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

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 17504
Date: 2003-01-10

"Automatic" means habitually used (in a given language and a given phonetic context) and therefore predictable or at any rate phonemically non-distinctive. For example, speakers of some languages use automatically (without realising what they are doing) a glottal stop before any initial vowel, and some regional accents of Polish turn every /o-/ into [wo-]. What was "automatic" in Proto-Slavic need not be universally automatic. In particular, different languages have different ways of filling empty onsets with dummy segments.


----- Original Message -----
From: <tgpedersen@...>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, January 10, 2003 11:50 AM
Subject: [tied] Re: Old English "a-spylian"

--- In, Piotr Gasiorowski
<piotr.gasiorowski@...> wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "alex_lycos" <altamix@...>
> To: <>
> Sent: Thursday, January 09, 2003 9:52 PM
> Subject: Re: [tied] Re: Old English "a-spylian"
> > I just wanted to give a hint that the use is the same as in
slavic or
> > german "with "i" ad not like in greek or latin with "e". See
> > ich, ik, , slavic:"ia", greek & latin "ego", umbrian "eho" etc.
> > Why with "i"? I dont know either since the PIE form is *egomlike
> > latin and greek so far I know.
> Slavic has *(j)azU (OS azU) or its shorter version *ja. The full
form is the regular development of PIE *eg^om. The *j is just an
automatic glide before a word-initial vowel, as in *jablUko (cf.
What's "automatic glide"? It sounds like something off a 50's Cadillac

> Proto-Germanic had *ek (the early Runic inscription on the Galehus
Gallehus (<galehus> = "madhouse")

Horn began <ek hlewagastiz holtijaz ...>), with the weak or enclitic
variant *ik, which tended to replace the strong form.

I've seen it argued the <ek> (not <ik>) proved it's North Germanic.
Of course the whole question is infected.

There was in general a strong tendency to merge *e and *i in Germanic
even in stressed syllables; Gothic, essentially, had [i] across the
board except before <r> and <h>, where the conditioned variant [e]
(spelt <aĆ­>) was used. The later distribution of /e/ and /i/ in
German or English does not reflect PIE contrasts. PGmc. *ek/*ik < PIE
*eg^-, as elsewhere, including Latin and Greek.
> Piotr

East North Germanic (in this case island Danish, Swedish and Southern
and Eastern Germanic) has <jeg>/<jag>, West North Germanic <eg>,
Jutland <a>. Where does the "automatic enter into this?.
I thought perhaps this had to do with preserved -a in 1st. sg.
(elided early in Jutland), such that in the frequent <adv>VSO
sentences you'd have /-a eg/ > /a jeg/, cf. other simlar "false
divisions", 1st pl. Slavic <my>, New Norwegian <me>, Bavarian <mer>,
Swedish 2nd pl. /-n i/ > /ni/

But on the other hand I read of a reconstruction of Proto-AfroAsiatic
pronouns (remember 1st sg. <an-ek> "I"?) which had a B-series with
1st sg. -ia?


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