At 11:13 am -0600 26/1/00, Matt Pearson wrote:
>Nik Taylor wrote:
>>/kp/ --> /kw/, on the other hand, I find hard to picture. Epenthetic
>>vowel /k@p/ or simplification (/k/ or /p/), or even a click /p!/ I find
>>reasonable descendents of /kp/, but not /kw/.
>If /kp/ and /kw/ are consonant clusters, then the change from the
>former to the latter may not be that plausible (although /p/ -> /w/
>is found in some languages). However, if /kp/ is a doubly-articulated
>stop and /kw/ is a labialised velar stop - i.e., if both are treated as
>single segments - then the change seems entirely plausible to me.
And to me also. I don't see the difficulty.
Clearly V.Latin 'quattro' (Classical: quattuor) _did_ become 'patru' in
Romanian, and 'lingua' did become [log in to unmask]
The theory of intermediate fricativation ( /kwattro/ -> */xwatro/ -->
*/Watru/ */p\atru/ --> /patru/ and, presumably, /liNgwa/ --> */liNGwa/ -->
*/linW@/ --> */limb\@/ --> /limb@/) is not merely unsupported by any
external evidence but is IMHO just too fantastical for words. The change
/k_w/ --> /p/ and /g_w/ --> /b/ is what the evidence suggests and I
personally see no problem.
What is conventially written as /kw/ is not here /k/ + /w/ but, as Matt
says, a _labialized_ velar stop, a _single_ segment. Likewise Latin -gu-
(found only after -n-) was almost certainly a labialized voiced velar stop.
A mind which thinks at its own expense
will always interfere with language.
[J.G. Hamann 1760]