LINGUIST List 7.1641

Thu Nov 21 1996

Sum: Affricates (st>ts) Part 2

Editor for this issue: Ljuba Veselinova <>


  1. Szigetvari Peter, Sum: Affricates (st>ts) Part 2

Message 1: Sum: Affricates (st>ts) Part 2

Date: Wed, 20 Nov 1996 16:52:39 EST
From: Szigetvari Peter <>
Subject: Sum: Affricates (st>ts) Part 2

A number of new responses have arrived to my query on st>ts changes
after I had posted a summary (Vol-7-1502). Since they all contain
substantial new information, here is the second part of the summary.

First the acknowledgements:
David Solnit <>
Alice Faber <>
Johanna Nichols <>
Soeren Wichmann <>
Celso Alvarez Caccamo <>
Adam Nadasdy <traditional oral communication>

Thank you all. And now the details:

==========DAVID SOLNIT======================================================
>I believe there is consensus that proto-Sino-
>Tibetan *st- and maybe also *sn- became Chinese ts- under certain
>conditions. The st- form is attested in Written Tibetan and other
>Tibeto-Burman languages. I'm not up to date on the matter, but one
>reference is

>Bodman, Nicholas. 1973. Some Chinese reflexes of Sino-Tibetan s-
>clusters. Journal of Chinese Linguistics 1, 383-96.

>David Solnit
>Ann Arbor, MI, USA

==========ALICE FABER=======================================================
>I noted with interest your summary on Linguist of the responses to your query
>about st>ts changes. At the end of your summary, you remarked on the existence
>of [dz] as a variant pronunciation of _zeta_ [zd]. I'd be a little wary of
>taking this as resulting from a zd>dz change. The letter Phoenician/Canaanite
>prototype for Greek _zeta_, while realized [z] in later Hebrew, Phoenician,
>Aramaic, Arabic, etc., was clearly [dz] at the stage when the Greek alphabet
>developed out of Canaanite/Phoenician prototypes. So, if [dz] occurs instead
>of [zd] in some later dialects, it is most likely an archaism and not an

>Alice Faber
>Haskins Laboratories
>270 Crown St
>New Haven, CT 06511

==========JOHANNA NICHOLS===================================================
>Apparently I missed your posting of a couple of weeks ago, but I read your
>summary on LINGUIST today. There is a systematic change of *st to /c/
>(i.e. [ts]) in the Daghestanian branch of Nakh-Daghestanian (Northeast
>Caucasian). The Nakh languages have /st/ while Daghestanian languages have
>/c/ or /s/. Just a few partial cognate sets to illustrate the

> Chechen stu, Ingush ust, Batsbi pst'u 'bull, ox': Andi unso, Lak
>nic, Dargi unc, Agul jacw, etc.

> Chechen-Ingush D=ust-, Batsbi D=ust'- 'measure' (verb) ( = marks
>morpheme boundary for gender prefix; D is citation form for gender) :
>Andi =ason, Lak =uc, Dargi unc, Agul alc

> Chechen stim, Ingush sim (*st- > s- regularly word-initially)
>'bile' : Avar cim, Andi ssim, Lak ssi, Dargu sume, Agul sew /

> Chechen stien-, Ingush sie-, Batsbi st'en- oblique stem for 'who'
>: Avar si- / sundu-, Lak ci / ssa-, Dargi ce / ci- (all these are cited
>as: nominative / oblique)

>There are also cognate sets with /c/ in Nakh and /c/ or /s/ in
>Daghestanian, e.g.:

> Chechen cer-g, Ingush car-g, Batsbi car-k' 'tooth' : Andi sol,
>Dargi cula, Agul sileb

>and others. The big picture is that Nakh distinguishes
>Proto-Nakh-Daghestanian *st from *c, while in Daghestanian the two fall
>together as *c (which has /s/ and /c/ reflexes in fairly regular fashion).

>So there you have the change you were looking for.

>Best wishes,

>Johanna Nichols

==========SOEREN WICHMANN===================================================
>in the Mixean languages (a subgroup of the Mixe-Zoquean languages,
>southern Mexico) one finds a correspondence /st/ : /c/ (where c = [ts]).
>In the following schema cY = c + hachek, E = a high (close) e, e = a low
>e. /st/ is a cluster, /c/ a phoneme. Sequences /cc/ are geminates which I
>analyze as single segments. V. = middle length, V: extra-long.

>Language abbreviations: SaP = Sayula Popoluca, NHM = North Highland Mixe,
>SHM = South Highland Mixe, MM = Midland Mixe, LM = Lowland Mixe.

>kahcay	kast				`hammock'
>	cEhst		cehcY	cehcYk	`drum'
>	kast	kahc	kacc	kacc	`painted'
>	cu:hst		cuc	`moss'

>This schema is reproduced from my book _The relationship among the
>Mixe-Zoquean languages of Mexico_ (Salt Lake City: University of Utah
>Press, 1995), p. 171. Therein I suggest that the -st- clusters in NHM
>derive from original -cc-. This would be the opposite phenomena of what
>you are interested in. I chose to suggest that direction of change because
>the majority of languages have /c/ or /cc/ and only NHM /st/. Conceivably
>one could posit the opposite direction of change, but the main problem
>here is the SaP form /kahcay/. NHM, SHM, MM, and LM form a subgroup of
>Mixean and SaP another subgroup. So if the development were /st/ > /c/ we
>would have SaP on the one hand and SHM, MM, and LM on the other undergoing
>the same development independently. But it is a faint possibility. And
>another faint possibility is that /kahcay/ is not related to /kahst/ at

>In conclusion, the data document a diachronic change */c/ [ts] > /st/. The
>opposite direction of change */st/ > /c/ is a possible alternative
>explanation, but it seems less likely and certainly more costly.

>Best regards,

>Soeren Wichmann

>Ass. adjunct prof.
>Dept. of American Indian Languages and Cultures
>University of Copenhagen
>Njalsgade 80
>DK-2300 Copenhagen S

>Tlf. 31 23 41 33 (home)
> 35 32 89 69 (work)
>Fax 35 32 89 56

==========CELSO ALVAREZ CA'CCAMO============================================
>I missed your original posting in LINGUIST about affricates, but this may
>be related. In the Galizan dialects of Portuguese, the [st] > [tS]
>(palatal affricate) change was systematic in 2nd person past verb forms
>from Latin: Latin amaste, partiste > Galiza Portuguese amache(s),
>partiche(s). Nowadays these are widespread forms in Galiza, besides
>standard Port. amaste, partiste. I can't think of any related phenomenon

> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Celso Alvarez Caccamo Tel. 34-81-130457, ext. 1888
> Depto. de Lingumstica Geral FAX 34-81-132459
> e Teoria da Literatura e-mail:
> Universidade da Corunha
> 15007 A Corunha, Galiza (Espanha)
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

==========ADAM NADASDY======================================================
Tells me that the Hungarian word _kocka_ [kotska] `cube, dice' comes from
Slavic, say, Slovakian _kost+ka_ `bone+DIMINUTIVE, dice' and is thus another
instance of the st>ts change.

Peter Szigetvari
E\"otv\"os Lor\'and University (ELTE)
Budapest, Hungary
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