Rum. k' and g' + e/i [Re: -ishte, -eshte]

From: George
Message: 15380
Date: 2002-09-11

>A. Is the smaller, widespread change basically s > S before ke, ki,
>te, ti?

Yes (because of these clusters schi-/sche- and sci-/sce-. Especially
the latter group seems to be difficult for most of Romanian native-
speakers to be pronounced s-tS-. A similar phenomenon we can
observe in German: generally, it's difficult for germanophones to
utter "sz" as /s+ts/, "Disziplin" can be rendered more or less OK.
But *Szepter couldn't make its way into the dictionaries: Zepter
/tsept&:/. And there is "Szene" (stage; scene/ry): I've never heard anyone,
be him/her a master of diction trained in the best seminars for
actors, to be able to say Sssssss-tz. They either say /tze:ne, tze:n&/,
i.e. the same pronunciation as for "Zähne" (teeth) or /se:ne, se:n&/,
as though they were influenced by French).

>B. The larger change sounds like a new palatalisation. Is it simply
>[...] with p > k^ also in some areas?

This occurs even in areas where p- is best kept: for instance, in
Alex's own region. But he himself confirmed yesterday that people
over there also utter some words with k instead of p (cheatra/chiatra
for peatra/piatra). But in subdialects within the Carpathian basin,
this /ky-/ becomes "soft", so that an illiterate peasant, upon learning
to read and write, will have some difficulties to use the correct
spelling of certain words, since s/he won't exactly know *when* his
dialectal sound correspond in the standard language to a "ch-" and
when to a "t". The same apply to "gh-" and "d". This is why "hyper-
correct" forms are now and then used in speaking and writing, with
p's and t's there where it should stay a "ch-". (There are even jokes
based on that, e.g. on Moldavians, that they'd say "chilotzi" instead
of "pilotzi" = "underpants" for "pilots".)

>I presume /g/, /d/ and /b/ are softening similarly.

gh- <-> d high frequency. b > g' is rare, e.g. "ghibol" for "bivol" for
(buffalo, but not in the sense of bison). This variant, with the most
genuine palatalization, is typical of North-Western Romania. To the
East and South, the sound gets more and more velar, hard. (And
note that in the North-Western-most subdialectal areas, it is not
"ghivol", but "ghibol". (I underline that in these regions, this treatment
is applied rather to d. So, this palatal "mollis"-g is used instead of
the d(e/-i) in all kind of words; there are also exceptions to the
local rule. :) Another example: "ghine" or "ghini" = "bine", in Moldavia,
where "gh" sounds a bit "harder" (more like a genuine g) than its
(west-)Transylvanian counterpart in "ghibol".