Comments on Uralic historical phonology

Honti, László (2013) Comments on Uralic historical phonology. Acta Linguistica Hungarica, 60 (1). pp. 1-68. ISSN 1216-8076


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In this paper, the author poses three questions of historical phonology and gives explanations that are meant to be rational: 1. With respect to the Hungarian reflexes of Proto-Uralic/Proto-Finno-Ugric/Proto-Ugric word initial *p, *t, and *k, two reasons are suggested for the dual reflexes *p > H f ∼ b and *t > H t ∼ d: (a) the word internal (primary or secondary) voiced consonant triggered the assimilation (that is, voicing) of the initial consonant; (b) subsequently, due to an effort to eliminate homonymy, the closest congener of the initial consonant (that is, its voiced counterpart) replaced the original voiceless stop. It is also discussed why *k does not similarly have dual reflexes (k ∼ g) in Hungarian. 2. Concerning the phonological reality of Proto-Uralic/Proto-Finno-Ugric/Proto-Ugric *δ and *δ́, as well as the potential etymological correspondence of s-initial Finnic words with t-initial words of the other Uralic languages, it is proposed that *∧ and *∧́ should be assumed rather than *δ and *δ́, and the correspondence “Finnic s-∼ other Uralic t-” is explained by positing a PU/PFU *ϑ. 3. Reflexes in present-day Uralic languages of the PU/PFU word internal clusters “*l/*ľ /*r /*j/*δ (= *∧)/*δ́ (= *∧́) + (some vowel +) *m” are explained by the palatalisation and subsequent semivocalisation of the first consonant; the resulting semivowel either remained as it was, or underwent partial assimilation to the other consonant, or it was dropped: “C > Ć > j ≲ Ø ń”.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature / nyelvészet és irodalom > P0 Philology. Linguistics / filológia, nyelvészet
Depositing User: xBarbara xBodnár
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2017 10:29
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2018 23:16

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