[Histling-l] excrescence by regular rule?

Alex Francois alex.francois.cnrs at gmail.com
Wed Sep 13 18:08:48 EDT 2017

​​dear Martha, dear all,

*> I had always thought of excrescence as a sound change that operates on
individual words in an unpredictable fashion*
I think such processes of epenthesis are often quite regular, and easily
In the examples you cite, consonant epenthesis (I haven't heard the term
"excrescence") result from a simple rule whereby a nasal consonant is
denasalised when it comes in contact with a non-nasal consonant, e.g. *mr >
*m*b*r;  *nr > *n*d*r...

Such processes are very regular indeed in Indo-European.  Old French has
inherited many forms from Latin which underwent a syncope, resulting in
consonant epenthesis between the consonants now in contact.  Here are a few

Fr. sem*b*ler < Lat. *sim(i)lāre    ‘seem’
ensem*b*le < *in-sim(u)l        ‘together’
trem*b*ler < *trem(u)lāre        ‘shiver’
com*b*ler < *cum(u)lāre         ‘fill up’

cham*b*re < *cam(e)ra         ‘room’
nom*b*re < *num(e)rum       ‘number’
Eng. remem*b*er < O.Fr. remembrer < Late Lat. *re-mem(o)rāre

cen*d*re < *cin(e)rem       ‘ashes’
ten*d*re < *ten(e)rum      ‘tender, soft’
pon*d*re < *pōn(e)re       ‘lay (egg)’
cou*d*re < *cōs(e)re < consuere      ‘sew’

mou*d*re < mol(e)re        ‘grind’

pou*d*re < *polre < *pulvere    ‘dust, powder’

(​NB:  after I wrote this, I just realised Matthieu's post, who also cites
some examples of Romance.)

See also Greek

   - ἀνήρ /anēr/ 'man',
   genitive ἀν*δ*ρός /andr-os/ < *anr-os

   - Μεσημ*β*ρία /mes-ēmbria/ 'mid-day, South' < *mes-ēmr-ia
   (cf. ἡμέρα *hēméra 'day')

   - ἄμ*β*ροτος /ambrotos/ 'immortal' < *a-mro-to-s < *n̻-mr̻-t-o-s  [cf.
   Skr अमृत amṛta]
   (hence Eng. ambrosia)

Finally, the phenomenon is also known in the Oceanic languages of Vanuatu
where I work.  In Malakula (an island with 42 different languages
<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__alex.francois.online.fr_AlexFrancois-5FVanuatu-2Dlanguages-5Fmap-2De.htm&d=DwIFaQ&c=cjytLXgP8ixuoHflwc-poQ&r=xWgwnXzyLjTDtEN1jkc-sliD_cd49k7fc7XSMi_8aeo&m=ymCl1L_HJ5AkF9fapssHPXWyzTYBo52LZCwNogZNsk0&s=eC7NE845eUhmRkOYoJFp4elhovp54xy_F3MiPHAUn2E&e= >!)
it is common to find languages whose phoneme inventories include two
prenasalised trills. Phonologically, these are:

   - an alveolar trill /*ⁿr/*
   - a bilabial trill /*ᵐ**ʙ*/

Quite expectedly, the phonetic realisation of these two phonemes is
respectively [n*d*r] and [m*b*ʙ].  Try them at home:  I find it difficult
to pronounce sequences /nr/ and /mʙ/ without inserting these transitional
sounds.   :-)


Alex François

[image: programme] <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__lacito.vjf.cnrs.fr_index-5Fen.htm&d=DwIFaQ&c=cjytLXgP8ixuoHflwc-poQ&r=xWgwnXzyLjTDtEN1jkc-sliD_cd49k7fc7XSMi_8aeo&m=ymCl1L_HJ5AkF9fapssHPXWyzTYBo52LZCwNogZNsk0&s=YWgBnBBGgYeLaO0CUs7VjWcgyz_bFoNZHPnkRgYw1fc&e= >Directeur,
LACITO-CNRS <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__lacito.vjf.cnrs.fr_membres_francois-5Fen.htm&d=DwIFaQ&c=cjytLXgP8ixuoHflwc-poQ&r=xWgwnXzyLjTDtEN1jkc-sliD_cd49k7fc7XSMi_8aeo&m=ymCl1L_HJ5AkF9fapssHPXWyzTYBo52LZCwNogZNsk0&s=9xZgDEJFsxFfuXYsBLxVMvZx2Q7jL_zbR-RRNRP-tfY&e= >, France
Australian National University
<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__researchers.anu.edu.au_researchers_francois-2Da&d=DwIFaQ&c=cjytLXgP8ixuoHflwc-poQ&r=xWgwnXzyLjTDtEN1jkc-sliD_cd49k7fc7XSMi_8aeo&m=ymCl1L_HJ5AkF9fapssHPXWyzTYBo52LZCwNogZNsk0&s=3Ova06OTIYFaR4Du8V9osjSraKEjKV1C4eoSjraJ9MU&e= >, Canberra
Academia page <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__cnrs.academia.edu_AlexFran-25C3-25A7ois&d=DwIFaQ&c=cjytLXgP8ixuoHflwc-poQ&r=xWgwnXzyLjTDtEN1jkc-sliD_cd49k7fc7XSMi_8aeo&m=ymCl1L_HJ5AkF9fapssHPXWyzTYBo52LZCwNogZNsk0&s=11Np-Z7mB3UHBpqzFe6BPuSp1u8FlPlq8iRUB7MqyIU&e= > – Personal
homepage <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__alex.francois.online.fr_&d=DwIFaQ&c=cjytLXgP8ixuoHflwc-poQ&r=xWgwnXzyLjTDtEN1jkc-sliD_cd49k7fc7XSMi_8aeo&m=ymCl1L_HJ5AkF9fapssHPXWyzTYBo52LZCwNogZNsk0&s=tQ9lHf_Efmm7fpkQafO-NkFgxaJt2JIizHsBsVxVOu0&e= >
Les Carnets du LaCiTO <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__lacito.hypotheses.org_&d=DwIFaQ&c=cjytLXgP8ixuoHflwc-poQ&r=xWgwnXzyLjTDtEN1jkc-sliD_cd49k7fc7XSMi_8aeo&m=ymCl1L_HJ5AkF9fapssHPXWyzTYBo52LZCwNogZNsk0&s=B2r5nDAQWiRdsB1G3bY9CGEFjOXz1DvuW-OBEWETcl4&e= >
​Prochainement au LaCiTO​ <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__lacito.hypotheses.org_lacito_calendrier&d=DwIFaQ&c=cjytLXgP8ixuoHflwc-poQ&r=xWgwnXzyLjTDtEN1jkc-sliD_cd49k7fc7XSMi_8aeo&m=ymCl1L_HJ5AkF9fapssHPXWyzTYBo52LZCwNogZNsk0&s=Fv7mhHwluEKmzR4PvqPcZE6SCFDY2r_KglKgs25YKzI&e= >

On 13 September 2017 at 20:46, Martha Ratliff <ac6000 at wayne.edu> wrote:

> 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/20170914/8e499f4b/attachment.html 

More information about the histling-l mailing list