Re: [tied] Syllabic liquids in Slavic

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 9537
Date: 2001-09-16

----- Original Message -----
From: Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
Sent: Sunday, September 16, 2001 1:26 AM
Subject: Re: [tied] Syllabic liquids in Slavic [was: Thoughts on the existence of *H1]

>> Parsimony militates against it. The Balto-Slavic distinction between *iR and *uR correlates by and large with the phonetic environment. As Vaillant and Kurylowicz pointed out, *uR is found mainly after Balto-Slavic velars (*k and *g), and *iR elsewhere.

> The first example that comes to mind (*wilkas/*wl^kU) militates against that.
The reason why I specified the velars involved (_Balto-Slavic_ *k and *g) is that *w patterns with the labials with respect to this rule (the _following_ consonant has no effect).
*wlkWos > *wilkas
*wrsos > *wirs^as
*plh1nos > *pi:lnas
*mrtwos > *mirtwas
*prh3wos > *pi:rwas
(P.S. I see that in a later posting you retract this counterexample.)

>> The loss of palatality in Polish is neither sporadic nor arbitrary. It is governed by a set of rigorous phonetic conditions (for one example, see below). I can provide any amount of further details on demand.

> Please do.  We can start with <bez>, or <jeden>.
These examples do not involve syllabic liquids. In early Polish palatality was irregularly lost (in the southern dialects) due to Czech influence (<wesele> 'joy', <serce> 'heart', <obywatel> 'citizen', <czerwony> 'red', etc. for earlier <wiesiele, sierce, obywaciel, czerwiony>); <bez> also belongs here (older <biez> survives in numerous placenames and old Polish personal names like Biezdrug, Biezuj, Biezdziad). The form <jeden> 'one' is of analogical origin (masc. *jedzien : fem. jedna [with regular dispalatalisation before *n] > jeden : jedna). As opposed to such quirks, the treatment of "syllabic liquids" is phonologically regular. It would take a lengthy posting, however, to explain the details. If you're interested, I'll give them in a separate message.

> Can you give an example of yer > /a/ in Polish, where no syllabic resonant is involved?  It's my understanding that the results are always /e/ or /ie/, respectively (is that Havlík's law?).
Havlík's Law is the rule which says that in some Slavic languages (including Polish), in a string of open syllables containing yers, the yers are lost in alternate syllables beginning with the last one, e.g.
*pIsUk-U > *ps&k > psek 'little dog []
*pIsUk-a > *pj&ska > pieska []
(N.B. the modern is analogical <piesek>, but <psek> is attested in early texts.)
In such cases the surviving yers yielded /e/ (*U) or palatality + /e/ (*I). But closed-syllable developments before liquids are _older_ than the change *& > e ~ zero in open syllables, and need not parallel it. /a/ for *& < *U (or dispalatalised *I) appears only before *r. So what? The lowering effect of *r on the preceding vowel is visible e.g. in English (heart, start, star < ME herte, sterten, sterre). In the (extinct) Slovincian and (surviving) Kashubian dialects of northern Poland we often find *CorC > CarC (<gard, mark>, without liquid metathesis, for Polish <gród, mrok>), while *o never becomes a in originally open syllables.