Re: [tied] Abstractness (Was Re: [j] v. [i])

From: Jens Elmegaard Rasmussen
Message: 22656
Date: 2003-06-04

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Jens Elmegaard Rasmussen
> To:
> Sent: Wednesday, June 04, 2003 4:09 PM
> Subject: Re: [tied] Abstractness (Was Re: [j] v. [i])

Well, that's funny, for /e, i, u/ by an analysis along these lines was
exactly what Kurylowicz and Benveniste made for IE - and that was rejected
on *typological* grounds. Is typological wisdom only a matter of


>> Then what about an analyis of PIE in which all root vowels are
>> (rightly or
> wrongly) reduced to varieties of /e/, and /y/ and /w/ are realized as
> [i], [u] when not adjacent to vowels, so that the language has /e/, /i/
> and /u/ (because we choose to call /y/ and /w/ by their vocalic names)?
> Or /a/, /i/, /u/ for that matter, if we choose to call /e/ by a variant
> we like better? Would *that* language be typologically permissible?
> Not only permissible, but of a rather widespread type. Both /a, i, u/
> and /a, e, i, o, u/ are extremely common cross-linguistically. The
> former represents the three elementary vowel "colours" (symbolically,
> [low], [front] and [round]), and the latter includes the most common
> "complex" vowels.
> Piotr
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