En réponse à Christopher B Wright <[log in to unmask]>:

> A sound change affected final /k/. Now, one letter represents /k/ or,
> when final, /x/. Could the /x/ pronunciation be preserved regardless
> of
> inflections?
> For instance, arc- "bear" is pronounced /arx/, but would arca "bear
> (nom)" be /arxa/?

Well, as you said, /k/ was affected when final. so arc may be /arx/, but in
arca the /k/ wouldn't be final, and thus would stay: /arka/. This said, you
still can use analogy: the pronunciation /arka/ would be replaced by /arxa/,
due to the presence of the form /arx/, especially if other nouns would
regularly have /x/ even when endings are added. This would level out
the "irregularity". It's something which happens often in languages. To give
you an example, let's take the Latin declension of the word |honor|:
honour :)) . At first, the word was [honos], with regular declension: [honos],
[honosEm], etc... At one point, a sound change occured: [s] -> [r] / V_V
(or: "[s] became [r] between vowels"). It affected [honos] like any other word,
only when the [s] was intervocalic! So suddenly the declension of that noun
became [honos], [honorEm], etc... thus becoming "irregular". It seems that the
speakers didn't like this irregularity, and levelled it out, and by the process
of analogy (probably influenced by nouns like [orator], accusative [oratorEm],
which had final [r] even before the sound change) created the nominative form
[honor] to replace [honos], thus reobtaining a regular noun.

You could use such a feature to "regularise" your nouns, but it works only if
the speakers realise that there are different sounds (in your case, /x/ must be
a phoneme, not just a phone [x] which exists only as the realisation of a
final /k/ (and here I obtain a nice connection to the previous mail I sent,
which IIRC was to answer another question of yours :)) ). The fun part about
analogy is that it's an irregular process, i.e. you can have it used on some
words and not others, without even needing an explanation for the discrepancy!!
Isn't that nice? :)))


Take your life as a movie: do not let anybody else play the leading role.