Re: [tied] Re: crows and the glottalic theory

From: Miguel Carrasquer
Message: 16625
Date: 2002-11-08

On Thu, 07 Nov 2002 14:33:09 -0000, "Richard Wordingham"
<richard.wordingham@...> wrote:

>What's Celtic doing here? (Was Thracian meant?) I would have
>thought that it belonged in Group 3 if any of these, though I'm not
>aware of any Celtic reflex of the PIE *d ~ *dH contrast.

I really meant Celtic. All Insular Celtic languages have
(subphonemically) aspirated (*p) *t *k, and the development *p > (*h
>) 0 (as in Armenian) is best understood if *p was [ph] in
pre-Proto-Celtic. Old Welsh and Irish use the spelling <p>, <t>, <c>
for /b/, /d/, /g/, which is nothing strange in a two-way opposition
/t/ = [th] ~ /d/ = [d.] ~ [t] (cf. also English, where initial and
final /d/ are voiceless [d.] ~ [t]). The two-way opposition was the
result of a merger of *d ([t']) and *dh ([d]), but a word like <teng>
"tongue" (with *d -> *t) is perhaps a leftover from a time when the
Celtic stop system was more like that of Germanic.

>What then is the problem with a 'reverse Grimm's law'? Isn't the
>second Germanic sound shift pretty much a repeat of Grimm's law? And
>I recall references to Grimm's laws in other language families.

It all depends on how one interprets the Grimm shift. If PIE had a
Sanskrit-like system, then the first and most radical step in Grimm's
law is *d -> t, and *t -> th. At first sight, we can interpret this
as a push-chain (first *d became /t/, so *t had to shift to something
else), but I don't believe that's how it was. Here the second shift
provides a parallel: after the second phase of Grimm's law (/th/ >
fricative /T/), the stop system became /t/ (PIE *d) ~ /d/ (PIE *dh
when not fricative /D/). This immediately became [th] ~ [d.] (as
still in English). The High German shift is then comparable to the
second part of Grimm's law: the aspirate becomes a fricative (or
affricate), the non-aspirate becomes unvoiced and aspirated
(High German /t/ = [th] > /ts/, /ss/, /d/ = [d.] > /t/ = [th]).
Etcetera (we can expect a third shift where German /t/ > /T/ and /d/
(available again because /T/ > /D/ > /d/) > /t/ (= /th/). All the
shifts follow "automatically" from the first one, /t/ > /th/, and
that's the one I cannot explain if I start from a Sanskrit-like system
with *t = /t/, *d = /d/, *dh = /dh/.

>> 4) Latin, Greek
>> *t = /t/, *dh = /th/, *d = /d/
>> Unproblematic typologically, but the *b-gap and the deg-constraint
>> historically inexplicable. In fact, far from being a possibility
>> (pre-)PIE, this system is probably simply derived from the previous
>> one (by merger of *th and *dh).
>Except that pre-Latin didn't have a *th to merge with *dh.

Good point (*tH = Latin t, I think). This gets confusing again. We
might expect Italic to have common roots with Celtic, which means that
the Latin system too must be derived from *t = /th/, *d = /t'/ [read
as: non-aspirated /t/], *dh = /d/ or /dh/. Umbrian in fact has *d =
/t/ (Umbr. utur < *udo:r "water"). The problem then is explaining how
*t lost its aspiration. The development /dh/ > /th/ is natural enough
in itself, so it doesn't require a merger.

>> For example:
>> taka (= tàkà) táka (= tákà) taká (= tàká)
>> [but no táká, taga, tága, tagá]
>> daga (= dàgà) dága (= dágà) dagá (= dàgá)
>> [but no dágá, daka, dáka, daká]

[my acute and grave accents have been mangled in the above]

>What phonemes do these voicing prosodies normally affect? Just

Hard to say.

>> Subsequently, the tones were lost, but high tone left a trace in
>> (marked) glottalization of the consonant, while low tone gave
>> (unmarked) aspiration, as follows:
>> taka t?aka tak?a [but no t?ak?a, taga, t?aga, tag?a]
>> daga d?aga dag?a [but no d?ag?a, daka, d?aka, dak?a]
>> For vowel initial words, we perhaps had:
>> haka ?aka hak?a
>> haga ?aga hag?a
>Are there examples of this in widely accepted reconstructions? Tai
>tone splits conditioned by the phonation of plosives normally put the
>boundary somewhere in the sequence voiceless aspirates, voiceless,
>preglottalised, voiced, so I am surprised that high tone should
>produce glottalisation.

High tone is certainly associated with glottalization (just as low
tone with aspiration). Within IE, there are a number of examples of
high tone becoming a glottal stop (Danish, Latvian) or aspiration
becoming a low tone (Punjabi), so I'm assuming the process can work
both ways.

>I'd like to propose a derived variant of this scheme.
>Starting point:
>1. Voiceless v. voiced (or fortis v. lenis) (as Miguel)
>2. Voicing prosody (as Miguel)
>3. Contrastive stress (as opposed to tone) We can probably get rid
>of some stressed vowels, so that in some words only originally
>unstressed vowels survive.
>1. Plosives _following_ stressed vowels are preglottalised, as with
>voiceless plosives in Cockney.

So how do you get *d (if *t?/*?t) in initial position?

>2. Overstrengthening causes ?p > ?, ?b > ? (c.f. [?t] > [?] in
>Estuarine English). This is reminiscent of Peter's speculative
>suggestion that
>pre-PIE **b > h3! I recall arguments based on 'strength'
>hierarchies, which came up with the odd observations that dentals
>were stronger than labials in Germanic languages, but vice versa in
>Romance languages, so the comparison with Estuarine is valid for ?p.
>Variations are possible. I suppose we might even have ?p > h3, ?b >
>3. Voicing contrast of preglottalised consonants lost (as Miguel). I
>think the outcome of a subsequent loss of preglottalisation could go
>either way; Tai-Kadai /?m/ > Siamese <hm> (once voiceless?) but /?b/
>> /b/ (implosive for some speakers). Do we need to postulate a
>stable dialect split on the basis of whether the preglottalised
>plosive is [?t] or [?d]?
>4. PIE branches go their own way.
>As Proto-Tai > Siamese shows the change t ~ ?d ~ d > t ~ d ~ tH (even
>though Proto-Tai already had /tH/), do we need to postulate that pre-
>Greek ever had [dH] (Group 3 ancestry of Group 4)?
>How much do these schemes help with Nostratic? We have five
>PIE *dH PAA/PKartv *d
>PIE *t PAA/PKartv *t
>PIE *t PAA/PKartv t' (IS)
>PIE *d PAA/PKartv t (IS)
>PIE *d PAA/PKartv t' (Bomhard)
>and only four phonemes (/t/, /d/, /?t/, /?d/).

As far as I can tell, the normal correpondences between PIE and
Kartvelian are:

PIE *t *d *dh = Kartv. *t' *d *t (=th) [i.e. Kartvelian has a "Greek"
system], except that PIE *bh = PKartv. *b.

In Afro-Asiatic, I have the impression that there has been a lot of
assimilation towards the ejectives (emphatics) [many *t'ek' roots, as
opposed to no PIE *deg roots].

There is also substantial internal variation, of the type PIE
*kap-/*ghabh- "to take, hold, have", from (on the model I proposed)
PNostr *qapa-/*Gaba- (low-low tone), with both all-voiced and
all-voiceless reflexes.

It's just occurred to me how we can explain the Grimm-Verner shift
from a system with *t *d(h) *(?)d.

Germanic originally had a free tonal accent, which later became a
system with stress (and low tone) on the initial syllable, no stress
and high tone on the second syllable (if any). This is still more or
less what we have in Scandinavian.

Now suppose the stops were *t = /t/, *dh = /d/ and *d = preglottalized
/?d/. In the initial syllable, low tone caused aspiration:

t\- => th-
d\ => dh-
?d\- => ?dh-
s\- => sh- > s-

Medially and finally, if the original tone had been low (svarita,
anudatta) [non-Verner position], we have:

-t\ + /- => -th?- => -th-
-d\ + /- => -dh?- => -dh-
-?d\ + /- => -?dh?- => -?dh-
-s\ + /- => -sh?- => -sh- > -s-

In the Verner position (before original high tone, or final):

-t/- => -t?- => -d-
-d/- => -d?- => -d-
-?d/- => -?d? => -?d-
-s/- => -s?- => -z-

If we rewrite /?dh/ as /t/ (or /?t/), we get something which might
well serve as the starting point for the second phase (Grimm II):

th > T
dh/d > d, D
t/?d > t[h]

and the third phase (HG shift):

T > D > d
d > t[h]
th > ts/ss,


Miguel Carrasquer Vidal