Re: [tied] Re: Short and long vowels

From: Patrick Ryan
Message: 39291
Date: 2005-07-18

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, July 17, 2005 7:30 PM
Subject: [tied] Re: Short and long vowels


What are you postulating phonetically then?  Your ideas as you phrase
them are open to ridicule, and I expressed my best understanding of
what you are trying to say.  I suppose the laryngeal may have survived
quite late -  laryngeals are discernible, for example, in the metre of
the Rgveda.

>   But Point 3 strikes me as a step backward. I am trying to explain
_why_ we have specifically <i> in Old Indian.

But Point 3 is the observed outcome.  Are you disputing it?

>   Merge with /i/, why not with /u/? See my point?

Merger with /i/ is a common enough fate for a schwa - think of the
pronunciation 'sennit' of English _senate_.  /u/ is fairly rare except
under the influence of labials.
There is no schwa in the proposal I have made. That is my my basic objection to your Point 3.
So, yes, I would have to dispute it.

Miguel made the point earlier that Old Indic vocalic /r/ became /ri/.
 That is not universal - other high vowels occur in non-Indic language
that have borrowed words with this vowel - I think the pronunciation
is /ru/ in Tamil, and in Thai the following high vowel is often the
back unrounded vowel.
What <R> does is not of interest in this context. It has no bearing on the question.