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Indoeuropean reflects of "shwa"

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Indoeuropean reflects of "shwa"

Postby Helen of Troy » Sat Feb 07, 2004 1:45 pm

Hello, I'm new around here so I'm not quite sure how this thing works. :roll: However, if someone has anything on "shwa" issue, it would be nice to let me know.
Thanks,
Jelena
Last edited by Helen of Troy on Sun Feb 22, 2004 1:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby xn » Sat Feb 21, 2004 10:57 am

Hello Jelena,

would you be more specific on what your interest in the “schwa” is?

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Postby Helen of Troy » Sat Feb 21, 2004 7:24 pm

My God! For the moment (well, it was a looooooong moment) I thought that nobody would ever answer this thread! But... :D

However, I thought about some good articles on the "schwa" issue you could recommend cuz the things I have aren't that much useful. Only, you should bare on your mind where I live, and that not many of new ino publications are avalible here. At least for now. :wink:

Thank you very much.
Jelena
Last edited by Helen of Troy on Sun Feb 22, 2004 1:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby xn » Sat Feb 21, 2004 9:35 pm

Jelena,

please forgive my ignorance, but would you describe the particular “schwa” issue that you’re thinking of? Is it what the precise pronunciation would have been in Proto-Indo-European? Is it whether there were three distinct “schwa” sounds in P-I-E, or only one? Or are you thinking of another Indo-European “schwa” issue?

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Postby Helen of Troy » Sun Feb 22, 2004 1:53 am

Actually... (Dear Lord, I've almost set my house on fire!!! Sorry for this but I couldn't resist writing it down because it looked pretty serious.)

Actually, the thing I had in mind should cover everything you wrote, more or less. Id est, "schwa" in general, if I might say. You see, the interpretation of "schwa" coming from a certain laringal in P-I-E is acceptable for me, but when it comes to vowel shortening/lengthening I get totally confused. In order to make myself cristal clear, I'll try to make a formula of "schwa's" path from P-I-E up to Greek (don't laugh for this is how I got it and I might be wrong, of course :wink: ).

laringal - ultra-short vowel - short vowel - long vowel - the short "A"/"I"
{ P - I - E } --------------------------- { I E GROUP }

P-I-E a certain laringal reflects as an ultra-short vowel, whose "colour" again is from that laringal. Than, in IE languages this ultra-short vowel changes into a simple short vowel which alternates with a corresponding long vowel, which finally alternates with the short "A" or "I". Ok, I might as well say that I could follow so far, but...now comes The Greek (and it's all Greek to me onwards).

eH1/eH2/eH3 - H1/H2/H3 - long E/A/O - short E/A/O
{ I E GROUP } -------------------- { GREEK }

If we take this hypothese, we'll say that the short "A, E, O" in Greek are the best reflex IE long vowel stage. All three of them, according to this interpretation, represent a transformed IE diphtong that was made of an "E" plus "schwa1"/"schwa2"/"schwa3". These diphtongs were reduced to "schwa1/2/3" which alternate with long "A,E,O" in their normal grade while the reduced zero-grade is represented by short "A,E,O".

Well, now you can see for youself how much they got me confused. I suppose this shouldn't be this complicated and I'm quite sure that I went wrong at some point. But, this is the best I can do with that crapy manuals I have. :? :? :?

Thank you for being so kind to care about my problem. Forgive My Ignorance as well as the Lack of at least decent English but at this time of night I can barely speake at all, even my own language.

regards,
Jelena
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Postby xn » Sun Feb 22, 2004 5:48 am

Jelena,

you’re well beyond my occasional sallies into linguistics! I know nothing about the evolution of Greek vowel sounds. My (limited, probably mistaken :!:) understanding of the P-I-E laryngeal/schwa variations is that each of the three laryngeals h1, h2, h3 could lengthen a following (but not necessarily adjacent) a, e, o; each of the laryngeals could have been immediately followed by a schwa; that the schwa pronunciation could have been influenced according to the preceding laryngeal; and that as the laryngeal disappeared over time in the non-Anatolian successor languages, each of the three schwa varieties changed according to the successor language: Indo-Iranian languages changed schwas to i for all laryngeals, Greek changed schwas to e/a/o according to the laryngeal, and other Indo-European languages changed schwas to a for all laryngeals.

I’ve seen some reasonable guesses at the identities of h1, h2, h3: namely, either a glottal stop or a voiceless pharyngeal fricative [IPA /h/, English “h” in “hat”] for h1; a voiceless velar fricative [IPA /x/, German “ch” in “Buch”] for h2; and a voiced velar fricative [IPA /ɣ/, modern Greek pronunciation of gamma] for h3. I don’t know how well these guesses stand up to the Greek evidence.

I haven’t seen any theories on just how the pronunciations of the specific schwa varieties would differ from each other, but I haven’t sought out such information, either.

I’m not familiar with the E-schwa diphthong hypothesis.

I wish that I could be of more help!

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Postby annis » Sun Feb 22, 2004 4:37 pm

xn wrote:I’ve seen some reasonable guesses at the identities of h1, h2, h3: namely, either a glottal stop or a voiceless pharyngeal fricative [IPA /h/, English “h” in “hat”] for h1;


Wouldn't this be the Hebrew het, the Arabic haa?

a voiceless velar fricative [IPA /x/, German “ch” in “Buch”] for h2; and a voiced velar fricative [IPA /ɣ/, modern Greek pronunciation of gamma] for h3. I don’t know how well these guesses stand up to the Greek evidence


I would vote for `ain (same in both Hebrew and Arabic) for the e-coloring. It's a voiced pharyngeal fricative, and in several Semitic languages the only remaining sign of it is the vowel -e-.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
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Postby Helen of Troy » Mon Feb 23, 2004 10:46 pm

annis wrote:I would vote for `ain (same in both Hebrew and Arabic) for the e-coloring. It's a voiced pharyngeal fricative, and in several Semitic languages the only remaining sign of it is the vowel -e-.


:?: What do you mean by voting for " 'ain"?

P.S. It is English that I don't understand. :oops:
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Postby Helen of Troy » Mon Feb 23, 2004 10:57 pm

Thank you, xn, for you were helpful. You've confirmed my doubts and things I'd learned.

Is there a any info about this that I could find on the Net? Even if it's on "schwa" in general, it'll work for me.

Grazie mille,
Lenaje
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Postby annis » Tue Feb 24, 2004 6:05 pm

Helen of Troy wrote:
annis wrote:I would vote for `ain (same in both Hebrew and Arabic) for the e-coloring.


:?: What do you mean by voting for " 'ain"?

P.S. It is English that I don't understand. :oops:


Well, it's not English. I use " 'ain " to represent the name of a particular letter in Arabic and Hebrew (name and pronunciation basically identical). It seems to me that this same sound has a history of turning nearby vowel sounds into -e-, so the same sound could be the IE laryngeal that colors vowels to -e-. Or it might not. I'm not sure we'll ever have conclusive proof on what exact sound each laryngeal was.

Recent works on Indo-European linguistics don't use the schwa notation much, but use H1, H2, H3, etc.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
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Postby xn » Wed Feb 25, 2004 6:32 am

William: Mea culpa! Yes, I gave the wrong examples for the description; that should have been IPA /ħ/, as you suggested with the Hebrew and Arabic consonants, _not_ English h. I really should use my eyeglasses more often… Do you know if any current languages in the Indo-Iranian branch make use of ‛ain?

Jelena: Visit http://www.omniglot.com/writing/arabic.htm and find its table of Arabic consonants. The ‛ain that William referred to is the usual English transliteration of the Arabic name of the fourth consonant in that table’s left-hand column — a voiced pharyngeal fricative, IPA /ʕ/. I would think that using a search engine such as Google with keywords such as Proto-Indo-European, laryngeal, schwa, &c. would provide links to potentially useful information. I envy your ability to “not” understand English! I’m sure that I wouldn’t understand most of the linguistic terms in this thread in any other language…

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