LINGUIST List 13.2954

Thu Nov 14 2002

Qs: Vowel Dissimilation, Vlax Lang, Lengthening

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  1. John Lynch, Query: Low vowel dissimilation
  2. Ann Evans, The Vlax Community in Greece
  3. beltzung Jean-Marc, Compensatory Lengthening

Message 1: Query: Low vowel dissimilation

Date: Wed, 13 Nov 2002 14:56:43 +1100
From: John Lynch <lynch_jVANUATU.USP.AC.FJ>
Subject: Query: Low vowel dissimilation

I am investigating a phenomenon which is found in a number of
languages of Micronesia and Vanuatu (synchronic in a few, historical
in others), whereby the first /a/ in an /aCa/ sequence dissimilates,
usually to /e/, and probably via schwa. In some of these languages,
the rule operates (or operated) from left to right:
 *matins > metana > metena
but in others, it operates from right to left, with the first dissimilation
blocking any further application:
 *matana > matena

This kind of dissimilation is unusual enough to suggest that we may be
dealing with a single historical process in a language ancestral to
all dissimilating languages in this region. However, this would imply
a change in directional operation of the rule at some period in some
languages. Can anyone direct me to other examples of this kind of
directional change?

Many thanks in advance.

John Lynch
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Message 2: The Vlax Community in Greece

Date: Wed, 13 Nov 2002 15:49:05 +0000
From: Ann Evans <>
Subject: The Vlax Community in Greece

I am having trouble finding books (in either English or Greek) which
describe and document the Vlax community in Greece. I am usually
referred (as in Ethnologue) to ''gypsy'' communities and Romani
language links. From what I learned in my interviews in Greece last
summer, the Vlaxs do not consider themselves Gypsies, and have in fact
been living in non-nomadic villages in Greece for centuries. Their
language appears to be based on the Latin of the Roman invaders of the
early centuries A.D., not on the Indo-European language coming in the
other direction from India, where the Gypsies came from. I have, in
other words, been gathering facts from here and there, and they don't
appear to fit together, so I am looking for sources which can explain
them more clearly. Thanks for any leads.
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Message 3: Compensatory Lengthening

Date: Wed, 13 Nov 2002 16:49:44 +0000
From: beltzung Jean-Marc <>
Subject: Compensatory Lengthening

Dear linguists,

I am working on Compensatory Lengthening Database. I am looking for
several languages and I need help. If someone can provides me some
data about CL in one of this languages : Dzongkha, english, Gurage,
Hindi, Irish (munster),Kabardian Kalispel, Lamang, Latin, Lillooet,
Musey, Nyawaygi, oneida, Pomo, Eastern/ Pomo, Kashaya, Quechua,
Huallaga, Telugu, Thai, Tibetan (Lhassa,Turkish, Uzbek, Veps,
Whichita, Yapese,Yurok, etc.

Thx for your returns
Beltzung Jean-Marc, Paris. 
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