Re: The palatal sham :) (Re: [tied] Re: Albanian (1))

From: Miguel Carrasquer
Message: 30551
Date: 2004-02-03

On Mon, 02 Feb 2004 21:50:40 +0000, elmeras2000 <jer@...> wrote:

>--- In, Miguel Carrasquer <mcv@...> wrote:
>> I frankly don't understand how
>> /pipGWeti/ could have given /pibeti/ instead of */pibheti/. It
>> make any phonetic sense. At the very least, *h3 must have been a
>> _uvular_ fricative (/RW/) to explain the lack of aspiration.
>Aspiration is voicelessness. Why would a voiced (labio)velar
>fricative leave aspiration, in this case voiced, i.e. the thing also
>called murmur?

We know for a fact that a voiceless velar/uvular fricative (*h2) could
cause murmur in a number of words, for instance in Indo-Iranian *meg^h2- >
*meg^h- > Skt. maha-. This can be explained phonetically as /megx-/ >
/megG-/ > /meg:-/. So if *h3 was something like /G/, it seems strange that
*h3 never caused a similar effect.

>I know of quite a few languages that have just lost

And quite a few that have just lost [x]. That's not the point.

The point is whether it makes sense for a language to have a development
/tx/ > /th/ (and sometimes /dx/ > /dh/) without having at the same time
/tG/ > /dh/ (/dG/ > /dh/), especially if we consider that /dh/ was an
extremely common phoneme in that language. The answer, I think, is that it
makes sense only if /x/ was a real fricative, while /G/ was an approximant,
and the likelihood of that is increased if we make the two sounds a little
more back (namely uvular /X/ ~ /R/ or pharyngeal /H/ ~ /¿/). Examples are
Dutch (fricative /X/, continuant /R/ ~ /r/) and Arabic (fricative Het.,
continuant ¿ayn). Spanish has fricative /X/ and continuant [G], but [G] is
merely an allophone of /g/, so it doesn't really count as a counterexample.

And as I said, another possibility that makes sense is if *h2 was a
fricative, causing aspiration, but *h3 a (labialized) glottal stop, which
didn't cause aspiration.

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal