Re: Bader's article on *-os(y)o

From: Richard Wordingham
Message: 32709
Date: 2004-05-18

--- In, enlil@... wrote:
> >>> Doesn't the proposed analogical change in the thematic 2s
> >>> *-&z > *-&s following *-&si thereby imply a phonemic contrast
> >>> between final /s/ and /z/?
> >>
> >> Actually, no, it doesn't need to. If we have [-&z] and [-&si],
> >> there is no contrast in the final position at this stage and
> >> [z] remains an allophone. We only need to propose levelling
> >> of the thematic vowel to *e based on the default indicative
> >> where voicing never existed.
> >
> > But what you proposed in Message 32603 (Thursday 13 May) and I
> > commented on in Message 32617 was
> >
> > 'The fact is that *-es alternates with
> > *-esi with non-final *s. Analogy preserved *e by keeping voiceless
> > *s throughout the 2ps.'
> Yes, it's hard to say one way or the other, whether it was *e that
> was analogically spread to the non-indicative during Schwa Merger I
> or whether it was *s that was levelled in order to change the result
> of the Schwa Merger before it happened. It doesn't matter either
> way.
> Nothing implies a phonemic contrast. To put it simply, Jens is
> that *-z just happens to follow all instances of thematic *o and
> certain consonants like *l, *r, *n, and *y (in order to explain the
> Nominative Loss and his whack theory about *so < **soz). Well, I'm
> saying that if *z can be predicted like that... then it's just an
> allophone of *s for the very fact that we can state clearly where we
> should find it! Wherever *z, we never see *s in those environments.

There might be some counter-examples from Latin. 2s. _fers_ of Latin
_fero_ 'carry' and 2s. _vi:s_ of Latin _volo:_ 'wish' come to mind.
Is there any Szeremenyi lengthening in the 2s to argue against it?

> So c'mon folks, use yer noggin'. The **z is just an allophone. We
> can simply use an allophone that already exists to explain all this.

If it is an allophone, there is a phonemic contrast between thematic
*e and thematic *o, and we lack an explanation of the alternation.
If we have a phonemic contrast **s ~ **z, then we can assume a single
thematic vowel, say *&.

What is wrong with this logic? I do not see how we are going to get
2s. *-es v. nom. s. *-os out of one vowel and one consonant until the
vowel or the consonant has split into two phonemes.

To me it seems entirely plausible that the Nostratic contrast *t ~ *s
became, in final position, **s ~ **z.

I submit that by Glen's principle of economy we should prefer the
solution that **s ~ **z :)