Re: [tied] Old English "a-spylian"

From: alex_lycos
Message: 17483
Date: 2003-01-09

Piotr Gasiorowski wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <alexmoeller@...>
> To: <>
> Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 8:11 PM
> Subject: Re: [tied] Old English "a-spylian"
>>> Post-Classical perlavo: (attested) means 'wash thoroughly', so
>>> *experlavo: would have meant 'wash out thoroughly'
>> and this form shouldnt give a romanian "spala" since there is no
>> loos of the cluster "rl" in words like "urla", "tsurloi", etc. You
>> should have had an "esperla", with much indulgence an "sperla" and
>> not "spala"
> <spãla>, to be precise. The assimilation of originally medial *e to
> the *a of the next syllable and its pretonic reduction to <ã> seem
> normal to me (experts please correct me if I'm being naive), as does
> the simplification of *ex- (cf. *expantica:re > spânteca).
> Etymological -rl- _at a prefix-root boundary_ was assimilated to -ll-
> already in Latin (note the absence of Romanian rhotacism here!). We
> can therefore assume *expellavo: 'rinse'

1) Rothacism. That is very abused idea. The rothacism could never be
explained , none could say why in some cases there is a rothacism and in
some cases there is an "n"-tacism . You have a lot of counterexamples of
non rothacising words or of words where the Latin "r" became an "n" in
Romanian or a Latin "n" became an "r" in Romanian. The most known is the
rothacism of "l" , the one you speak about here. If you want me to bring
examples for showing the " absence of rothacisnm" or examples where "ll"
became assimilated, just tell me please, I will do it.

2) *expanticare> spinteca, *expendiolare > spînzura, *expavorere >
speria, *supercina >sprânceanã, *spudia > spuza, etc.
I can give you here more "examples". Do you observe something? Of course
you do. They are all reconstructed words, but not from PIE , from Latin,
from a language we know a lot. About these Romanian examples I will
speak later. Just keep in mind now these reconstruction.

3) Since what we learned about Romanian can be in some parts wrong, it
will be better to treat the question with a bit salt too. It can be that
there are to some failures in the way the things have been presented
regarding the Romanian language.

>> Do you mean that there is the very big problem the "u" in germanic
> and "ã" in romanian & albanian ?
> Orthographic <ë> in Albanian, actually (of course it's roughly the
> same vowel). Yes, it is a "big problem", since *u did not undergo
> such a change in these languages, and etymology is no longer supposed
> to be a science in which vowels can be ignored

I completely agree. But it seems there are some errors how you are
treating the problem.
I invite you to take in consideration the followings:
-who said that the PIE root is the Germanic form with "*spul"
-who said that the first vowel in the root with the form "CCVC-" is an
PIE "u" ?

>> And which other formal difficulties?
> No rhotacism in Romanian, for one thing. Also, the structure of Alb.
> shpëlaj (especially in view of <laj> 'wash') strongly supports the
> analysis of the verb as a complex Latin prefixation. As far as I can
> see, the normal development of PIE *sp- is Alb. p-
> Piotr

About rothacism, I said, it is not a problem . About "spe:laj" in
Albanian, what is this for a form with "spe:laj" ?
Is this a kind of imperfect? I just ask because for instance you have in
Romanian too, the form of "spãlai" in Oltenian dialect which is the
cognate of literary form "spãlasem".