Re: Does Saussure's Law Apply Synchronically to Lithuanian?

From: Richard Wordingham
Message: 16055
Date: 2002-10-08

--- In cybalist@..., Miguel Carrasquer <mcv@...> wrote:
> On Mon, 07 Oct 2002 20:08:40 -0000, "Richard Wordingham"
> <richard.wordingham@...> wrote:
> What does it mean to be _underlyingly_ acute or circumflex?
Saussure's law is
> a soundlaw (or supra-soundlaw, if you will), so there must have
been something
> physical to cause the accent shift.

One could ask what an 'underlying circumflex' is in Greek(?) - :)

You point out that 'there must have been something physical'.
However, it need not still exist, and it appears that Saussure's law
has now been grammaticalised.

I had been basing my understanding on the following statement in
Lockwood's 'Indo-European Philology':

'Accents are used in philological works since the type of accent
varies and is not bound to a particular syllable. The accent is
predominantly one of stress. If the stressed vowel is short it is
marked with a grave: _galvà_ 'head'. Stressed long vowels have
either a falling or rising intonation...'

As Lockwood only mentions intonation differences in _stressed_
syllables, and Classical Greek only (contrastively) distinguished
intonation in stressed syllables with long nuclei, I assumed that the
same applied to Lithuanian.

An 'underlyingly circumflex' syllable would be one that would be
circumflex if it were to receive the accent, e.g. the first syllable
of krau~jas, which has nominative plural kraujai~.

Now that Sergei is recovering - let's hope he is - I am intrigued by
Kazlauskas's remark 'at the time when tonal stress ["melodinis
kirtis" -- ST] still existed', which implies (to me, at least) that
the "melodinis kirtis" no longer exists. So what was it?

An interesting thought occurs to me - has a stress difference
*rankómus v. *galvomùs been replaced by a difference ran~koms v.