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

From: Jens Elmegaard Rasmussen
Message: 27788
Date: 2003-11-28

On Fri, 28 Nov 2003, Miguel Carrasquer wrote:

> >> 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?

> You're still not getting the point.  I give up.

It's true I'm not getting a point here. But you can easily get me to
declare that the theory you sketch is not very believable. I am eager to
here about the relevance of this.