[Histling-l] excrescence by regular rule?

Matthieu Segui matthieu.segui2014 at gmail.com
Wed Sep 13 16:19:16 EDT 2017

Dear Martha,
As far as the evolution from Protoromance (or Spoken Latin) to Old French
is concerned, basically everyone (see for instance Heinrich Lausberg,
Sprachwissenschaft*, vol.1, §513) agrees that in all instances of the
posttonic (but non-final) sequences
*[mV.r], *[nV.r], *[ssV.r], *[mV.l] and *[nV.l]
(where the always unstressed vowel, as a matter of fact, was the
penultimate vowel of the word), a plosive consonant (homorganic to the
first consonant of the sequence) was inserted after the vowel underwent
deletion, giving rise to the following clusters (in Old French):
*[m.br], *[n.dr], *[s.tr], *[m.bl] and *[n.ɡl]
Examples include
NUMERU > *nombre* ('number')
CINERE > *cendre* ('ash')
ESSERE > *estre* ('(to) be')
SIMULARE > *sembler* ('(to) seem')
SPINULA > *espingle* ('pin')                       (Lausberg's examples)
This is a fully regular pattern. Now of course the question is: did this
change occur *immediately* after or *some time* after the vowel got
deleted? If it occurred immediately after (in other words concomitant with)
vowel syncope, then this change might not be interesting for you, since
under this hypothesis the two original consonants of the sequence never
actually came into contact. If instead the consonant insertion occurred
some time after vowel deletion took place, then it may qualify as one of
those cases you're looking for.

Best wishes,

_ _
Skype: matthieu.segui

2017-09-13 20:46 GMT+02:00 Martha Ratliff <ac6000 at wayne.edu>:

> Does anyone know of a reconstruction in which someone has posited a
> regular change involving insertion of a consonant between two other
> consonants?  I had always thought of excrescence as a sound change that
> operates on individual words in an unpredictable fashion (that is, the
> low-level transitional consonant is phonologized unpredictably), but am
> wondering if there are cases where someone believes it to have operated in
> a regular, rule-governed fashion to an entire set of words.
> I am especially interested in insertions of the “thim*b*le”/“hom*b*re”
> type, but would be interested in examples of the “Ham*p*shire” type as
> well.
> Many thanks in advance!
> Martha Ratliff
> _______________________________________________
> histling-l mailing list
> histling-l at mailman.yale.edu
> http://mailman.yale.edu/mailman/listinfo/histling-l
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://mailman.yale.edu/pipermail/histling-l/attachments/20170913/b6f15245/attachment.html 

More information about the histling-l mailing list