thereby influenced the placing of the accent, while other /s/'s have
>been single units all along? In theory I would expect this to be
>possible though I would not find it easy to carry out the

No examples come to mind having to do with the accent (heavy syllables
in Latin attracted the accent, but Western Romance in general tended
to settle on penultimate stress, and few antepenultimates remain in
Spanish). Apparently, the diphtong /ie/ became /i/ before /sC/
(including /ss/), as in priessa > prisa "haste", but I'm not sure if
pr- (or the presence of /r/ in general, as in viéspera > víspera) has
something to with it (a word like fiesta remains unaffected).
Perhaps the only case I can come up with is <basura> "rubbish" <
versura, where the development e > a was caused by the /r/ (as in the
cognate verrer > barrer "to sweep"). This would not have happened to
a single /z/ (but neither to a /s/ < /ss/).

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal