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LINGUIST List 18.2083

Tue Jul 10 2007

Diss: Phonetics: Putkaradze: 'Vowel System of Modern Georgian Language'

Editor for this issue: Hunter Lockwood <hunterlinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Tariel Putkaradze, Vowel System of Modern Georgian Language

Message 1: Vowel System of Modern Georgian Language
Date: 07-Jul-2007
From: Tariel Putkaradze <natia.putkaradzegmail.com>
Subject: Vowel System of Modern Georgian Language

Institution: Tbilisi Arn. Chiqobava Institute of linguistics
Program: Kartvelian Languages
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 1998

Author: Tariel Alexander Putkaradze

Dissertation Title: Vowel System of Modern Georgian Language

Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics

Subject Language(s): Georgian (kat)

Dissertation Director:

Dissertation Abstract:

As the subject and the character of the work did not allow comprehensive
discussion on pivotal principles the introduction presents basic
propositions in the form of extended theses, namely:

A. Since the ancient period till the present time there is no visible
evidence of whatever discontinuation in the development of the Georgian
Language. Neither there is a qualitative difference between the spoken and
written language. Only certain arbitrations can allow to make
periodizations in the history of Georgian in consideration of
co-functioning of different micro-systems of the language. Namely in the
5th - 9th centuries there functioned only the style (resp. language) of
religious literature and dialect varieties; in the 11th - 19th centures we
see the side-by-side co-existence of religious and secular literature, and
scientific 'styles,' as well as versatile micro-variants in the forms of
separate dialects. Since the 60s of the 19th century, one subsystem,
instead of three variants of the written Georgian, based on the common
style of the written Georgian, is established, which until the present
time, along with dialectical micro-systems, present one whole, revealed as
common and powerful energy of a spectral nature.

B. The term 'modern Georgian language' implies a mosaic type wholeness of
the subsystem of the written Georgian language and twenty micro-systems.
Namely we consider it possible to deal the following regional variations as
independent branches of the Georgian language dialects, such as Acharuli,
Guruli, Imeruli, Imerkheuli, Ingilouri, Kakhuri, Levhkhumuri, Livanuri,
Machakhluri, Mtiuluri, Gudamakruli, Mokheuri, Rachuli, Samtskhur-Javakhuri,
Taouri, Fereidnuli, Pshauri, Kartluri, Qizlar-Mozdokuri, Khevsuruli.

C. Based on the different definitions of the phoneme and, correspondingly,
on the diverse procedures for identification of the allophones, not
infrequently, different numbers of phonemes are established in the language
or in its subsystems. In discussing the sound variants of micro-systems we
confront, first and foremost, the problem of definition of the phonemes.
The following definition of the phoneme is considered as basic for our
further argumentations: the phoneme is as smallest unit having auditorily
distinguishable sound and revealed without restriction in all positions
admitted by the rules of phonotactics of the given language and, as a rule,
is essential in the formation of the morpheme - the smallest language unit
of a certain semantic meaning. Phonemes (spoken sound) can change sounding
the sound envelope (capsule) and not the meaning of the significant;
whether the change of soundation yields or not the change in relationships
between the signified and signifier is the subject of semiotics and not the

D. In the basic phonematic structure of Kartvelian languages, similar to
other Ibero-Caucasian languages, there is a small number of vowels. In the
Kartvelian languages Common-Kartvelian [a] and [e] vowels manifest
correspondence. The fact that they often function as alternative variants
suggests that the proto-Kartvelian structure had only two basic vowels:
open [a] and labial [v]/[w]. The vowel system restored in the common
Kartvelian language is identical to the modern Georgian (resp. Kartuli).
The differences of the Zan reflexes of Common kartvelian [a] is explained
by combinatorial processes; in the first case unchangeability of [a] is
conditioned by the loss of the final sonorant (consonant), while '[a] gives
[e]' is explained by the umlaut but the labial component occuring in the
stem (the presence of [w] in the stem prevents '[a] gives
[o]' process).

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