Re: Horses' Asses and the Indo-European Homeland

From: david_russell_watson
Message: 60380
Date: 2008-09-27

--- In, Rick McCallister <gabaroo6958@...>
> In, David wrote:
> > My question to the list in general is this: during the
> > evolution of any language has a single phoneme ever been
> > seen to split into two or more; merge yes, but split?
> David
> Do any of Trask's unpacking examples achieve this?

I'm not familiar with those.

> Do any examples of Southern or NYC vowels do this?
> e.g. coffee /kaafiy/ > /kwaafiy/ among some NYC area
> speakers --although this may be due to Irish Gaelic
> adstrate eggs /Egz/ > /ey@.../, pin /pIn/ > /pi@.../ etc.
> among some Appalachian speakers

I don't know for sure. It seems to me that these
examples all involve diphthongs. In other words
the /ey@/ in 'eggs' is as much a single phoneme in
that dialect as the /E/ in 'eggs' is in yours (?)
and mine, or to use another diphthong as an example,
the /eI/ in 'say'. I would include the /waa/ of
'coffee', which I assume was a rounded vowel before
becoming a diphthong?

However see Brian's P.Scand. examples just posted,
in which, what I suppose to have been, originally
diphthongal vowels were apparently able to later
split into sequences of a glide and a pure vowel.