6.1691, Disc: Unusual Sound Change t > h

The Linguist List linguist at tam2000.tamu.edu
Fri Dec 1 18:56:03 UTC 1995


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LINGUIST List:  Vol-6-1691. Fri Dec 1 1995. ISSN: 1068-4875. Lines:  102
 
Subject: 6.1691, Disc: Unusual Sound Change t > h
 
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---------------------------------Directory-----------------------------------
1)
Date:  Wed, 29 Nov 1995 10:45:37 MST
From:  koontz at boulder.nist.gov (John E. Koontz)
Subject:  Re: 6.1672, Misc: Unusual Sound Change t > h, Gender in Linguistics
 
2)
Date:  Thu, 30 Nov 1995 01:14:31 EST
From:  V187EF4Y at ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu
Subject:  Re: 6.1672, Misc: Unusual Sound Change t > h, Gender in Linguistics
 
---------------------------------Messages------------------------------------
1)
Date:  Wed, 29 Nov 1995 10:45:37 MST
From:  koontz at boulder.nist.gov (John E. Koontz)
Subject:  Re: 6.1672, Misc: Unusual Sound Change t > h, Gender in Linguistics
 
>Unusual sound change.  I don't know.  But is  t > h  an example?
 
In (Mississippi Valley) Siouan *th appears as th (or affricate
variants thereof) in Dhegiha, as unaspirated t (or affricate variants
thereof) in Winnebago and Chiwere, and as h in Dakotan.  For example,
Omaha-Ponca thi, Winnebago jii, Dakotan hi, all roots (usually
occurring with additional material attached) meaning 'to arrive
there'.  Allan Taylor (IJAL 1976) noticed this one set and
reconstructed *rh for the initial, but other Siouanists (primarily
Robert Rankin and myself recently, but also the late James Owen
Dorsey) have noticed a number of additional sets and detected
analogies with *ph and *kh that make it clear that we're dealing here
with *th (as opposed to *ht and *t and *r and *R).
 
To complete the parallel with Wald's pattern, there are sporadic
instances of *ph to h in Omaha-Ponca and Quapaw (Dhegiha), Winnebago,
and Chiwere.  Note that *ph/*th/*kh are quite rare compared with
*hp/*ht/*hk and *p/*t/*k, so it's difficult with *ph to know if *ph to
h or *ph to ph is more regular in the languages in question.
 
The mechanics of the process of *Ch to h in Siouan are not clear.
There are instances of regular shift of *p (not *ph or *hp) to w (in
Winnebago and Chiwere), and it is possible, but not at all certain,
that *W and *R (not *w and *r) originated in PMV as lenitions of *p
and *t (not *ph and *th).  A more likely scenario than lenition in the
Siouan context seems to be *Ch to *CH, where H is some sort of back
voiceless fricative, with subsequent reduction of *CH to *H and merger
of *H and *h.
 
By way of a parallel, Teton in Dakotan and Osage and Kansa in Dhegiha
have velarization of the aspiration in aspirates (and in Osage this
velar aspiration is palatalized before i and e).
 
John E. Koontz
NIST:CAML:DCISD 888.02 Boulder, CO
john.koontz at nist.gov
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2)
Date:  Thu, 30 Nov 1995 01:14:31 EST
From:  V187EF4Y at ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu
Subject:  Re: 6.1672, Misc: Unusual Sound Change t > h, Gender in Linguistics
 
RE: Unusual Sound Change t > h
 
In Seneca, a Northern Iroquoian language of upstate New York, there is
an apparent change of t > h / _n .  Actually, it is the result of
epenthesis followed by deletion:
 
	0 > h / t_n (among other clusters)
	t > 0 / _h
 
So, it's not really the t turning into an h.
 
For example, the first person inclusive agent prefixes in the four
Inner Iroquoian languages are:
 
			1INdual		1INplural
	Seneca		-hni-		-twa-
	Onondaga	-tni-		-twa-
	Oneida		-tni-		-twa-
	Mohawk		-teni-		-tewa-
(The e in the Mohawk forms is also epenthetic.)
 
 -Pat Crowe, SUNY at Buffalo
 
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