On Sat, 18 Nov 2000, Marcus Smith wrote:

> John Cowan wrote:
> >On Sat, 18 Nov 2000, Marcus Smith wrote:
> >
> > > If you could find good evidence
> > > that E and O are A+I and A+U, then I would go along with it.
> >
> >As in modern vernacular Arabic, I suppose, where the historical evidence
> >is clear enough?
> Historical evidence is not necessarily relevant for the synchronic state of
> the language. But yes, evidence along those lines would be sufficient. Also
> useful would be a situation where a prefix ended in A and the stem began
> with I, and the word was pronounced with an E.

In Shoshoni, there is free variation in which some forms are
pronounced with the diphthong [ai] or with the 'simple' vowel [e]. The
word for cricket can thus be pronounced [maiSo] or [meSo]. This would
seem to be evidence for the decomposition of /e/ into A+I.


Dirk Elzinga
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