Not an easy text to snip in, but here goes: * Henrik Theiling said on 2008-10-10 16:41:59 +0200 > After reading a lot about Portuguese recently, I started to > think about Terkunan again. One of my favorite sound shifts, > /../ the reduction of unstressed vowels to /a i u/, meaning > e>i and o>u in unstressed syllables. /snip/ > Second problem: usually, all original inflection endings drop, usually > including the thematic vowel (e.g. _not_ < NOCTEM, _prot_ < PORTA, > _rot_ < HORTUM). The current language requires an epenthetic _e_ from > an earlier /@/ on stems ending in certain voiced consonants and most > clusters, which cannot end a word. Some examples: > > mange < *mang@ 'to eat > deve < *dev@ 'to have to' > > These vowels drop before another vowel: > > mange + (a)t > mangat 'eaten' (participle) > ave + (a)t > avat 'had' (participle) > > Some verbs do end in -i because of a retained glide > or because of -i conjugation: > > odi + (a)t > odit 'heard' (participle) > > This is where the problem arises: -e and -i collapse to /i/ with the > new /a i u/ rule. And I do not like stems being not written as they > are pronounced. > Today, I talked to a friend and he suggested a very simple and elegant > solution I had not thought of before: make the epenthetic vowel an > /a/. Fronted a (/a/) is quite close to lax /e/ anyway, and epenthetic /a/ is not that uncommon. Maybe not in Romance but certainly in for instance Sanskrit and its relations! Perhaps Terkunan was spoken in Goa :) t.