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

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 17489
Date: 2003-01-09

----- Original Message -----
From: "alex_lycos" <altamix@...>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, January 09, 2003 8:27 PM
Subject: Re: [tied] Old English "a-spylian"

> 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.

Of course there is no rhotacism in late _loans_ from Latin (examples could be quoted by the hundred) and in other words of late origin. Although I have no historical grammar of Romanian to hand (Miguel or George may comment on the details), the rhotacism of intervocalic /l/ was regular in the inherited vocabulary (<sare> 'salt', <miere> 'honey', <soare> 'sun', <pãdure> 'forest', ect.). My impression is that Latin /ll/ was never affected and that its degemination must therefore have been later than rhotacism, cf. pellis > piele 'skin' or mollis > moale 'soft' (as opposed to mola > moarã 'mill'). What problems have you got with this? What mysteries do you see here?

> 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.

So what? Vulgar Latin was extremely rich in such non-classical prefixed verbs. There are cognates for many of them in other Romance languages, e.g. <spinteca> correcponds to North It. spindegar (same meaning).

> 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.

Scepticism, when justified, is one thing, but the deliberate obfuscation of a pretty clear state of affsirs (just in order to make more elbow-room for speculation) is another.

> 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" ?

It was you who wanted to compare <spãla> and <shpëlaj> with <-spylian> etc. I only said that the _Germanic_ reconstruction was *spul- and that it was incompatible with the Romanian and Albanian words. Whatever the PIE reconstruction, you can't derive all three "reflexes" from the same root.

> About rothacism, I said, it is not a problem.

Your evasive saying so will not make the problem go.

> 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".

No, no, they are different things. On <spãlai>, see George's comment. <shpëlaj> is simply the Albanian citation form of the verb. The final <-j> (Tosk -nj) is here the 1sg. ending of the present tense.