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Jrg,

  I just checked this post out, since I've been wildly
behind on most of my email lately. I think this post
is really lovely. The types of changes you detail here
are things that I've tried to assemble for Silindion
many a time, but I have not yet gotten it right.  I'm
especially impressed by the vowel alerations produced
by the loss (or non-loss) of semi-vowels. This strikes
me as rather reminiscent of Adunaic (see Lowdham's
report, I think in Sauron Defeated) - although I can
see the Indo-European influence as well (especially
the notation involved, i.e. CeRC, etc). I'm not saying
this disparagingly. I, for one, greatly appreciate
such a conlanging-style. Well done! 


 -Elliott 


--- Jrg Rhiemeier <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Hallo!
> 
> This is my 1000th post to the CONLANG list, and
> within this post,
> I am going to present a facet of the historical
> phonology of
> Old Albic, namely the development of the vowels,
> about which
> I have found out some new things lately.
> 
> Old Albic has seven short and seven long vowels,
> transcribed
> _a e i o ø u y_ (short) and _á é í ó ǿ ú ý_
> (long).
> Proto-Albic, however, the reconstructed common
> ancestor of all
> Albic languages and dialects, had only three, namely
> *a, *i and *u,
> without length distinction.
> 
> So how die the 2*7 vowels of Old Albic evolve from
> the three vowels
> of Proto-Albic?  First, I will concentrate on the
> short vowels.
> In Proto-Albic, the vowel features [+open], [+front]
> and [+round]
> became autosegmental, which means that they attached
> to morphemes
> rather than vowel segments.  In a sense, there was
> only one "vowel
> phoneme", transcribed _°_, and three prosodic
> features.  This can
> be summarized in the rules given in (1):
> 
> (1) a > °[+open]
>     i > °[+front]
>     u > °[+round]
> 
> So, a Proto-Albic compound word such as *hajal-um-i
> 'with both eyes'
> was realized as something like this:
> 
> (2)  [+open] [+round] [+front]
>           |     |     /
>           |     |    /   
>         h°j°l  -°m -°
> 
> This shows how a bisyllabic morpheme, such as *hajal
> 'eye', has the
> same feature attached to both vowels.  Proto-Albic
> did not allow
> morphemes with two different vowels.
> 
> In Proto-Albic, each morpheme had at most one
> feature attached.
> In Old Albic, there are also morphemes with two
> features attached,
> which are realized at the surface as /e/ ([+open]
> and [+front])
> and /o/ ([+open] and [+round]).  An example is the
> Old Albic word
> for 'eye', _hela_.  Such words result from the
> deletion of
> semivowels combined with the addition of a vowel
> feature.  Words
> of the types CeC and CoC come from two kinds of
> protoforms,
> namely *CajaC-/*CavaC- and *CaiC-/*CauC-.  In both
> cases, the
> semivowel is deleted and the corresponding feature
> added, with
> the two vowel positions merging in the first type:
> 
> (3) *°j° > °[+front]
>     *°v° > °[+round]
> 
> (4) *j > Ø[+front] /°C$ ($=syllable boundary)
>     *v > Ø[+round] /°C$
> 
> The change (3) is very common; among many other
> words (such as
> *hajal > hel 'eye') it affected the gender
> derivation suffixes,
> which were *-va (male) and *-ja (female) in
> Proto-Albic.
> Together with the agentive stem forming suffix *-a
> they gave
> the Old Albic forms -o < *-a-va and -e < *-a-ja.
> 
> The change (4) underlies many words with mid vowels
> and final
> obstruents, such as boc- < *bauc- 'to flee'. 
> Because diphthongs
> which were not followed by tautosyllabic consonants
> (consonants
> within the same syllable) were unaffected,
> alternations between
> mid vowels and diphthongs were the result, e.g.
> 
> (5)     obosca  < *°-bauc-sa 'he fled' (aorist)
>     vs. baucara < *bauc-a-ra 'he flees' (present)
> 
> Roots of the shape CeRC-/CoRC- come via (3) from
> *CajaRC-/*CavaRC-,
> e.g.
> 
> (6) vern < *vajarn 'good'
> 
> Some Old Albic bisyllabic roots such as _semel_
> 'wheat' appear
> not to be covered by the rules given above.  These
> are usually
> compounded or derived forms.  The Proto-Albic origin
> of _semel_,
> for instance, is *sajam-al, a derivative of *sajam-
> 'to sow'
> (OA _sem-_), which became *sem-al under rule (3) and
> later
> _semel_.
> 
> In Old Albic, there is also an umlaut rule in
> operation.
> If a vowel has only one feature attached, this
> feature spreads
> to the preceding morpheme.  Hence, high vowels
> preceding /a/
> are lowered; back vowels preceding /i/ are fronted;
> unround
> vowels preceding /u/ are rounded.  Examples:
> 
> (7) sach              'shoe'
>     sochum < *sach-um 'pair of shoes'
>     sechim < *sach-im 'shoes'
> 
> Under this rule, two new vowels could arise, the
> front rounded
> vowels /ø/ and /y/.  The word in (2) became, for
> example, _helymi_.
> 
> What is now left to explain are the long vowels. 
> These result
> from two sources, namely the loss of /h/,
> occasionally also
> other consonants, between vowel and consonant with
> compensatory
> lengthening, and the contraction of two short vowels
> of the same
> quality, as in
> 
> (8) baráma < *bar-a-a-ma 'I carry it'
> 
> Thank you for reading all this.  I hope you enjoyed
> it.
> Now for the next 1000 posts!
> 
> ... brought to you by the Weeping Elf
> 



       
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