LINGUIST List 6.1691

Fri Dec 1 1995

Disc: Unusual Sound Change t > h

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  1. John E. Koontz, Re: 6.1672, Misc: Unusual Sound Change t > h, Gender in Linguistics
  2. , Re: 6.1672, Misc: Unusual Sound Change t > h, Gender in Linguistics

Message 1: Re: 6.1672, Misc: Unusual Sound Change t > h, Gender in Linguistics

Date: Wed, 29 Nov 1995 10:45:37 Re: 6.1672, Misc: Unusual Sound Change t > h, Gender in Linguistics
From: John E. Koontz <koontzboulder.nist.gov>
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.koontznist.gov
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Message 2: Re: 6.1672, Misc: Unusual Sound Change t > h, Gender in Linguistics

Date: Thu, 30 Nov 1995 01:14:31 Re: 6.1672, Misc: Unusual Sound Change t > h, Gender in Linguistics
From: <V187EF4Yubvms.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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