Rum. sce/sci > $te/$ti [Re: -ishte, -eshte]

From: Richard Wordingham
Message: 15437
Date: 2002-09-13

--- In cybalist@..., alexmoeller@... wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "m_iacomi" <m_iacomi@...>
> To: <cybalist@...>
> Sent: Thursday, September 12, 2002 2:00 PM
> Subject: [tied] Rum. sce/sci > $te/$ti [Re: -ishte, -eshte]
> >
> > 1. It's /stSeptru/;
> > 2. All apparenly "exceptions" given above by Alex are in
> fact new
> > loanwords which have no reason to follow an ancient
> phonetical rule
> [Moeller]
> sceptru = new word? am not sure even if we find it in french
> too.And just because there is no synonim there for it makes me
> to ask myself if this is so or not.
> Interesting is that sceptru went not Shteptru but stzeptru in
> some regional subdialects.

The earliest forms in the Western Romance languages looks as though
they were reborrowed from Latin. Old French had 'ceptre', but if it
were an inherited word, -pt- should have simplified to -t-. In fact,
I would hace expected something like *essetre. The earliest Italian
is 'scettro', which *may* be inherited, but I would not be surprised
to find that the rule -pt- > -tt- was applied as soon as it was re-
borrowed from Latin.

> Before I am will try to say something more about sce/sci >
> $te/$sti I should like to ask the people here h o w was the
> pronounciation of these in latin?sce /sci was in latin
> pronounced like what?

Classsical Latin had /ske/ or /ski/, with the vowel of various
lengths. The combinations were rare at the start of a word, and I am
not sure that any of the words starting sce- or sci- actually
survived in popular speech. If they did, in the West at least, they
ought to have developed to /esk^e-/ or /esk^i-/, just as the
inceptive suffix <sc> became <sk^> before front vowels. (And there
are a few dialects where softening did not occur at all, notably in

What happened thereafter depends on the individual dialect, and seems
to depend on the fate of <ce> and <ci>. For example, <c> softened
to /tS/ in Italian, Walloons and Picard, as in Romanian, but to /ts/
in most French, Spanish and Portuguese. Before /a/, /k/ softened in
most Northern French dialects, but not Norman French. However, while
it softened to /tS/ in the Île de France, it softened to /ts/ in
Walloons and Picard. French, Spanish and Portuguese have simplified
the affricates; Italian has not. Moving to the present day, <sc>
before e and i has yielded /s/ in French, but /S/ in Italian.