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Then you have a displaced contrast that eliminates some of the vowel
distinctions, and introduces phonemic consonants which continue to
alternate, even though some of the vowels may now remain constant. Any
vowel contrasts involved in the proto-language's inflection system
that are not eliminated by the displaced contrast sound change would
provide a source for apparent ablaut in the modern language.

I'm afraid I lost you at "displaced contrast"; what is that, exactly?
How does it eliminate vowel distinctions and introduce phonemic
consonants?

On Sun, Dec 4, 2016 at 8:18 PM, Scott Hamilton <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I was reading this thesis paper the other day, which is about that subject:
>
> The Origin and Development of Nonconcatenative Morphology
> http://linguistics.berkeley.edu/dissertations/Simpson_dissertation_2009.pdf
>
> I've not finished it, but maybe it's something you might find
> interesting/useful?
>
> Scott
>
> On Sun, Dec 4, 2016 at 7:26 PM, William Wright
> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> I have been toying with the idea of creating a language whose roots
>> are composed of (2-4) vowels and which inflect via the insertion of
>> consonants in between them (and possibly ablaut); in other words, by
>> analogy to the Semitic languages, with bi-, tri-, and quatrivocalic
>> roots and consonantal transfixes.
>>
>> I am wondering what the proto-form of such a language might have
>> looked like and what processes might give rise to a language that
>> employs such structures.
>>
>> Any ideas?
>>
>> --
>> Sincerely,
>>          William S. Wright



-- 
Sincerely,
         William S. Wright