[tied] Re: crows and the glottalic theory

From: Richard Wordingham
Message: 16706
Date: 2002-11-12

--- In cybalist@..., Miguel Carrasquer <mcv@...> wrote:
> On Thu, 07 Nov 2002 14:33:09 -0000, "Richard Wordingham"
> <richard.wordingham@...> wrote:
> 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]).

I'd always understood that the Old Welsh use of <t> for what is now
post-vocalic /d/ reflected the lenition that created the soft
mutation. (I can't explain the reported Irish use.)

> 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]).

Isn't the ultimate [th] North German, presumably the effect of the
Low German substrate?

> >What phonemes do these voicing prosodies normally affect? Just
> >obstruents?
> Hard to say.

Do you have examples?

> >Are there examples of this [high tone-induced 'glottalisation'] in
widely accepted reconstructions? Tai
> >tone splits conditioned by the phonation of plosives normally put
> >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've done a net search on tonogenesis, and the best I can come up
with is
http://www.csuchico.edu/~gt18/Papers/Vietnamese&tonogenesis.pdf .
According to that source, initial voiced aspirates (i.e. breathy)
consonants, like other voiced consonants (especially obstruents)
lower tone. 'Creaky voice' raises pitch. The paper didn't say what
typically causes creaky voice.

Final /h/ and final 'incomplete' /?/ - 'creaky tone' or 'vocal fry' -
lower pitch at the end of the syllable. Conversely, final /h\/
(voiced partner of /h/) and final abrupt /?/ raise pitch at the end
of the syllable. These modifications may affect the whole syllable
rather than just the end.

In Panjabi, is Miguel talking of voiceless aspirates or voiced

The Danish example does not look at all convincing. What happened in
Latvian? (The Panjabi example seems peripheral.)

> >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
> >of some stressed vowels, so that in some words only originally
> >unstressed vowels survive.
> >
> >Evolution:
> >1. Plosives _following_ stressed vowels are preglottalised, as
> >voiceless plosives in Cockney.
> So how do you get *d (if *t?/*?t) in initial position?

Advance the stress and drop the now unstressed vowel.

> >How much do these schemes help with Nostratic? We have five
> >correspondences:
> >
> >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.

But Miguel wrote (
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cybalist/message/16607 )
'It seems, then, that none of the attested systems is an ideal
candidate for being the ancestral one. If we look beyond PIE to the
Nostratic proposals, we see that both Bomhard and Illich-Svitych can
come up with a sizebale number of Nostratic etymologies, using
different sound correspondences (Bomhard uses PIE *t *dh *d =
PAA/PKartv *t *d *t', while Illich-Svitych uses PIE *t *dh *d =
PAA/PKartv *t' ~ *t *d *t). Those who care about the Nostratic theory
enough to have an opinion are divided into three camps,
"Illich-Svitych is wrong", "Bomhard is wrong" and "both are wrong, and
so is Nostratic". But perhaps they're both right, as might follow
from the following proposal to explain the *deg-constraint and *b-

Miguel, are you in a fifth camp?

> 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
> less what we have in Scandinavian.
> Now suppose the stops were *t = /t/, *dh = /d/ and *d =
> /?d/. In the initial syllable, low tone caused aspiration:
> t\- => th-
> d\ => dh-
> ?d\- => ?dh-
> s\- => sh- > s-

Why not *t ~ *d ~ *dH = /t/ ~ /?d/ ~ /d/ >
/t/ ~ /?t/ ~ /d/ >
/tH/ ~ /?t/ ~ /d/ >
/þ/ ~ /?t/ ~ /d/ >
/þ/ ~ /t/ ~ /ð/, and then Verner's law?