Moderators: goofy, neveu, zmježd
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
sound changes Login/Join
 
Member
Picture of zmježd
posted
One observation which started the study of history of languages, i.e., comparative-historical linguistics, was the observation that there were regular sound correspondences between different languages, e.g., Latin, Greek, and Sanskrit. This seemed to prove the conjecture that these languages were related to one another by having their origin in an older, single language. Sir William Jones [1746-94] (link), a British philologist and judge in India, had observed in 1788:
quote:
The Sanscrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure; more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either, yet bearing to both of them a stronger affinity, both in the roots of verbs and the forms of grammar, than could possibly have been produced by accident; so strong indeed, that no philologer could examine them all three, without believing them to have sprung from some common source, which, perhaps, no longer exists.

Later, in the early 19th century Rasmus Rask (link), and then Jacob Grimm (of the Brothers Grimm (link)), described a set of sound changes that had taken place in the Germanic family of languages that differentiated them from other Indo-European languages. For example, usually where Latin, Greek, and Sanskrit has a p, Germanic had an f: Latin pater and English father. The changes which make up Grimm's Law (as it came to be known) can be summarized:
p -> f (as in Latin pater, English father)
t -> þ or ð (as in Latin tres, English three)
k -> h (as in Latin canis 'dog', English hound)
b -> p (as in Latin scabo 'to scrape', English shape)
d -> t (as in Latin decem, English ten)
g -> k (as in Latin gelu 'cold; frost', English cold)
kʷ -> hw (as in Latin quod, English what)
gʷ -> kw (as in Greek γυνη (gunē) 'woman', English queen)

Note that the series, p t k, changes from voiceless stops (plosives) to voiceless fricatives (this process is called spirantization in the older literature) with slight modification in place of articulation; the second series, b d g, changes from voiced to voiceless stops with identical place of articulation.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: zmježd,


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
Posts: 5085 | Location: R'lyehReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by zmježd:
gʷʰ -> w (as in Old Church Slavonic gorit' 'to burn', Latin formus, Greek θερος (theros), English warm)


This one confuses me because it seems it can become Germanic b and g as well. The AHD has English burn from this root, and Pokorny has Old English gyre.
 
Posts: 2370Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of zmježd
posted Hide Post
Good catch, goofy. I see the etymology is not accepted by everybody. I wasn't happy with the one in the Wikipedia article and in my haste, I just looked around in Pokorny (I've removed that correspondence until I can find a better example.)


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
Posts: 5085 | Location: R'lyehReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
In the quote by Sir William Jones, what is meant by Sanskrit being "more perfect" than Greek?
 
Posts: 23298 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
In the quote by Sir William Jones, what is meant by Sanskrit being "more perfect" than Greek?


AIUI Sanskrit has more noun cases and more verbal inflections than Greek. Perhaps he was referring to that. Some people seemed to think that more inflectional morphology was better.
 
Posts: 2370Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of bethree5
posted Hide Post
Folks, what do the little squares mean in the pronunciation guides shown in zmj's and goofy's 6/13 posts?
 
Posts: 2049 | Location: As they say at 101.5FM: Not New York... Not Philadelphia... PROUD TO BE NEW JERSEY!Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of zmježd
posted Hide Post
what do the little squares mean in the pronunciation guides shown in zmj's and goofy's 6/13 posts?

It probably means you don't have a Unicode font installed on your operating system. What kind of computer and what OS are you running?


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
Posts: 5085 | Location: R'lyehReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of zmježd
posted Hide Post
A funny take on the Great Vowel Shift (link) in yesterday's Dinosaur Comics (link).

[Fixed link.]

This message has been edited. Last edited by: zmježd,


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
Posts: 5085 | Location: R'lyehReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of arnie
posted Hide Post
quote:
It probably means you don't have a Unicode font installed on your operating system.

Or your browser's not up to scratch. I can read the unicode symbols with no problems with IE7 or Firefox 3 (and 2 before it) from home, but they appear as squares when I use IE6 from work.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
Posts: 10930 | Location: LondonReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of zmježd
posted Hide Post
IE6

Right you are, arnie. I just checked out IE 6 (the only version available for my creaking Windows 2000 desktop machine, and it knows not Unicode ... (I'd much prefer using Lynx (link) to using Internet Exploder of any version.)


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
Posts: 5085 | Location: R'lyehReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
I must have IE 6 then. If I download Lynx, would I need administrative approval, do you think? Is it a free download?
 
Posts: 23298 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of zmježd
posted Hide Post
If I download Lynx, would I need administrative approval, do you think?

Sorry, Kalleh. It was a joke. Lynx is an open source text-only web browser. I'm not even sure there is a Windows version. I've only used it at the command line prompt under Linux. What's wrong with using Firefox? Does your IT dept not approve? If you select Help > About Internet Explorer menu item, you should see which version you're using.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
Posts: 5085 | Location: R'lyehReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
lynx was ported to windows years and years ago. MacLynx was around, if I recall correctly, for OS 7. And of course one can use lynx with OS X.

But it doesn't do unicode. Nor, javascript, so I can't use it for this site.
 
Posts: 371Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of zmježd
posted Hide Post
For the heck of it, I looked at this site in Lynx (under Ubuntu Linux 8) and could see the site and read some of the posts. Just for laughs I took a look at the Wikipedia article on IPA, and amazingly Lynx represented all the IPA sequences in SAMPA. And looking at the Russian Wikipedia in Lynx, it transliterates everything into Roman characters. Quite a good little program. (It seems that there are builds of Lynx that support Unicode.)


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
Posts: 5085 | Location: R'lyehReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
quote:
Sorry, Kalleh. It was a joke.
You know me, z. I am so gullible, especially with IT and linguistic information because I don't know what the hell you're talking about most of the time. Wink

I know you told me this before, so please be patient. I am just trying to get rid of those squares so that I can understand more of this linguistic information. Will using Firefox take care of that problem? I have downloaded other browsers before, though I have IE again because I just know it better.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Kalleh,
 
Posts: 23298 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Richard English
posted Hide Post
I don't know whether Firefox will solve your particular problem but I find it to be a better browser than IE.

Try it. You can get the latest version of Firefox 3 here, free of charge http://en-us.www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/

The older version, Firefox 2, is still available here for those whose systems won't run Firefox 3. http://en-us.www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/all-older.html.

You don't even have to remove IE from your system and so could easily revert to it if you find you don't get on with Firefox.


Richard English
 
Posts: 8037 | Location: Partridge Green, West Sussex, UKReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of arnie
posted Hide Post
If your administrators object to your installing Firefox you could try the portable version from http://portableapps.com/apps/internet/firefox_portable which runs direct from a flash drive or similar, so doesn't need to be installed on your machine.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
Posts: 10930 | Location: LondonReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
Well, I just downloaded Mozilla, and I no longer see squares!!!! I think I finally have conquered this!

However, it asked me as I was loading it where to save it, and I said my desktop because I wanted to be sure I'd know where to access it. Well, now my desktop is filled with all these Mozilla icons, and I don't know if I should delete them or not. They say things like: crashrep..., mozcrt19.dll, plds4.dll, nspr4.dll, plugins, extensions, dictionaries, chrome, greprefs, defaults, and on and on and on. I see that I should have saved them elsewhere! Suggestions?
 
Posts: 23298 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of zmježd
posted Hide Post
Installing a program to your desktop is not something I would suggest. You should uninstall it and reinstall to the default place which is in the Program Files directory. Deleting any of those files (behind the icons) will cause Firefox to cease functioning. (It will place a single icon on your desktop to click to start the program.)


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
Posts: 5085 | Location: R'lyehReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
Alright. I will try to uninstall and reinstall then. I figured that removing those icons would cause it to cease running. Thanks for your help.

My motto with IT is: If there is a way to mess it up, I will do it!
 
Posts: 23298 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of wordmatic
posted Hide Post
It should just land under C:\Program Files, and as zmj says, the installation will automatically put an icon on your desktop so that you can find it.

Thanks to this thread, I realized that for some reason I had not updated to FF 3.0. I always install the updates, but I had also appended Firebug, which is an app that lets me look at Wep page codes, which I use in my job. As I was installing FF 3.0 I got a warning that there was no compatible version of Firebug to go with the latest Firefox, which worried me. But then I went to the Firebug site after completing the install and found Firebug 1.2 beta, which I hope will work as well as the old one.

Firefox 3.0 has solved the problem I'd been having with Firefox 2.0....where it would crash every time I tried to click out of gmail into some other tab, so thanks again for the pointer.

Kalleh, I think you will love Firefox once you get used to it.

Wordmatic
 
Posts: 1390 | Location: Near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
Z and I spoke tonight (thanks, Z!), and I will do as he suggested tomorrow, thus deleting all related desktop icons. Then he will talk me through installing it the right way again. I used it briefly last night, and I am sure I will like it. I was amazed that finally I can see all those odd little fonts, instead of just seeing squares.
 
Posts: 23298 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
Thanks, z, for helping me to correctly install Firefox. It really is helping my understanding of this section.
 
Posts: 23298 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
I have a quick Firefox question. When I click a link on Wordcraft, it won't let me go back to Wordcraft. I have to "quit" and then get back on Wordcraft again. With IE, I could just click the arrow and go back to the original page. It's a bit of a pain, and I am wondering if I am missing something.

Otherwise I love it!
 
Posts: 23298 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of zmježd
posted Hide Post
I could just click the arrow and go back to the original page

Not sure what's the problem. When I click on the back button it goes back to the previous page.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
Posts: 5085 | Location: R'lyehReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of arnie
posted Hide Post
It opens the link in a new tab. The tab with your original Wordcraft page is still there. Click on the Wordcraft tab to bring it back to focus, or close the tab to the linked site.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
Posts: 10930 | Location: LondonReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
FF's default behaviour is to open links in new tabs. That can be changed so that links open the new page in a new window (which is the way IE - the non-tabbed versions - had to work).

Or, you can leave the default as it is, and right-click on a link and choose to open in a new window.
 
Posts: 371Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of zmježd
posted Hide Post
It opens the link in a new tab.

Ah, yes. I misunderstood the question. Not all site's open the link in a new tab, but this is doe to how the posts here are marked up in HTML.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
Posts: 5085 | Location: R'lyehReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Exactly right. My post assumed that the link is one that is specified NOT to open in the same viewport. Prior to tabbed browsers, such links always opened a new viewport, or, in some cases, didn't work at all.

There remains a controversy amongst web designers on whether specifying that a link opens in a new viewport is a good practice. Some hardliners decry the practice, on the ground that the viewer should be able to open a new viewport if the viewer so desires, but that the designer shouldn't make that decision for them.

Also, in the past, not all browsers treated such instructions in the same way, as well. Some used to put the new viewport behind the old one - some in front. How the instruction was given also affected the experience - sometimes TARGET= had one effect, but javascript a different one.

For what it is worth, the use of TARGET= (which this site does) is deprecated in HTML 4.01.
 
Posts: 371Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of zmježd
posted Hide Post
the use of TARGET= (which this site does) is deprecated in HTML 4.01.

That's not how I read the spec (link, but YMMV. The attribute is still useful in frames, the use of which is another thing web designers disagree about.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
Posts: 5085 | Location: R'lyehReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
I should have been more precise, and specified that it is deprecated when using a strict DTD. And even that isn't quite right. Target= is not supported by the strict DTD.
 
Posts: 371Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of arnie
posted Hide Post
The site doesn't declare a DTD in the source, anyway (naughty!), so browsers would render it as HTML 4.01 Transitional.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: arnie,


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
Posts: 10930 | Location: LondonReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
more about Sir William Jones - apparently he was not the first to make the connection between Greek, Latin and Sanskrit.
 
Posts: 2370Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
quote:
Not sure what's the problem. When I click on the back button it goes back to the previous page.
Sorry to detract from the conversation. I did figure it out eventually.

goofy, that was an interesting article. Whether it's linguistics or inventions or discoveries, I am convinced that there are those in the background who didn't get the credit they deserved, and vice versa as with Sir William Jones.
 
Posts: 23298 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
A major triumph of comparative-historical linguistics was the postulation of laryngeals by Ferdinand de Saussure.

Saussure was trying to find out the pattern in a certain class of Sanskrit verbs. Some verbs have an infix -na-, as in yu-na-kti "joins", and others have a suffix nā-, as in pu-nā-ti "cleanses":

present tense		desiderative				infinitive
yu-na-k-ti "joins"	yok-ṣyati "intends to join"		yok-tum "to join"
pu-nā-ti "cleanses"	pavi-ṣyati "intends to cleanse"	        pavi-tum "to cleanse" 


Remove the infix -na- and the suffixes, and we get the following stems for the first verb:
yuk yok yok

This went back to the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European form *yeuk-.

The second verb went back to the reconstructed *peu-, which became pu- in some forms and pav- in other forms. But it doesn't pattern as neatly as the first verb.

Saussure noticed that at a more abstract level, both verbs behaved identically. in the first verb, there is an element k before the suffixes. Suppose that there is a similar element in the second verb, but it is realized as -i- in some forms, and it lengthens the vowel of -nā- in other forms. Call this element X. It was the final consonant in the second verb, but it subsequently disappeared. Put it back in, and the two verbs pattern identically:

yu-na-k-ti	yok-ṣyati	yok-tum 	
pu-na-X-ti	peuX-ṣyati 	peuX-tum   


Saussure called these sounds "sonants coefficients", nowadays they are called "laryngeals". He theorized that they existed in Proto-Indo-European, caused certain sound changes (as seen in Sanskrit), and then disappeared.

Saussure published this theory when he was 21, and it was largely ignored. He did not live to see his theory vindicated. That happened 50 years later in 1927: the Polish linguist Jerzy Kuryłowicz discovered that a sound in Hittite, a newly deciphered Indo-European language, appeared in the same places as Saussure predicted that laryngeals would appear.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: goofy,
 
Posts: 2370Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
Was it the book published by his students that stimulated interest in Saussure, thus vindicating his theory? I note that there are other books by Saussure. Are they also groundbreaking? I especially wondered about "Saussure's Third Course of Lectures in General Linguistics."
 
Posts: 23298 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
I think that linguists were aware of Saussure's laryngeal theory, but it wasn't until Kuryłowicz that it became generally accepted.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: goofy,
 
Posts: 2370Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of zmježd
posted Hide Post
Saussure's laryngeal theory

For historical linguists, Saussure is best remembered for his monograph Mémoire sur le système primitif des voyelles dans les langues indo-européenes (Memoir on the Primitive System of Vowels in Indo-European Languages) which was published in 1878, while he was still a graduate student in his early 20s at the University of Leipzig. (I have only skimmed parts of it.) It is available online (link).

A nit: Saussure did not name the sounds laryngeals in his Mémoire. He called them sonant coefficients. A Danish semitologist, Hermann Möller, suggested that the sounds might be larygneals.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
Posts: 5085 | Location: R'lyehReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of jerry thomas
posted Hide Post
Kuryłowicz, seeking a cure
For vowel problems simple and pure,
Consulted a Dane
Of linguistic fame;
Is he a linguist? He's not Saussure!
 
Posts: 6710 | Location: Kehena Beach, Hawaii, U.S.A.Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by zmježd:
A nit: Saussure did not name the sounds laryngeals in his Mémoire. He called them sonant coefficients. A Danish semitologist, Hermann Möller, suggested that the sounds might be larygneals.


Thanks. I got the info from Fortson's Indo-European Languages and Culture, from which I inferred that Saussure called them laryngeals.
 
Posts: 2370Reply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata  
 


Copyright © 2002-12