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CONLANG  March 2013, Week 4

CONLANG March 2013, Week 4

Subject:

Re: Swedish /x/

From:

BPJ <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 28 Mar 2013 16:02:43 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

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text/plain (79 lines)

On 2013-03-27 04:38, Douglas Koller wrote:
>> Date: Tue, 26 Mar 2013 12:42:49 +0100
>> From: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: Creating a Conlang with homophones
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>
>> On 2013-03-26 11:17, BPJ wrote:
>
>>> OK here goes the official list, in alphabetical order.
>
> Thank you. I did *not* see these coming:
>
>>>    4) ge   -- bagage.
>>>    5) gi   -- religiös.
>>>    6) ige  -- beige.
>>>    7) j    -- jour        -- 'emergency duty'.
>>>    8) je   -- damejeanne  -- obsolete, unlike the name Jeanette.
>>>    9) sc   -- crescendo   -- I have /ʂ/ rather than /x/ in this word,
>>> 18) ssj  -- ryssja      -- 'fyke (hoop) net'.
>>> 19) stg  -- västgöte    -- inhabitant of Västergötland/Västgötland
>>>                               province, and only in these two words.
>
> And lo, he did pronounce and make the native speakers cringe.

Heh!  I later remembered that there are a couple more _stg_
words: _Östgötland_ + adjective & inhabitant and _gästgivare_
/ˈjɛxːivare/(!) 'innkeeper'.

On 2013-03-27 14:52, Roger Mills wrote:
> I've snipped the interesting list, but have an observation:
> It looks to me like these (mostly) could originally
> have been [Z] or [S}, then merging > [S], then > [x]--
> which is also what happened in Spanish !!!! And a lot
> of them are loan words.

Most of those spellings only occur in loan words.  The only
'native' ones are _sj, ssj, sk, skj, stj_ and the oddball _stg_.

I doubt any words borrowed from French ever had [ʒ]
*in Swedish* except for some 18th-century showoffs. We
read some of Gustavus III's letters at Uni and there
were some inverted spellings like _Jer Ami_, and if
*he* did it it's a safe bet that everybody had [ʃ] for
French /ʒ/ at the period when most French loans came
into Swedish.

>
> I'm not entirely sure what happens in Dutch, but I do know that "baggage " comes out as "bagasi" in Indonesian, so it looks like something similar has happened to loans there too. And of course in Dutch *sk- > [sx- ~ sX-] and Engl. [S] so maybe we could be on our way to [x[ too, though I doubt it........

And Proto-Slavic!

The probable reason some Swedish accents shifted
[S] > [x] is that [tɕ] got deaffricized and /rs/
shifted to [ʂ] so that the sibilant space got
somewhat crowded.  Finland Swedish accents which
still have [tɕ] for palatalized */k/ even have [ɕ]
where other accents have [ʃ] or [x]. Accents which
didn't shift [ʃ] to [x] (mostly in Central and
Northern Sweden) usually merged it with [ʂ] instead.
Nowadays there seems to be a tendency among younger
people who have [x] to shift /ɕ/ to [ʃ], so it's going
to be interesting to see whether *their* children
will merge /ɕ/ and [ʂ] -- anw whether I'll get to
experience it!

BTW /x/ has a lot of regional/individual/contextual
allophones, including the famous but actually rare [ɧ],
[x͡ɸ] (which used to be common on the West coast -- my
father had it) and even [ɸ]. Most people at least
around here who have [x] actually have [χ] before back
vowels, and there is a similar variation in /k g ŋ/. I
used to wonder why I couldn't make an [ħ] when what I
thought was [χɑ] actually was [ħɑ]! :-)

/bpj

BTW, Roger, I saw a car with GWR on the licence plate
today!

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