CLASSIFYING THE INTERESTING CORRESPONDENCE SETS AND DOING SOMETHING ABOUT THEM PART II.

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CLASSIFYING THE INTERESTING CORRESPONDENCE SETS AND DOING SOMETHING ABOUT THEM PART II

The correspondence sets should be arranged to show either contrast or complementary distribution. Contrasting sets look like this: k=k== /__# === / __# An apparent contrast: a=a=i=a /CVC__(C)# a=a=a=a /CVC__(C)#

Adam’s observation His data set covered all the words ending with a simple vowel. The a=a=i=a correspondence set is peculiar, because the /i/ always ends the word, whereas the /a/s never do—they are regularly closed by a velar nasal, as the next display illustrates.

#GLOSSBELAWI MATU- DARODALATKANOWITCORR 181 bonetulaŋ tulitulaŋa=a=i=a 190wingkə-payaŋ lə-payi l-n.c.a=a=i=4 215 spiderbəlagaŋbəlagia=2=i=4 332look forpiñaŋ piñia=a=i=4 150starbitaŋbintaŋ -nt-bitia=a=i=4

What is the implication of the observed regularity of patterning? a=a=i=a /CVC__(C)# < aŋ=aŋ=i=aŋ /__# a=a=a=a /CVC__C# :where C# is not ŋ#

#GLOSSBELAWI MATU- DARODALATKANOWITCORR 181 bonetulaŋ tulitulaŋaŋ=aŋ=i=aŋ 190wingkə-payaŋ lə-payi l-n.c.aŋ=aŋ=i=4 215 spiderbəlagaŋbəlagiaŋ=2=i=4 332look forpiñaŋ piñiaŋ=aŋ=i=4 150starbitaŋbintaŋ -nt-bitiaŋ=aŋ=i=4

Crowley says on p. 103 “What you must do is look for evidence of complimentary distribution before you do your final reconstruction.”

Talk until you understand. Alexander Graham Bell’s diagram for a telephone, 1876. (go to next slide)

Some more correspondence sets in complementary distribution should have been generated by the homework assignments distributed so far. But not everyone will be so blessed. THE MIKE IS OPEN !

To be continued... LING 485/585 Winter 2009

What to do with complementary distribution and contrast Take our earlier sets, and assume contrast. k=k== /__# === / __# An apparent contrast: a=a=i=a /CVC__(C)# a=a=a=a /CVC__(C)# You must reconstruct two proto-phonemes. Call them *k and *. You must write rules for each of the four dialects, e.g. *k > /__#in B & M-D; *k > /__# in D & K; and finally, * > /__# in B, M-D, D and K. Assuming contrast, you must reconstruct two proto-phonemes. What proto-phonemes? a=a=a=a surely must reflect *a. So a=a=i=a must be *a2. If you are a uncomfortable with that, dig deeper. If later you find CD then *a2 will dissolve into *a. But if the contrast holds up, then *a2 may be further postulated to be *[æ], *[],*[ ɑ ] or whatever.

Proto-phonemes imply rules, and some rules imply changes. Continuing to assume contrast re: a=a=i=a and a=a=a=a, we have reconstructed *a to account for for a=a=a=a and *a2 to account for a=a=i=a. This implies that rules (often called diachronic correspondences) are needed to derive the dialect data from the proto-language. *a > a=a=a=a*a2 > a=a=i=a BM-DDKBM-DDK aaaaaaia

Question: Why *a2? Why not reconstruct *i to account for a=a=i=a?

Why not reconstruct *i to account for a=a=i=a? Because Proto-Melanau *i is already taken. Remember we are reconstructing a language, constrained by Realism, meaning our protolanguage must have properties of a real language. A real language does not have two phonemes *i.

Question: Then why not reconstruct *i2 to account for a=a=i=a?

Why not reconstruct *i2 to account for a=a=i=a? No problem, formally considered. However, let us consider the consequences. What is simpler: to derive a=a=i=a from *i2 or from *a2? What is meant by “simpler” in this context?

Which is simpler? *a2 requires one change: *a2 > i in Dalat. *i2 requires three changes: *i2 > a in B, M-D and K

Is simplicity an absolute value?

Absolutely not! But... A scientist will not choose the more complicated solution over a simpler one, all things being equal. To overturn a simpler solution, strong evidence is needed. Einstein: A scientific theory should be as simple as possible, but not simpler.

Ergo *a2 is formally better than *i2 because it is simpler. A scientist will stop there unless some new evidence appears that forces them to re- open the investigation.

But of course this whole line was an exercise in methods, using a counter-factual assumption. Not only did we feel uncomfortable with *a2 (and *i2), we knew from Adam’s observation that there was complementary distribution, at least in the case of aŋ=aŋ=i=aŋ/__# vs. aC=aC=i=aC/__#, where C=not ŋ. That observation led us earlier to posit a more satisfying explanation.

This is what CD looks like *a > a=a=a=a/__C# where C is not *ŋ *a > a=a=i=a /__ŋ# alternatively (and with perhaps more clarity): *a > aC=aC=aC=aC/__# where C is not *ŋ *a > aŋ=aŋ=iŋ=aŋ /__#

Question: Where does the environment belong, with the dialects or the protolanguage?

Is the environment in the dialects or is it part of the proto-language? Proto-language. *a > aC=aC=aC=aC/__# where C is not *ŋ *a > aŋ=aŋ=iŋ=aŋ /__# Ø *a > aŋ=aŋ=i =aŋ /__# Another rule is needed to account for Dalat.

#GLOSSBELAWI MATU- DARODALATKANOWITCORR 181 bonetulaŋ tulitulaŋaŋ=aŋ=i=aŋ 190wingkə-payaŋ lə-payi l-n.c.aŋ=aŋ=i=4 215 spiderbəlagaŋbəlagiaŋ=2=i=4 332look forpiñaŋ piñiaŋ=aŋ=i=4 150starbitaŋbintaŋ -nt-bitiaŋ=aŋ=i=4 STUDY THIS CHART UNTIL YOU UNDERSTAND THE TWO CHANGES IN DALAT

However, there is more to a=a=i=a, as many of you have observed. A Valentine’s Teddy goes to the student who figures out the next part of the problem. I’ll come up with another prize for the student who finds hidden implications that follow from the next part.

Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. --Matthew 6:34 LING 485/585 Winter 2009