Magyars? (was: basque/Basque/bask)

Alice Faber faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU
Sat Apr 20 14:52:41 UTC 2002

James A. Landau said:
>In a message dated 04/18/2002 6:32:47 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
>maberry at U.WASHINGTON.EDU writes:
>> The only etymology I could find for Hungarian (using only the web)  was in
>>  the OED "med. Greek
>>  Oungroi(Omicron-upsilon-gamma-gamma-rho-omicron-iota)".  I'm not familiar
>>  with the "Oingar" as a Turkic people ("Uighur" maybe?).  I couldn't find a
>>  ref to the lir dialects or shaz Turkish in Ethnologue, but they might be
>>  completely extinct.
>On the contrary, all Turkish dialects (as far as I know) can be classified as
>either lir or shaz.  The names are descriptive:
>         lir        shaz
>        /l/         /sh/
>        /r/        /z/
>Perhaps some of the phoneticians on this will explain how the two consonant
>changes are related.

Voiceless /l/ is spectrally very similar to /sh/. The change of voiceless
(fricative) L to /sh/ occurred in the history of Arabic, for instance; the
ancestor to Arabic /sh/ (corresponding to some instances of /s/ in Hebrew)
was definitely a fricative lateral. The change occurred within the recorded
history of Arabic, albeit early on.

As for /r/-/z/ interchange, that doesn't strike me as particularly unusual,
either. It's similar, for instance, to the R-S interchanges in Latin.

There's no particular reason that the two changes *SHOULD* be related.
However, in this instance, you happen to have a greater degree of oral
constriction for both consonants in SHAZ than for their counterparts in LIR.

Alice Faber                                  tel. (203) 865-6163 x258
Haskins Laboratories                              fax  (203) 865-8963
270 Crown St                                   faber at
New Haven, CT 06511

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