Re: -s -> -i

From: tgpedersen
Message: 14426
Date: 2002-08-21

--- In cybalist@..., Miguel Carrasquer <mcv@...> wrote:
> On Tue, 20 Aug 2002 12:08:21 -0000, "tgpedersen" <tgpedersen@...>
> >A nice chance to push my shibboleth theory
> >1) General confusion between nom. and acc. pl. in provincial
> >2) East Rome (incl. Italy) opts for generalizing the nom: -i, -e
> >3) West Rome therefore opts for generalizing the acc. -s
> But there is no "West Rome" here. French, Provençal and Rhaetic
(perhaps also
> Northern Italian dialects) retained both the (OFr. mur) and
acc. pl.
> (OFr. murs).
True, I disregarded the Old French

-s Ø
Ø -s

pattern. But in my eyes see here only the absence of -i.

>On the other hand, Sardinian and Spanish-Portuguese have no trace
> of the nom. pl., but I very much doubt this is due to some
>conscious effort to
> not sound Italic.
You might have seen it already, but here is my idea of
how "shibbolethisation" would work.

If you read Procopius, you will find that Justinian's attempted
reconquest of the west (Italy, except the north) was more destructive
in terms of lifes and property than any Barbarian incursion. Under
those circumstances your life might depend on whether your language
sounds Greek-Eastern or Germanic-Western. In examples I've heard from
former Yugoslavia, people could get in serious trouble for being seen
reading a magazine with the wrong alphabeth. Shibblethisation, that
is differentiation, is taking place right now, between "Croatian"
and "Serbian" (and one day I might have to drop the quotes) and
between Hindi and Urdu. As we also learnt from Alvin recently, some
Kosovo Albanians are trying to "purge" words from their language that
are perceived to be Slavic.

BTW: I am not sure whether this is not insensitive or in bad taste,
but my linguistic curiosity has got the better of me, so now I'll ask
the question: Has anyone in this group heard of recent examples where
somebody in some civil-war like situation tried to make an
identification of someone as friend or enemy based on small
differences in their language, eg in the former Yugoslavia?

> >4) because of this -i/-s shibboleth East Rome further generalizes -
> >for -s everywhere (eg 2 sg)
> >
> >Or we might argue Greek and Germanic influence, respectively. In
> >case a development -s -> -i is not phonetically plausible.
> Why not? There's nothing implausible about -s > -h > -0 (in
> after unaccented vowel), but -s > -h > -ç > -y in monosyllables,
after an
> accented vowel. The 2sg. -i in Italian and Romanian is in any case
not simply
> the result of a soundlaw -s > -y (we would expect 2sg. -ai, -ei in
the a- and
> e:-stems, instead of -i), except in monosyllables (dai < das, stai
< stas).
Do you have any direct evidence for examples of a development -h > -
ç ? It sounds rather Procrustean to me. Shibbolethisation works nicer

> =======================
> Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
> mcv@...