Re: [tied] "u" versus "a"

From: Richard Wordingham
Message: 34992
Date: 2004-11-07

--- In, "alex" <alxmoeller@...> wrote:
> Kim Bastin wrote:
> >>
> >> this regular change wont explain "salto" in this case. BTW, I
> >> verifyied all the latin roots where whe have an *sVl-;
> >> there is none whith a such change where if V= a, the change is
> >> "o,u". And I would say that is regular to do not have a such
> >> in the vowel which is in the very root. Are you sure insulsus
is not
> >> a late Latin term after the Germanic influence on this
language? I
> >> cannot help but I just think at German "sülze" now:-)
> >
> > I am not sure how much of the above I understand, but:
> >
> > _insulsus_ is attested at least from Plautus onwards (as
reference to
> > a dictionary will show) and is a phonologically impeccable
> > of salsus. The appeal to Germanic influence is totally
> >
> > Other examples of exactly the same series of changes are:
> >
> > resultum (resilio, cf. salio)
> >
> > adultus (adolesco, cf. alo)
> >
> > Kim Bastin
> Kim, the change of "o" to "u" doesn't make me head aches they
being very
> appropriate and a such change is OK. The change of "a" to "u" or
to "a" to
> "i" are changes which bother me within the Latin root. I am
looking for the
> fonological change here, about the possibility of getting an "u"
from an "a"
> or an "i" from an "a". Which was the phonological path used? On
which way is
> to obtain an "u/i" from "a"? This is what I wonder about.

We've already told most of the story, albeit over two posts. To

1. At some stage (before Plautus), Latin words were stressed on
their _first_ syllable.

2. In unstressed non-final closed syllables, /a/ became /e/.

3. In unstressed non-final open syllables, any short vowel generally
became /i/. There are exceptions:
(a) before /r/ (or /s/ that would become /r/) the vowel became /e/.
(b) before labials or /l/, it could be come /u/ instead.
E.g. accusative singular _aucupem_ with nominative singular
_auceps_, 'birdcatcher' from _avis_ 'bird' and _capio:_ 'catch'.
(c) After another vowel, or at least after /i/, the vowel became /e/.
_societa:s_ 'fellowship' from _socius_ 'ally' is an example.
There may be some further complications. In particular, I don't
think this change operated immediately before another vowel.

4. el > ol except before /i/, /i:/, /l/ (possibly other exceptions)

5. ol > ul before any consonant but /l/.

Thus, we get re+salio: > résilio: (Change 1)
> résilio: (Change 3)
> resílio: (Classical accent)

re+salto: > résalto: (Change 1)
> réselto: (Change 2)
> résolto: (Change 4)
> résulto: (Change 5)
> resúlto: (Classical accent)