On Sunday, January 11, 2004, at 08:51 PM, Joe wrote:

> Incidentally, when exactly did Latin <g> and syllabic <i> merge?

_syllabic_ {i} is the vowel - it never merged with {g}; nor, for that
matter, did the semi-vowel /j/ merge with /j/.

/g/, like /k/ became palatalized before front vowels.  In that position
only, did /g/ did merge with /j/.

>  I
> suppose it was a case of [g_j]>[j], but does anyone know when it
> happened.

Palatalization of /t/ in the combo /ti/+vowel is attested from
as early as the 2nd cent. CE.  But there is no unequivocal evidence of the
palatalization of /k/ and /g/ until the 6th cent. CE.  But it probably
a little earlier as it's attested in all the Romance languages except in
more archaic dialects of Sardinia.

However, the different treatment of such palatalization in the different
speaking areas is probably due to its later development.

> And how/when did the [j]>[(d)Z] change take place, in French,
> Spanish, and Italian(I don't know about Romanian or Sardinian).

Not Sardinian - but 'twas so in Romanian.  Old French had [dZ].  One must
remember that intervocalic /j/ was always geminate in Latin, i.e. [jj].
It was a change from [jj] --> [dj], and confusions in spelling, {z} ~ {di}
~ {i} show the change going on in the 2nd & 3rd cents. CE.

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