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zompist bboard • View topic - /j/ to /dʒ/ in Romance

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 Post subject: /j/ to /dʒ/ in Romance
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 3:41 pm 
Sanci
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Sorry if this is clutter (there ought to be an L&L quickies section. What were the intermediaries of Latin /j/ becoming /dʒ/ in Romance? I guess /j/ > */ʝ/ > */ɟ/ > /dʒ/, but I could be wrong.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 6:34 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 4:47 am 
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Now that it's morning I think I can do a better job of explaining.

First of all, Spanish and Portuguese went the same way, /j/ > /dʒ/ and no dialects involve any intermediaries so there is no need to assume them. This is just your basic fortition. But how does an approximant go stop, you ask?

Approximants involve the articulators getting close, but not close enough to create any kind of friction or turbulence in the airflow. It just whisks out smoothly. For some reason, they seem somewhat prone to fortition, moreso than fricatives for example. If we anthropomorphize the process, we can think of it as a case of people getting annoyed with half-assing the pronounciation of the sound. So they jump from one end of the spectrum that has the least occlusion, to the polar opposite, with a full stop of airflow. (Another common change for approximants is to simply fricativize, which is just a one-step change, and not a jump).

Such polar changes occur in many kinds of sounds. A few examples: "Peripheral" stops pairs such as p and k/q, are somewhat liable to interchange. F-sounds often move all the way to the back to h-sounds (but by way of losing their labial component and retaining only the lack of voicedness). Coronals, which are fully tongue-tip-operated sounds, are liable to glottalize, which may seem more surprising than the back-of-the-tongue-operated sounds such as c/k/q which is also common. P is less likely to glottalize for some reason.

When I devise sound changes for languages, I like to "ascribe" motivation to the sound changes. There are impatient sound changes (fortition-type things), lazy ones (lenition-type things and elimination/merger of sounds) and confused (metathesis, haplology, linear transfer of features etc.).

A fourth category would be the OCD-type, where a gap in the system gets fixed by transferring a sound for no other reason from one part of the "IPA table" to another. Often this involves changes in one of the others, but they often make less sense phonologically. The Argentinian change of intervocalic /j/ > /ʃ/, which is a bit strange, fits this bill (to make up for the fact that there is a /tʃ/). As did the Icelandic change /ɪ/, /ɛ/ > /e/ and /ʏ/, /œ/ > /ø/ which seemed to want to balance the fact that there were only three back vowel heights (/u/, /ɔ/, /a/), but four front vowel heights. This change was thought to be so disgusting that the school system eradicated it in a holy war during the 40s–60s. And yet, a similar change is cropping up again. The sound system has a will of its own.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:49 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 2:21 pm 
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The curl-coil merger has apparently been all but exterminated in New York, to the point of hypercorrection. And even people with the merger normally have specifically demerged 'bird' and 'boyd', so we're told.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 3:46 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 4:21 am 
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:57 am 
Avisaru
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In terms of balancing out an uneven phonology, I'm not aware of any language with /tɬ/ that doesn't have [ɬ], generally as its own phoneme, but sometimes as an allophone of /l/ before voiceless stops and/or finally. The other affricates have tendencies in that direction, either to deaffricate or have another sound change to fill the gap, but afaik none are as strong as the lateral. s>h seems especially common in languages that have /s/ as the only fricative, and š>x in languages that don't have postalveolar/retroflex/palatal stops. A lot of vowel changes probably fall into this, things simply too close together so they change; o>u after u is lost, monophthongization of ai/au after length becomes quality. And languages with only voiced fricatives (plus /s/) are extremely rare; the only one I know of for sure are some Inuit dialects which devoice geminates to fill in the gap. And less certainly, it feels to me like languages with a context-limited [j] tends to recreate it in other contexts pretty quickly.

On the other hand, /g/ OR /ɣ/ to the absence of the other doesn't seem too uncommon, /v/ without /f/ is pretty common, fewer back vowels than front isn't noteworthy and fewer front-rounded or back-unrounded than either front or back is the rule and not the exception, and palatals to my knowledge never contrast stops and affricates even when they're present in t/ts (and ʈ/ʈʂ, which is itself very rare). Except maybe f/v these are probably all acoustically motivated, though, unlike things like s>h or recreating [j].


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 1:52 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:24 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:30 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 3:16 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 1:55 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:22 am 
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For some reason, /j/ and /w/ tend to be pretty stable adjacent to consonants but they can do whatever they want intervocalically.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:38 am 
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 5:22 am 
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