Re: [tied] Re: Unreality of One-Vowel Systems (was: Bader's article

From: Brian M. Scott
Message: 32934
Date: 2004-05-26

At 9:10:54 PM on Monday, May 24, 2004, elmeras2000 wrote:

> --- In, "Brian M. Scott"
> <BMScott@...> wrote:

>> Correction: 32876 is your post responding to Glen's
>> statement in 32869, in which he wrote:

>> Likewise, that IE might be analysed as technically
>> "monovocalic" means nothing to the question of the shape
>> of the pre-IE vowel system. In fact, since sensible
>> linguists are bound by language universals to reconstruct
>> protolanguages properly, might we please keep remembering
>> that one-vowel systems are _NON-EXISTENT_. It's not even
>> considerable.

>> I see nothing wrong with this statement. Piotr commented in
>> 22560 that it's the 'level of systematic PHONETICS' [my
>> emphasis] that determines the typology, and I assume that
>> Glen is using 'one-vowel system' in the typological sense,
>> and in that sense, to the best of my knowledge, they are
>> indeed non-existent.

> But in that case the whole statement does not apply in its
> context.

It certainly appears to do so. The discussion leading up to
your statement to which Glen objected:

>>>> The few remaining irregularities can easily be explained
>>>> by the fact that pre-PIE had two (x2) additional vowels
>>>> besides *a(:), namely *i(:) and *u(:), as typologically
>>>> required in any case.

>>>That is not a "fact", and it is not what we see.

>> I did not present it as a "fact". It's a hypothesis, which
>> happens to be supported by typology.

> The typology of one-vowel IE is like Sanskrit. How can Indo-
> Europeanists dismiss the sheer possibility of that?

I could certainly be mistaken, but it appears to me that
Miguel's claim is based on the same notion of typology as
Glen's; if so, your response, which is apparently based on a
different and more abstract notion, was at cross-purposes
from the beginning.

> We are certainly talking sophisticated phonology here, not
> phonetics. The outburst was directed against me, and I do
> know what I was talking about.

The question is not whether you know what you were talking
about; it is what others understood you to be saying, and
vice versa.