> And how, pray, does this state of affairs differ from English?
Not very. That's the whole point. It's possible. Voicing of *-s
does happen except that in the case of English, [z] has become
a new morpheme, albeit it only has begun recently it seems unless
somebody has something to add to it.
> (One can argue that what we see as **-s opposed to **-z was in fact
> [c] and defer the argument as to whether it derives from *tW.)
No because of the whole reason why *z is posited by Jens in the
first place. See below, second paragraph.
> Incidentally, where is the evidence that **z was rare? With a
> merger /z/ > /s/, what evidence can we expect to see?
We expect to use comparative data when making logical arguements
about reconstructed languages. We see no opposition of *s and *z
in the comparative data... and this body of data is huge for IE.
However I'm yielding to the fact that Jens has a point about a
difference. Until we can see a difference between *-s and *-z in
the same environment, we can't propose what isn't there, just like
we can't propose *sW in IE in all seriousness like Miguel likes to
do. The most that can be done is to propose allophonic variation
but this ***HAS ALREADY BEEN PROPOSED WITH *nisdos*** as I said so
we are just reusing elements that are already reconstructed for
So what's the obsession with making up a new phoneme? Why isn't
a category of allophone good enough for you people? Nobody's
supporting their opinion with sensible facts of any kind.
> No! If the vowels were always different, this minimal pair provides
> no evidence of allophony! It simple shows that thematic /o/ and /e/
> are different!
No, it does show at the very least allophony because the majority
pattern is that thematic *-e- becomes *o before a _voiced segment_.
We never see a thematic vowel *o before *dH or *g but always before
a voiced phoneme. However, *s is the only consonant that breaks the
The thematic vowel, btw, has to have been once one and the same vowel
as in *to-s and *te-syo so there's no logical escape from accepting
that *e/*o < *& (or some vowel of your choice). Surely, *to- is not
a different pronoun from *te- so why the alternation? Because *tos
was once pronounced [toz] and tesyo had unvoiced *s. In that way,
*s is now in line with the rest of the pattern.
So Jens is justified in using the pattern to surmise a "z". However,
he _assumes_ that it is a seperate sound from *s rather than simply
an allophone and he does this by decree of his own. Therefore, he
would reconstruct *toz and *tesyo. In that sense, he's gone too far
because he hasn't shown that they ARE seperate phonemes.