The Great Vowel Shift & Vocalism in Romance languages

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The Great Vowel Shift & Vocalism in Romance languages

Post by mister »

So, according to this paper, Old Prussian was undergoing a chain shift in the 1500s wherein i: > ei, u: > au/ou, e: > i:, and o: > u:. This strikes me as incredibly weird; it is almost identical to the Great Vowel Shift in English. The only real difference is that a: was unaffected. Does anyone have any examples of this kind of thing occurring in other languages? (I suspect at least one obscure Austronesian language has had the same shift.)
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10. ... 4.11659820
Edit: Thread renamed to reflect the subsequent discussion. /Aszev

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Re: Apparently Old Prussian underwent the Great Vowel Shift

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The index diachronica has Central Tai to T’ien-Pao for i iː u → ə ei oʊ̯ and uː yː iː → ou øy ei in Middle High German to Standard German.
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Re: Apparently Old Prussian underwent the Great Vowel Shift

Post by Salmoneus »

As I understand it, similar changes occured in Dutch (long high vowel breaking), German (long high vowel breaking, long vowel raising), Danish (long front vowel raising), and Norwegian and Swedish (long back vowel raising). There was also extensive long vowel breaking in Icelandic, but in a less straightforward way.

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Re: Apparently Old Prussian underwent the Great Vowel Shift

Post by qwed117 »

From my understanding most of the shifts that happened in English's GVS are not very uncommon alone, and typically they tend to "force" vowel shifts as well, so they produce very similar outcomes. The only big difference is that all it takes is one "kink" in the shift for everything to go awry and produce vastly different outcomes. In English the kink is a: -> ɛː, which, to me, is an absolutely strange fronting. I'm certain that there's a lot of languages with GVS-like shifts, but just slightly different occurences
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Re: Apparently Old Prussian underwent the Great Vowel Shift

Post by Ser »

Dalmatian underwent a weird vowel shift in stressed open syllables where:

i > ai, e > ai, u > oi, o > au
ɛ > i, ɔ > u
a > wo (> u)

...which is somewhat comparable to the English GVS. Examples:

Vulgar Latin > Late Latin vowel > Dalmatian outcome [...examples...]
i > [i:] > [ai] diem > *[di] > dai, radīcem > radaika, spīca > spaika
e > [e:] > [ai] mēnsem > mais, fidem > faid, sitem > sait, nivem > nai
u > [u:] > [oi] ūnum > join, lūna > loina, creātūra > kratoir, flūmen > floim
o > [o:] > [au] nōmen > naum, sōlem > saul, suprā > saupra, nōn > na(un)
ɛ > [jɛ] > [ i] faenum > fin, petra > pitra, caelum > čil, brevem > briv
ɔ > [wɔ] > [ u] novum > nuf, locum > luk
a > [a:] > [wo] or [ u] cīvitātem > čitu(o)t, cor > ku(o)r, cantāre > kantu(o)r, caballum > kavu(o)l, pānem > pun/puan

Dalmatian creates diphthongs in other ways too, but in ways that are susceptible to a following consonant. E.g. [e:] > [ai] before a nasal in an open syllable (plēnum > plain, rēgnum > raigno [ˈraiɲo]), [e ɛ] > [ja] when in a closed syllable (nigrum > niar, viridem > viart; ventum > viant, terra > tiar, lectum > liat, bellam > biala, pectinem > piakno), [ɔ] > [wa] in a closed syllable (longum > luang, rossum > ruas, noctem > nuat, porcum > puark).
qwed117 wrote:
18 Feb 2020 22:08
In English the kink is a: -> ɛː, which, to me, is an absolutely strange fronting.
It seems a little easier to swallow once you learn that Late Latin underwent [a:] > [e:] into Old French (while short [a] was retained), and that Old Arabic /a a:/ often become /e: e/ in Lebanese Arabic when stressed in an open syllable or in word-final position (unless prevented by a nearby guttural consonant).

cārum 'dear' > Late *[ˈka:ro] > *[ˈtʃe:ro] > Old French chér [tʃer] (> modern cher [ʃɛ:ʁ])
salem 'salt' > (with stressed open-syllable vowel lengthening) Late *[ˈsa:le] > *[ˈse:le] > Old French sél [sel] (> modern sel [sɛl])
sapiunt 'they know' > Late *[ˈsa:pont] > OF sévent [ˈsevə(n)t] (> now regularized to ils savent [sav], after sapitis > analogized to *[saˈpe:tes] > modFr savez [saˈve])
(for the last one, also contrast: sapiant 'that they may know' > (with [pj] > [ptʃ]) *[ˈsaptʃant] > OF sachent [ˈsatʃə(n)t] (> modern ils sachent [saʃ])

Old Arabic θala:θah 'three' > Lebanese [ˈtle:te] (cf. Cairo Egyptian [ˈtælæ:tæ])
Old Arabic θama:nijah 'eight' > Lebanese [ˈtme:ne] (cf. Cairo Egyptian [tæˈmænjæ])
Last edited by Ser on 25 Apr 2020 21:38, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Apparently Old Prussian underwent the Great Vowel Shift

Post by Salmoneus »

Ser wrote:
19 Feb 2020 01:02
qwed117 wrote:
18 Feb 2020 22:08
In English the kink is a: -> ɛː, which, to me, is an absolutely strange fronting.
It seems a little easier to swallow once you learn that Late Latin underwent [a:] > [e:] into Old French (while short [a] was retained), and that Old Arabic /a a:/ often become /e: e/ in Lebanese Arabic when stressed in an open syllable or in word-final position (unless prevented by a nearby guttural consonant).
Needn't go so far afield as French: English itself is a good example. Proto-Germanic /ɑː/ had already become /æː/ in Anglo-Frisian, which had become /e:/ by the time of Old English (outside of West Saxon), subsequently raising to /i:/ in the GVS. So German 'schlafen' vs English 'sleep'.

This may be connected to French. Both the Gallo-Romance languages (including Rhaeto-Romance) and Anglo-Frisian (which wasn't that far away) evidently tended to front most /a/, whether short or long, though both seem to have done this to the long version first (/most extremely). [The values in Old Dutch and Old Saxon aren't known, although in OS apparently there's reason to think the short version was still back, while in modern Dutch this set up (short back, long front) remains. Notably /a:/ in WGmc in any case originates as /e:/, so it's debatable whether it was ever backed (there's some reason to think so, but obviously it would be simpler diachronically if the front realisation were the original). If it were always front, it would seem to give a reason why /a:/ tended to front in Romance languages in contact with Germanic...


Anyway, regarding the fronting of LATER /a:/ in the GVS, it's worth remembering that this vowel was mostly created by umlaut in the first place (the unumlauted version ended up not just backed but rounded - eg modern "stone" from PGmc "stainaz". So again, it may well always have been relatively fronted.

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Re: Apparently Old Prussian underwent the Great Vowel Shift

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Ser wrote:
19 Feb 2020 01:02
It seems a little easier to swallow once you learn that Late Latin underwent [a:] > [e:] into Old French (while short [a] was retained)
That's not the way I learned it. French is like any other Romance language in that /a:/ and /a/ had merged by the Vulgar Latin stage. Vulgar Latin /a/ became /ɛ/ in open, stressed syllables, and /jɛ/ when preceded by a palatal in an open syllable; it was retained in closed or unstressed syllables.

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Re: Apparently Old Prussian underwent the Great Vowel Shift

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Dormouse559 wrote:
19 Feb 2020 07:41
Ser wrote:
19 Feb 2020 01:02
It seems a little easier to swallow once you learn that Late Latin underwent [a:] > [e:] into Old French (while short [a] was retained)
That's not the way I learned it. French is like any other Romance language in that /a:/ and /a/ had merged by the Vulgar Latin stage. Vulgar Latin /a/ became /ɛ/ in open, stressed syllables, and /jɛ/ when preceded by a palatal in an open syllable; it was retained in closed or unstressed syllables.
I think Ser's referring to the Vulgar/Late Latin long vowels which occured in stressed open syllables, which would make it the same as your change.

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Re: Apparently Old Prussian underwent the Great Vowel Shift

Post by Salmoneus »

Indeed. It's not directly known that stressed open syllables were long, but the consensus seems to be that many sound changes across the family are most easily explained if we assume that at least some of them were (though I've seen some people suggest that some weren't, depending on the word's phonotactics).

Even if this wasn't true in all Late Latin, it may at least have been true in Gallo-Romance, given that the Rhaeto-Romance languages show particularly strong evidence of it.

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Re: Apparently Old Prussian underwent the Great Vowel Shift

Post by Dormouse559 »

Ah, thank you for enlightening me. [:$] Either way, it occurred to me awhile after I posted that I should have noted Ser's argument still works.

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Re: Apparently Old Prussian underwent the Great Vowel Shift

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Salmoneus wrote:
19 Feb 2020 14:51
Indeed. It's not directly known that stressed open syllables were long, but the consensus seems to be that many sound changes across the family are most easily explained if we assume that at least some of them were (though I've seen some people suggest that some weren't, depending on the word's phonotactics).

Even if this wasn't true in all Late Latin, it may at least have been true in Gallo-Romance, given that the Rhaeto-Romance languages show particularly strong evidence of it.
According to the Oxford Online Database of Romance Verbs, this was true in almost every Romance language. The only language they list with a collapse of that system is Campidanese
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Re: Apparently Old Prussian underwent the Great Vowel Shift

Post by Salmoneus »

Sorry, I'm not seeing where they list the phonological systems of each language?

In any case, clearly that system HAS broken down across Europe, since few Romance languages now have phonemic long vowels.

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Re: Apparently Old Prussian underwent the Great Vowel Shift

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Salmoneus wrote:
19 Feb 2020 01:59
This may be connected to French. Both the Gallo-Romance languages (including Rhaeto-Romance) and Anglo-Frisian (which wasn't that far away) evidently tended to front most /a/, whether short or long, though both seem to have done this to the long version first (/most extremely). [The values in Old Dutch and Old Saxon aren't known, although in OS apparently there's reason to think the short version was still back, while in modern Dutch this set up (short back, long front) remains. Notably /a:/ in WGmc in any case originates as /e:/, so it's debatable whether it was ever backed (there's some reason to think so, but obviously it would be simpler diachronically if the front realisation were the original). If it were always front, it would seem to give a reason why /a:/ tended to front in Romance languages in contact with Germanic...
I think you're right in that this may be Germanic influence in French. Although I'd like to note that in French both short and long [a] (as well as the diphthong [au]) produced fronting of the velars:

(LL short a) calōrem > *[kaˈlo:re] > OF chaleur, carrum > *[ˈkar:o] > OF char, buccās > *[ˈbok:as] > OF bouches
(LL long a) cadit > *[ˈka:det] > OF chiet, collocāre > *[kɔlˈka:re] > OF colchier
(LL au) causa > *[ˈkausa] > OF chose

(NB: cauda > OF queue retains [k] due to descending from an ancient rural variant [ˈko:da], cf. *lewh2-tos > classical urban Latin lautus coexisting with rural lōtus, both commonly attested in classical literature, and cf. *deh2i-wēr 'brother-in-law' > laevir ~ lēvir, both also commonly attested in classical texts. This is separate from the better known [au] > [o] change in later Romance, which spread much later and didn't affect some languages like Portuguese/Occitan/Dalmatian/Romanian anyway.)
Salmoneus wrote:
19 Feb 2020 14:51
Indeed. It's not directly known that stressed open syllables were long, but the consensus seems to be that many sound changes across the family are most easily explained if we assume that at least some of them were (though I've seen some people suggest that some weren't, depending on the word's phonotactics).

Even if this wasn't true in all Late Latin, it may at least have been true in Gallo-Romance, given that the Rhaeto-Romance languages show particularly strong evidence of it.
Besides the Langues d'Oïl and Rhaeto-Romance, Dalmatian as shown above also shows different vowel sound changes depending on whether a syllable is open, in a way that's reminiscent of the shift in long vowels that Middle English went through (the higher long vowels break into falling diphthongs, the lower ones get raised to a higher quality, and something funny happens to long "a"). Also, modern Italian shows the same lengthening allophonically, coincidentally or not (not easy to tell due to its huge conservatism...): cadit > cade /ˈkade/ [ˈka:de], cantō > canto /ˈkanto/ [ˈkanto].

Spanish and Portuguese show no evidence of any ancient vowel lengthening though, zero, nada. And I don't really know about Occitan or Romanian at the moment. Perhaps it only affected languages near the centre...
qwed117 wrote:
19 Feb 2020 20:49
According to the Oxford Online Database of Romance Verbs, this was true in almost every Romance language. The only language they list with a collapse of that system is Campidanese
I suspect you're confusing the Late Latin allophonic vowel length we're talking about (really allophonic, but it has effects into some daughter languages later on) with the ancient vowel mergers that happened as classical vowel length was lost. Most of Romance has Classical Latin /i: ɪ e: ɛ, u: ʊ o: ɔ/ > Late Latin /i e e ɛ, u o o ɔ/, but Campidanese (and the rest of Sardinian) has /i: ɪ e: ɛ, u: ʊ o: ɔ/ > /i i e e, u u o o/. The mergers in core Romance happened within the classical period as it progressed, and the allophonic vowel length we're discussing happened after those mergers if it happened.

So:
Classical flōrem /flo:rɛm/ > core Late /ˈflore/ [ˈflo:re] > Old French earlier <flur,flor> /flɵr/ later <fleur> /flœr/
but:
Classical gustum /gʊstʊm/ > core Late /ˈgosto/ [ˈgosto] > Old French earlier <gust,gost> /gost/ later <goust> /gust/

(In earlier stages of Old French, <u> ambiguously represented /ʉ ɵ o/ and <o> ambiguously represented /o ɔ/. Eventually, earlier /ʉ ɵ o ɔ/ > later /y œ u ɔ/ <u eu ou o>.)
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Re: Apparently Old Prussian underwent the Great Vowel Shift

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Ser wrote:
20 Feb 2020 23:32
I think you're right in that this may be Germanic influence in French.
And just to return to that point: Germanic's long vowel system was weird. Once short /o/ developed, there weren't enough long vowels to go around. First there was no long low vowel - but that was ridiculous, so /e:/ dropped down to fill that gap. But that in turn meant that there was no long vowel between /i:/ and /a:/, which is a relatively big gap for language with otherwise plenty of vowels. So that must have exerted quite a force to keep /a:/ pulled forward, or even to raise a little.

Although I'd like to note that in French both short and long [a] (as well as the diphthong [au]) produced fronting of the velars:
Yes, /a/ must have been fronted too, but not as far (it didn't end up raising), and perhaps only temporarily. Note that the fronting caused by /a/ was a different process from the earlier fronting (so /a/ probably wasn't front when that happened). It's not just French, btw - Rhaeto-Romance shows the same change, and apparently Arpitan and maybe Occitan (wiktionary's entries seem to suggest it was regular in Old Occitan but often replaced in modern Occitan, but I don't know).

(NB: cauda > OF queue retains [k] due to descending from an ancient rural variant [ˈko:da], cf. *lewh2-tos > classical urban Latin lautus coexisting with rural lōtus, both commonly attested in classical literature, and cf. *deh2i-wēr 'brother-in-law' > laevir ~ lēvir, both also commonly attested in classical texts. This is separate from the better known [au] > [o] change in later Romance, which spread much later and didn't affect some languages like Portuguese/Occitan/Dalmatian/Romanian anyway.)
The famous example here is the name "Claudius". Publius Claudius Pulcher changed his name to 'Clodius' when he surrendered his aristocratic rank to campaign as a populist politician. Apparently the shift is Sabine in origin.
Besides the Langues d'Oïl and Rhaeto-Romance, Dalmatian as shown above also shows different vowel sound changes depending on whether a syllable is open, in a way that's reminiscent of the shift in long vowels that Middle English went through (the higher long vowels break into falling diphthongs, the lower ones get raised to a higher quality, and something funny happens to long "a"). Also, modern Italian shows the same lengthening allophonically, coincidentally or not (not easy to tell due to its huge conservatism...): cadit > cade /ˈkade/ [ˈka:de], cantō > canto /ˈkanto/ [ˈkanto].
Yes, and iirc it also interacts with metaphony in the Italian dialects. But we can't be sure that open syllables were different due to significant lengthening specifically, although it certainly seems the obvious option.
Spanish and Portuguese show no evidence of any ancient vowel lengthening though, zero, nada. And I don't really know about Occitan or Romanian at the moment. Perhaps it only affected languages near the centre...
Iirc, the theory is that the Iberian and Dacian languages generalised the long stressed open syllables to ALL stressed syllables. This "explains" the breaking of stressed mid-vowels, which can then be seen as a general areal change that affected all long mid vowels.

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Re: Apparently Old Prussian underwent the Great Vowel Shift

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The great vowel shift is a famous combination of ordinary changes. 1. Long vowels get raised. 2. Long vowels get diphthongized. It's no wonder something vaguely ressembling it happened in other languages.

Probably the most curious part of the change is /aː/ > /ɛː/. Other than in English, this is attested in Ancient Greek, Ingvaeonic* and Gallo-Romance, but it seems that /aː/ generally prefers to move in the direction of /ɔː/. This happened in Proto-Germanic, Middle English, various descendants of Old Norse (twice in Swedish!), various High German dialects, various Western South Slavic dialects, various Polish dialects, twice in Hebrew and Phoenician, in Welsh, in Lithuanian, in numerous Iranic languages... you name it! I wonder if there is something which causes /aː/ to go one or the other way. In the case of Middle English > Modern English and Vulgar Latin > Gallo-Romance it happened to a very young /aː/ created by open syllable lengthening, so I thought it might have something to do with that... but Swedish /ɒː/ is also from /aː/ created by open syllable lengthening. A counterexample in the other direction is Ancient Greek, which fronted an /aː/ which wasn't created by a recent open syllable lengthening.

*with Salmoneous' caveat that it might be a retention from Proto-Germanic
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Re: Apparently Old Prussian underwent the Great Vowel Shift

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Zekoslav wrote:
25 Apr 2020 17:52
Probably the most curious part of the change is /aː/ > /ɛː/. Other than in English, this is attested in Ancient Greek, Ingvaeonic* and Gallo-Romance, but it seems that /aː/ generally prefers to move in the direction of /ɔː/. This happened in Proto-Germanic, Middle English, various descendants of Old Norse (twice in Swedish!), various High German dialects, various Western South Slavic dialects, various Polish dialects, twice in Hebrew and Phoenician, in Welsh, in Lithuanian, in numerous Iranic languages... you name it!
You can add Mandarin and Cantonese to the list, where Middle Chinese open /ɑ/ (phonetically likely [ɑ:]) became a back rounded vowel (unless it was blocked by a preceding [j]). This is why you end up with the likes of:

dharma > 達摩 Mando: [ta:˧˥ mwɔ˧˥], Canto: [ta:t˩ mɔ:˥]
Amitabha Buddha [ɐmɪˈta:bʱɐ ˈbʊddʱɐ] > 阿彌陀佛 Mando: [ɘɐ̯˥ mi:˧˥ tʰwɔ˧˥ fwɔ˧˥], Canto: [ɔ:˥ nei˨˩ tʰɔ:˨˩ fɐt˨]

...which were much more reasonable back when they were Middle Chinese /dɑt mwa/ [dɑ:t mwɑ:] (< pre-MC [da:t ma:(h)]) and [ʔɑ mjɛ dɑ: bjut] (< pre-MC [ʔa me da (bu?)t]). This also explains why Japanese has "ta" and Korean has "da" for 多, from Middle Chinese /tɑ/ [tɑ:], now Mandarin [twɔ˥], Cantonese [tɔ:˥], and many other similar words.

I remember being told that speakers of Standard German typically have a central [a a:] for /a a:/, but those that differentiate them in quality have a slightly fronted [a] vs. a back [ɑ:].
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Re: Apparently Old Prussian underwent the Great Vowel Shift

Post by Salmoneus »

We've had this discussion before, but yes, there seems to be a tendency to have /a:/ backer than /a/. Much of Irish is another example (and a few dialects go all the way and round it to /O:/ in all conditions).

However, Hungarian is a counterexample: short /a/ has been rounded and backed compared to long /a:/.


I think you'd have to look at this systems in a broader context, though. I wonder how much of the /a:/ > /O:/ tendency can be explained by instances of:
a) languages tend to have fewer back vowels than front vowels (on average), so raising low vowels backward can bring more symmetry
b) I think you tend to get more instances of /e:/ and /E:/ than you do of /o:/ or /O:/, because the former can come from diphthongs of the sort /OI AI aI EI eI iI/, whereas the latter often only from /ou aU/, which may well be less common anyway as well as less numerous
c) I think /O:/ tends to be sort of unstable - even when it's there, it often seems to merge with /o:/ or /A:/
d) there's also the well-observed widdershins cycling of vowels, which I get the feeling happens even more strongly with long vowels: /u:/ > /y:/, pulling up /o:/ and /O:/ (if present), creating a gap for /a:/ to rise backward).

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Re: Apparently Old Prussian underwent the Great Vowel Shift

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Ser wrote:
20 Feb 2020 23:32
qwed117 wrote:
19 Feb 2020 20:49
According to the Oxford Online Database of Romance Verbs, this was true in almost every Romance language. The only language they list with a collapse of that system is Campidanese
I suspect you're confusing the Late Latin allophonic vowel length we're talking about (really allophonic, but it has effects into some daughter languages later on) with the ancient vowel mergers that happened as classical vowel length was lost. Most of Romance has Classical Latin /i: ɪ e: ɛ, u: ʊ o: ɔ/ > Late Latin /i e e ɛ, u o o ɔ/, but Campidanese (and the rest of Sardinian) has /i: ɪ e: ɛ, u: ʊ o: ɔ/ > /i i e e, u u o o/. The mergers in core Romance happened within the classical period as it progressed, and the allophonic vowel length we're discussing happened after those mergers if it happened.

So:
Classical flōrem /flo:rɛm/ > core Late /ˈflore/ [ˈflo:re] > Old French earlier <flur,flor> /flɵr/ later <fleur> /flœr/
but:
Classical gustum /gʊstʊm/ > core Late /ˈgosto/ [ˈgosto] > Old French earlier <gust,gost> /gost/ later <goust> /gust/

(In earlier stages of Old French, <u> ambiguously represented /ʉ ɵ o/ and <o> ambiguously represented /o ɔ/. Eventually, earlier /ʉ ɵ o ɔ/ > later /y œ u ɔ/ <u eu ou o>.)
No, I know about the Southern vocalism. What I'm referring to is a very specific pattern that Campidanese has.
In the pluperfect subjunctive (or at least the Campidanese derivative, probably imperfect subjunctive)- the form has been levelled from having stress shift to uniform second syllable stress, so that we get forms like below (for cantai "to sing")
1SG: kanˈtɛssi
2SG: kanˈtɛssis
3SG: kanˈtɛssit
1PL: kanˈtɛssimus
2PL: kanˈtɛstis
3PL: kanˈtɛssint(i)

In comparison, in Logudorese, the stress system is largely maintained in the preterite system (they do not keep the imperfect subjunctive). So we get forms like below, (for domare "to tame")
1SG: ˈdɔmɛsi
2SG: dɔˈmesti
3SG: ˈdɔmɛsit
1PL: dɔˈmesimus
2PL: dɔˈmeʣis
3PL: ˈdɔmɛsint

Notice the alteration between /ɛ/ and /e/! That's I think what you're talking about, and why I was specific in referencing Campidanese, and not Logudorese or Nugorese
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Re: Apparently Old Prussian underwent the Great Vowel Shift

Post by Ser »

qwed117 wrote:
26 Apr 2020 20:09
Notice the alteration between /ɛ/ and /e/! That's I think what you're talking about, and why I was specific in referencing Campidanese, and not Logudorese or Nugorese
I'm afraid that, no, that's still not the allophonic vowel length we were talking about. We were talking about the (allophonic) lengthening of Latin vowels when they are stressed in open syllables, as in, say, Latin pira 'pear' [ˈpɪra] > [ˈpera] > [ˈpe:ra] (and then > early Old French [ˈpeirə]).

The Campidanese example there is different (and irrelevant) as all those [ɛ]s are inside closed syllables in the Latin etyma (cantāssem cantāssēmus cantāssent). Also, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Romanian have the same collapse of the system of stress alternations in that particular tense as Campidanese (Sp cantase cansemos cantasen, Rom cântasem cântaserăm cântaseră), so I'm not sure what it is that you read in that database.


That Logudorese preterite looks whacky as hell though, to the point that I even wonder if you transcribed it correctly... It looks like it has got the same [-zi-] suffix that appears in a few Old French verbs that descend from the Latin 2nd or 3rd conjugation (facere fēcistī fēcimus > faire fesis fesimes [ˈfairə fəˈzis fəˈziməs], which expanded to e.g. sedēre sēdistī sēdimus > sedeir sesis sesimes [səˈðeir səˈzis səˈziməs]), but with thoroughly whacky stress assignment. Logudorese conserves geminate [ss] (ipsum > isso), so I don't think this preterite has taken forms from the pluperfect subjunctive in the 1PL and 2PL slots. Not to mention this is a 1st conjugation verb we're talking about (domare), which only increases the whackiness (why the -si- suffix if so?), although then again, Latin domāre did have a whacky half-1st half-3rd conjugation (domō/domat domāre domuī domitum), so maybe Logudorese just happens to conserve that. Anyway, what the hell?
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Zekoslav
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Re: Apparently Old Prussian underwent the Great Vowel Shift

Post by Zekoslav »

Ser wrote:
26 Apr 2020 21:40
That Logudorese preterite looks whacky as hell though, to the point that I even wonder if you transcribed it correctly... It looks like it has got the same [-zi-] suffix that appears in a few Old French verbs that descend from the Latin 2nd or 3rd conjugation (facere fēcistī fēcimus > faire fesis fesimes [ˈfairə fəˈzis fəˈziməs], which expanded to e.g. sedēre sēdistī sēdimus > sedeir sesis sesimes [səˈðeir səˈzis səˈziməs]), but with thoroughly whacky stress assignment. Logudorese conserves geminate [ss] (ipsum > isso), so I don't think this preterite has taken forms from the pluperfect subjunctive in the 1PL and 2PL slots. Not to mention this is a 1st conjugation verb we're talking about (domare), which only increases the whackiness (why the -si- suffix if so?), although then again, Latin domāre did have a whacky half-1st half-3rd conjugation (domō/domat domāre domuī domitum), so maybe Logudorese just happens to conserve that. Anyway, what the hell?
I read about that in an old book in my university's library. My recollection may not be perfectly precise... The earliest forms were -avi, -asti, -avit, -avimus, -astis, -arunt, e.g. a pretty standard if archaic (it still had the v's intact in the Middle Ages!) contracted Latin perfect. Then the v's finally dropped, but a and i resolutely refused to contract into a diphthong and remained in separate syllables. Then -arunt > -aint by analogy to -ait, as Sardinian 3rd persons tend to be -Vt, -Vnt, with the vowel depending on the conjugation. Then ai > ei through assimilation, and then the e analogically spreads to other persons. Finally, -si, -sit, -simus and -sint were taken from a verb with an s-preterite such as misi, and spread to other verbs. I don't know how -stis changed do -dzis, however.

-avi, -asti, -avit, -avimus, -astis, -arunt
-ai, -asti, -ait, -aimus, -astis, -arunt
-ai, -asti, -ait, -aimus, -astis, -aint
-ei, -asti, -eit, -eimus, -astis, -eint
-ei, -esti, -eit, -eimus, -estis, -eint
-esi, -esti, -esit, -esimus, -estis, -esint
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