Re: [tied] Re: Caland [was -m (-n)?]

From: Miguel Carrasquer
Message: 27761
Date: 2003-11-27

On Thu, 27 Nov 2003 23:51:58 +0100 (MET), Jens Elmegaard Rasmussen
<jer@...> wrote:

>On Thu, 27 Nov 2003, Miguel Carrasquer wrote:
>> >> and adjectives in -ró?  Can a mere 10% relict forms keep such a
>> >> phonologically non-obvious historical connection alive synchronically?
>> >
>> >You seem to forget about all the many ro-adjectives that were in keeping
>> >with the rule. That raises the percentage to a lot more than ten.
>> You haven't understood what I meant.
>I rather think it is the other way round. I do not think there are 10 %
>relic forms, on the contrary I estimate there are some 10 % *innovative*
>forms with the "wrong" suffix, i.e. with *-ro- combined with a sonant
>nucleus, or *-u- after a vowel (vocoid) nucleus.

That would be even more remarkable.

Maybe what I mean will become clearer if I use a purely phonetic example
instead of a morphophonetic.

Suppose we have a proto-language with the phoneme /k/. The theory is that
a soundlaw applies, turning /k/ into /c^/ under certain conditions (say,
before front vowels). It's supposed that there was no phoneme /c^/ to
begin with, so it's a split, no merger involved.

Now what we actually find is one language, say Tofarian, which has /k/
everywhere. Another language, Lifuanian, has /c^/ everywhere. The other
daughter languages show the distribution /c^/ before front vowel, /k/
before back, with perhaps some 10% exceptions.

How believable is the theory?

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal