Re: [tied] Laryngeal theory as an unnatural

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 18237
Date: 2003-01-28

----- Original Message -----
From: "Miguel Carrasquer" <mcv@...>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, January 28, 2003 2:36 PM
Subject: Re: [tied] Laryngeal theory as an unnatural

> The Polish sound is /o~/, written <a,>, but not necessarily pointing to a development /a~/ > /o~/ (Slavic has a:, o: > a; a, o > o).

In Old Polish, PSl. *e~ and *o~ fell together as /a~/. The only difference was that consonants were palatalised before /a~/ from *e~ (so that it was really /^a~/). Vowel-length distinctions, which were partly an inner-Polish affair (e.g. compensatory lengthening after the loss of weak yers) resulted in a contrast between short /(^)a~/ and long /(^)a:~/. Early written Polish reflects that stage. Eventually the short nasal vowel developed into /e~/ and the long nasal vowel into /o~/. Either can be preceded by a palatalised or non-palatalised consonant, and they alternate in Polish paradigms, e.g.

nom. <za,b> [zomp] < za:~b < *zo~bU
gen. <ze,ba> [zemba] < za~ba < *zo~ba

In other words, the modern distribution of <a,> /o~/ and <e,> /e~/ in Polish does not reflect the distribution of *o~ and *e~ in Proto-Slavic. Only the palatality of the preceding consonant (or its absence) indicates the old quality of the vowel.