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Principles and Methods in Historical Phonology

Principles and Methods in Historical Phonology: From Proto-Algonkian to Arapaho

Copyright Date: 1994
Pages: 208
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  • Book Info
    Principles and Methods in Historical Phonology
    Book Description:

    Picard's methodology has three stages: establishing the sound correspondences between a source language (such as Proto-Algonkian) and a target language (such as Arapaho); exploiting the concept of naturalness in phonological change to the fullest in order to construct working hypotheses as to what the most likely historical processes could have been, and to determine in a nonarbitrary fashion which processes could have taken place simultaneously; and ordering these processes in accordance with the various feeding, bleeding, counterfeeding, and counterbleeding relations that exist between a great many pairs of diachronic processes. Picard applies his theoretical assumptions to a detailed development and analysis of the phonological changes that have taken place between Proto-Algonkian and modern Arapaho. In addition he provides a segment-by-segment derivation of over two hundred lexical items, showing exactly which sound changes have applied in each case.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-6461-9
    Subjects: Linguistics

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)

    • CHAPTER 1 Relative Chronology
      (pp. 3-26)

      The first step in reconstructing the phonological history of a language (not to be confused with the reconstruction of a proto-language) is to take account of the sound correspondences that exist between the two extreme points of the historical period under study. These will be referred to as the source language and target language. Between Proto-Algonkian and Arapaho, for instance, the main correspondences are shown in Table I.

      In the second step, the various correspondences must be viewed as a temporal network of sound changes that have gradually transformed the phonological component of the source language. As pointed out by...

    • CHAPTER 2 The Intrinsic and Historical Order of Changes
      (pp. 27-40)

      The basic claim, as we have seen, is that the natural or intrinsic relations that hold between all of the various pairs of sound changes that have been established can determine the way in which the phonological system of a language has evolved over a certain period of time.J Intrinsic order is always correlative with historical order and appeals to considerations which are external to the language or dialect under investigation are unnecessary unless the relative chronology cannot be determined because specific changes are crucially non-affecting and/or non-affected by other changes.

      In order to uphold such a claim, certain other...


    • CHAPTER 3 The Development of the Proto-Algonkian Glides
      (pp. 43-50)

      A comparison of the Proto–Algonkian sound system with that of contemporary Arapaho fails to reflect the extensive phonological perturbations the latter has undergone,¹ as shown in Table 7. The only essential differences between the two systems are that the segments *1 and *m are absent in Arapaho,² and that Proto-Algonkian has *Š and *ɬ while Arapaho has /θ/and /x/.³ Long vowels are characteristic of both systems, as shown in the following derivation:

      *miiwaɬehkeewa?ɬemwa ‘packhorse’

      bíí noθé eenoox

      Arapaho also differs from PA in that “a distinction must be made between long (two-mora) vowels or combinations of two different vowels...

    • CHAPTER 4 Vowel Harmony and Related Changes
      (pp. 51-63)

      Algonkianists have long recognized the operation of vowel harmony in Arapaho but have traditionally given it short shrift. Michelson’s only comment is that “there is a very complex system of vowel harmony” (1935, 137). Taylor talks of “the operation of rules of vowel harmony as yet not understood” (1967a, 117). Goddard simply says that “it is not likely that a diachronic explanation of Arapaho-Atsina vowel harmony will be possible until the synchronic harmony alterations [sic] have been described” (1974, 108).

      Applegate (1970) was the first, as far as I know, to make any kind of headway in this area, first,...

    • CHAPTER 5 Consonant Clusters
      (pp. 64-75)

      With characteristic terseness, Bloomfield states that in Proto-Algonkian “clusters of two consonants occur medially. They consist of ordinary consonants preceded by obscure elements which we render by arbitrary symbols” (1946, 88). What essentially characterizes these “obscure elements” is that they can either undergo peculiar changes or bring about changes in the cluster-final elements which differ from the more general changes they undergo in other environments. Table 8 shows the correspondences that have been established between Proto-Algonkian consonant clusters and their reflexes in Arapaho (where ‘–’ indicates a lack of data).

      Among the changes involved in the correspondences above which...

    • CHAPTER 6 Deletion Processes
      (pp. 76-82)

      The last group of changes to be considered involves a series of successive deletions, principally in word-final position, which have combined to bring about a gradual and, at times, radical erosion of Proto-Algonkian forms, e.g.,

      aɬemwa ‘dog’


      otečyaahkwa ‘crane’

      hitéθ oo

      aapikohswa ‘mouse’

      hookú ú

      meɬkaɬkwana ‘shin’

      wóx os

      First, it is impossible to find a single form in which the original final vowel has not been deleted in Arapaho. This completely regular development is most probably the result of the two following changes:

      DC 43 *CV# > /Cə#/


      After final-vowel deletion,every type of non-syllabic segment manifested itself...

    • CHAPTER 7 Conclusion
      (pp. 83-174)

      In this study I have tried to show that the relative chronology of any language, and in particular one for which there are no historical records, can best be approximated by formulating hypotheses on phonological developments which are in accordance with certain general principles. Five such principles have been enunciated in the context of the foregoing analysis of Arapaho:

      Sound changes are always minimal, and so can involve no more than one basic phonetic property.

      Two or more sound changes can be collapsed into oneprocess, i. e., can be considered to have taken place simultaneously, if and only if:...

  7. Notes
    (pp. 175-184)
  8. References
    (pp. 185-190)
  9. Index
    (pp. 191-193)