20131109

Revision of Rules, and Unanswered Questions

I’ve been trying to simplify and clarify the rules I’d created at http://ling.everywitchway.net/germanic/east/gothic/gytc/rules, which were getting a little unwieldy. So far I’ve broken them down into 12 distinct stages, which may be able to be further reduced, but I want to be careful not to break anything (that I don’t want to break) as I manipulate them.

The rules are as follows:

  1. Expansion of Intervocalic Voiced Stop to Fricative
    1. [b],[d] → [v],[ð] / V____[+sonorant]
      • Intervocalic /b/ and /d/ become continuant (if this hadn’t already happened in Gothic by this point).
      • This does not affect /g/ at this time. OR, Gothic realization of intervocalic /g/ as [γ] reverts to [ɡ].
      • Gothic realization of intervocalic /b/ as [β] becomes [v].
      • Expands to include /b/ and /d/ before any sonorant (any vowel or l, r, n, m)
  2. Devoicing of Obstruent Clusters
    1. CC[+voice] → [-voice]
      • Voiced obstruent clusters become unvoiced.
      • [Must precede Rhotacism]
  3. Rhotacism
    1. z → ʒ
      • Rhotacism begins with all instances of /z/.
      • [Must follow Devoicing of Obstruent Clusters] 
  4. Final Short Vowel Lengthening
    1. V́# → V̄
      • A stressed final short vowel becomes long.
      • [Must precede vowel raising]
  5. Stressed Long Vowel Raising & Diphthong Contraxion
    1. V̄́[-low] → [+high] 
      • A stressed long vowel is raised.
        • /ī/ and /ū/ are raised to diphthongs /aj/ and /aw/, respectively.
        • /ē/ and /ō/ are raised to /ī/ and /ū/, respectively.
        • /ɛ̄/ and /ɔ̄/ are raised to /ē/ and /ō/, respectively.
        • /ā/ is not affected.
      • [Must follow Short Vowel Raising]
      • [Must precede h-Assimilation]
    2. VV → V̄
      • Dipthongs (i.e. ai, au, iu) become condensed into long vowels (ē, ō, ȳ, respectively).
      • Do you see how I cleverly averted all the controversy about the pronunciation of /ai/ and /au/ by making both /ɛ̄/,/ɔ̄/ and /ai/,/au/ end up as /ē/,/ō/, respectively? Please note, though, that the short forms remain short.
  6. [h]-Assimilation
    1. Vh → V̄Ø
      • /h/ is deleted after a short vowel, and the vowel becomes long.
      • [Must follow Stressed Long Vowel Raising]
  7. Umlaut
    1. V́[-front] → [+front] / ____(σ)/ī/,/j/
      • A stressed non-front vowel (i.e. a, ā, o, ō, u, ū) becomes fronted (i.e. e, ē, œ, œ̄, y, ȳ, respectively) when /ī/ or /j/ occurs in the following syllable. 
      • (Not affected by [i] at this time.)
  8. Assimilation of Final [s] After a Defricate*
    1. s# → Ø / [sp],[st],[sk]_____
      • /s/ is deleted word-finally after /st/ or /ʃ/.
      • [Concurrent with P&A?]
      • *Defricate is a completely made-up word. Is there a better (non-lengthy) term for what I’d consider the opposite of an affricate? At least in terms of [s]+stop?
  9. Palatalization & Affrication
    1. [sk] → [ʃ] / V[+front][+high] _____
      • /sk/ becomes palatalized (“/c/”) when it follows a high front vowel (i.e. e, ē, i, ī)
    2. [tj],[kj] → [ʧ] and [dj],[gj] → [ʤ]
      • /tj/,/kj/ and /dj/,/gj/ become affricates (/tc/ and /dʒ/, respectively).
  10. Vowel Reduction
    1. V̄[-stress] → V
      • Unstressed long vowels become short.
      • [ī,ē,ā,ō,ū,(ȳ) → i,e,a,o,u,(y)]
    2. V[-stress] → [+reduced]
      • Unstressed short vowels are deleted or reduced.
        • a → Ø
        • i,e,o,u → ə
      • [Must follow Umlaut, Palatalization, and Affrication]
      • [Must it? Maybe this needs to happen before Umlaut to make sense?]
  11. Final Obstruent Devoicing (persistent)
    1. C[+obstruent,+voice,+continuant)]# → [-voice]
      1. Word-final [v,ð,z] → [f,þ,s]
      2. [Is this even necessary, since it’s a persistent rule?]
  12. Syllabic Expansion
    1. S[+syllabic] → [-syllabic]ə
There are still a few unresolved issues I need to work out or work into this system.  Among them (complete with some of my scrawled unanswered questions):
  • Voicing of intervocalic fricatives: f,þ,s → +voice / V_____V/Son.? 
    • Is this necessary? 
    • Why do I want to do this? 
    • This would give us [ēði] (< aiþei) instead of [ēþi], but what about aiþþau? [ēþo]? [ēðo]? 
    • Would have to happen after rhotacism, or that could get ugly. 
  • g → Ø / ŋ____[+nasal] 
    • I just think it would sound better when you end up with words like gangna or gangma. 
    • What else is it going to impact? 
    • Where to put it? Can this be concurrent with any other rules? 
  • jj → ʒ 
    • Why? 
    • I kind of want /ija/ to become [iʒə], but at what cost? Maybe it should just end up as [ī]? 
    • How? 
  • Geminates? 
  • mf# → m, re: fimf > fim 
    • Expansion of ŋ-deletion to include Vmf → V̄f? 
      • No, that would result in fīf instead of fim. 
    • I hate the /f/ there! I want it gone! 
    • Could I live with [fīf] instead? 
      • No, way too Ingvaeonic. It’s got to come out [fim].
    • Some sort of [f/b] interaction after [m]? 
      • Does this violate Verner or the Prime Directive? 
      • Why not? English does it plenty (comb, climb, lamb...) 
      • Can I live with fimb? Maybe...
    • Hey, what if I did expand ŋ-deletion not only to f but also s and/or þ. It could do some cool things to plural endings, turning the acc.pl. into some nifty shapes.
      • Yeah, and also give you uns > ūs, fimf > fīf, and tanþus > tāþa.
        • Hello, north-germanic sea coast. No.
  • According to the rules above, “badja” would decline thus: 
    • sing: baða, beʤis, beʤ, baða 
    • pl: beʤ, beʤe, beʤma, beʤ 
    • Weird contrast between [ð] and [ʤ]. But cool weird? Dunno yet. 
  • Re: the h-assimilation rule, what about faíhu? 
    • [fēu > fēa] is weird and awkward, and I don’t want the vowels to get too uppity. 
    • Clarify the rule to only apply to [h] when it’s a coda to the short vowels nucleus? 
      • That would give us [feha], which is even more awkward-sounding. 
    • [fē]? 
      • No, that’s Old Norse. 
    • Still a conundrum.
    • For that matter, there are a lot of problems with vowels crashing into other vowels they shouldn't be associating with. kniu/kniwa? Not to mention faíhiwē... yuck.
  • Unstressed Short Vowel Reduction: 
    • The rule I wrote above I think just applies to word-final short vowels. Should it be complete deletion for non-final short vowels, e.g. gytc from gutisk, instead of gytac, as the rules would spit out? Need more examples. 
  • Clitics become separated from roots. 
    • –ei (relative) > ī [aj]. 
    • –u– (interrogative) > u > ū > ū [aw]. 
      • Has to occur before final short vowel lengthening. 
      • Where to put “ū”? Before the verb? 
    • –uh > ō [ū]. 
      • Frequent cases where it can still be clitic, but immune to unstressed vowel reduction? 
      • weizuh > wīʒū, or wīs ū? 
      • Remains clitic for pronouns and determiners only?