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Diachronic Phonotactic Development in Latin

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1 Diachronic Phonotactic Development in Latin
The Work of Syllable Structure or Linear Sequence? Ranjan Sen University of Oxford

2 Phonotactics: Two Approaches
Syllable Approach Linear Approach Range of contrasts in an environment attributed to position within syllable Range of contrasts in an environment attributed to linear segmental sequence alone Which approach tackles best the diachronic phonotactic development seen in the history of Latin?

3 Phonotactic Relevance of the Syllable in Latin
Notions “well-formed onset” and “well-formed coda” required in syllabification ONSET C: any CC: stop (or /f/) + liquid s- extrasyllabic CODA C: any CC: sonorant + voiceless stop -s extrasyllabic Word-based Syllable Hypothesis : iːn.síg.nis ‘notable’ supported by accent-placement, but /g/ not found word-finally, whereas /gn/ found word-initially (gnaːrus ‘having knowledge of’)

4 Voice Assimilation Regular regressive assimilation in biconsonantal sequences (C1C2) Stop + stop: *scriːb-to-s > scriːptus ‘written’, obtinuiː ‘I obtained’ = [pt], e.g. optinvi Stop + fricative: *nuːbsiː > nuːpsiː ‘I married’ Fricative + stop: *is-dem > *izdem > iːdem ‘same’ Every obstruent in a consonantal sequence agrees in voice regardless of syllabification Regardless of syllabification: plebs ‘people’ = [pleps]

5 Dorsal > Labial > Coronal
Place and Frication = regressive place and frication assimilation C2 C1 Dor Lab Cor *ec-ce > ecce ‘look!’ ec-pːonoː ‘I bring out’ (= expoːonoː) lact-is ‘milk (gen.)’ + fricative (no dorsal fricative) ec-feroː (Plautus) ‘I carry out’ *deik-siː > [diːksiː] ‘I said’ *ob-kaidoː > occiːdoː ‘I knock down’ *ob-petoː > oppetoː ‘I encounter prematurely’ optimus ‘best’ opi-ficiːna > *opficiːna > officiːna ‘workshop’ *nuːb-siː > nuːpsiː ‘I married’ *hod-ce > *hocce > hoc ‘this (neut.)’ *quid-pe > quippe ‘for’ *pat-tos > *patsos > passus ‘suffered’ ad-feroː > afferoː ‘I deliver’ *quat-siː > quassiː ‘I shook’ The Place Hierarchy: Dorsal > Labial > Coronal Stop C1 lower than or level with C2 on hierarchy assimilates to C2 in place and frication Syllable Approach: “codas stops unspecified for coronal place regardless of the environment, and labial place if followed by dorsal stop”  clearly unsatisfactory: no motivation for recourse to syllabic position – linear sequence is necessary and sufficient

6 Manner Fricative C1 Stop C1 Nasal C1 The Manner Hierarchy:
(for place assimilation) Fricative > Stop > Nasal Fricative C1 before fricative C2 only obeying Place Hierarchy *disfacilis > difficilis ‘difficult’ Stop C1 before C2 of any manner obeying Place Hierarchy *quidpe > quippe ‘for’; adferoː > afferoː ‘I deliver’, *kaidmentom > cae(m)mentum ‘rubble’ Nasal C1 before any obstruent C2 regardless of Place Hierarchy before nasal C1 obeying Place Hierarchy *kemtom > centum ‘hundred’, *in-maneoː > immineoː ‘I overhang; threaten’ vs. autumnus ‘autumn’

7 Nasality = no nasal or place assimilation = regressive nasal assimilation Nasal C2 nasalises stop C1, which also assimilates in place to C2 obeying Place Hierarchy Exception: failure of nasal assimilation in Dor + /m/ Again, Syllable Approach unsatisfactory Better starting-point: linear configuration Dor + /m/ Cf. early epenthesis: Greek dráchma  drac(h)uma ‘Greek coin’, tegmen > tegimen/tegumen ‘covering’ = regressive nasal and place assimilation Nasal C2 C1 Lab Cor Dor *sekmentom > segmentum = [gm] ‘piece’ *deknos > dignus = [ŋn] ‘worthy’ *supmos > summus ‘highest’ *swepnos > somnus ‘sleep’ *kaidmentom > *caimmentum > caementum ‘rubble’ *atnos > annus ‘year’

8 Hypothesis – Linear Sequence
Feature x, if poorly cued relative to adjacent more robustly cued feature, is neutralised and assimilated to adjacent more robustly cued feature External cue: release into vowel, thus C2 features usually more robustly cued than C1 features Internal cue: Place Hierarchy – Dor > Lab > Cor Internal cue: Manner Hierarchy for place feature – Fricative > Stop > Nasal

9 Scale for occurrence of contrasts
Before vowel Voice Place Manner (with exception) Before liquid Manner all with exceptions Fricative before nasal/ stop No voice Other C before nasal Place if place hierarchy admits No manner ex. Dor + /m/ Stop before stop Obstr before fricative Manner if place hierarchy admits Nasal before obstr No place More contrasts Fewer contrasts

10 Sonorant Voice: A Problem
Sonorants appear before C2 of any voice specification comparoː : combiboː verpa : verbum sonorants unspecified for voice pre-consonantally Nasal C2 triggers voicing of C1: *sekmentom > segmentum nasals voice-specified pre-vocalically Liquid C2 allows voice contrast in C1: capra : criːbrum liquids unspecified for voice pre-vocalically BUT /s/ > [z] post-vocalically before voiced consonant, including liquids: *preslom > [prezlom] > preːlum liquids voice-specified pre-vocalically??

11 Sonorant Voice Specification
Voicing of /r/ at early stage Early merger in Latin of /sr/ and [ðr] inherited from Proto-Italic: *fuːnesris > fuːnebris ‘funereal’ Voiced epenthetic stop before /r/ vs. voiceless epenthetic stop before /l, n/: *gheimrinos > *heimbrinos > hiːbernus ‘wintry’ vs. *exemlom > exemplum ‘example’, autumnus > autumpnus ‘autumn’ /l,m,n/ became voice-specified later (in archaic period) /s/ before /l,m,n/ > [z] (with consequent loss of [z] + compensatory lengthening of the preceding vowel): *preslom > preːlum ‘wine-/oil-press’, cosmis > coːmis ‘friendly’, *casnos > caːnus ‘white(-haired)’  voice-specified? capra vs. criːbrum?

12 Return of the Syllable: TR Onsets
Phonetically based: incline vs. ink-like Why does liquid C2 allow preceding voice contrast if voice-specified?  Unspecified if in stop + liquid onset (not σ-initial) Divergent syllabifications of identical sequence: *po.plos > populus ‘people’ * > poblikos > puːblicus ‘public’

13 Morphological Pressures
More thoroughgoing regressive assimilation in prefix + verbal root contacts *sub-regoː > surrigoː ‘I rise’ vs. eːbrius ‘drunk’ More faithful retention of root shape elsewhere in verbal morphology *sum-to-s > *sumptus ‘assumed’ vs. *kemtom > centum ‘hundred’ Some morpheme boundaries conditioned syllable boundaries, thus determining the voicing of sonorants *nek-legoː > neg.le.goː ‘I neglect’ vs. Aisclaːpius, poːclum

14 Latin phonotactic development driven by linear segmental sequence, not syllable structure
Relevant parameters include internal factors (manner and place hierarchies) and external factors (release features, coarticulatory cues) Syllables relevant in distribution of voice in sonorants Morphology could directly override phonetic considerations in phonotactics, and indirectly via syllable structure Only direct influence of syllable structure in Latin phonotactics is in determining what onsets/codas are well-formed

15 Diachronic Phonotactic Development in Latin
Ranjan Sen Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics University of Oxford, U.K.

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