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At 1:02 pm -0700 27/4/99, Matt Pearson wrote:
>Ray Brown wrote:
[...]
>>So come on - one of you professional linguists must surely know the answer.
>>Can't you help us amateurs  ;)
>
>Well, I'm (nominally) a professional linguist, and I've never heard the
>term before.

Phew! I don't feel so bad after all :)

It also explains why I've not found the word (so far) in any linguistics
book I've tried.
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At 4:27 pm -0400 27/4/99, Josh Roth wrote:
[.....]
>Well, I did some searching on the WWW and it seems to be just another word
>for ablaut.

Yeah - I sort of got the idea that it might be a fancy term for good ol'
ablaut. Come to think of - why didn't I notice it before!!! - Isn't it just
a 'Graecizing' of the German word?

Ab- I suppose is 'translated' apo- . Both prefixes can mean 'away (from)'
and both are derived from a common PIE ancestor.
And -laut is rendered as '-phony'!

Should've forgotten ancient Greek - the word is modern (thinks: "I wonder
if 'apofonia' is modern Greek for 'ablaut'?")

I guess what these guys mean when they use 'apophony' in connexion with
Semitic broken plurals and postulated vowel gradations in "ProtoNostratic"
(or any other Proto- ) is "vowel gradation similar to IE ablaut".

Ray.