Saturday, February 23, 2019

More Language Questions on Quora

Language questions on quora · More Language Questions on Quora

Which numbers replace which letters in Proto-Indo-European?
Hans-Georg Lundahl, amateur linguist
Answered 9m ago
One other man guessed you are asking of “the sounds represented by symbols h₁, h₂, h₃ and so on”

I’ll go with that. On the theory or one explicitation of it, h₁ would be normal h, the unvoiced version of any adjacent vowel or, lacking such, of ö, h₂ would be ach-laut, also unvoiced, and h₃ would be voiced (for once) version of it, with added labialisation.

The reason you write h₁, h₂, h₃ is that this is not definitely agreed fact, and these symbols are useful standins, in case someone else would come up with other sound values.

So, H1 leaves a following e as e, H2 makes it an a, H3 makes it an o, and they all disappear.

H1e > e H1a > a H1o > o
H2e > a H2a > a H2o > o
H3e > o H3a > o H3o > o

If the laryngeal (technical name for these) comes after vowel instead of before, they also make the e longer (long vowels are marked with following :).

eH1 > e: aH1 > a: oH1 > o:
eH2 > a: aH2 > a: oH2 > o:
eH3 > o: aH3 > o: oH3 > o:

A N D if there is no vowel next, they become e, a, o, like this (C=any consonant):

CH1C > CeC, CH2C > CaC, CH3C > CoC

These formulas are closer to solid fact (they aren’t solid fact even themselves) than identification with h, χ, γw.

One reason to have H3 as γw, voiced, is, some unvoiced C become voiced next to H3.

Note, all this is a theory on exactly how certain words none of which contain any proven different H1, H2, H3 in any language, while Hittite version of one or two of these is h (whatever that was), came to have the exact relations that they have between languages of the family today.

One more thing, one theory related to this one says that a did not exist in Proto-Indo-European apart from H2.

Would a Latin speaker from the beginning of the Roman Empire understand a speaker from the end of the Roman Empire and vice versa?
Hans-Georg Lundahl, knows Latin
Answered just now
Written Latin, rather easily. That’s why Latin written language is conservative, so later readers can understand earlier writers.

Especially from Caeasar’s time on. From Punic Wars or just after, with Plautus or Ennius, there would be some gap.

On the pronunciation side, arguably it would be at least as difficult as for a Swede to understand Danish. Prounciation changed, and the most radically changed pronunciations are not taught when teaching Latin, they are more relevant for understanding how French and Spanish arose (Iordanes who wrote in Spain and Gregory of Tours who wrote in France are best examples of Latin written as wrotten form of this pronunciation). Btw, we are not concerned with end of West Empire, or supposed such, we are more concerned with beginning of Carolingian one. The date 800 led to a “language divorce”.

Before : traditional pronunciation of Latin was given traditional spelling of Latin.
After the whole process : traditional pronunciation of Latin was spelled with a new spelling, as Provençal or French, traditional spelling, or a bit more arcvhaic, was now spelling of an archaising, restored pronunciation.

476, 4th September, when Romulus Augustulus is deposed, did not mark any linguistic revolution. 800 - 813 did, at the end of which part of above process was completed : written Latin then had both a popular/local and a learned/international pronunciation.

If someone is perfectly fluent in multiple languages and gets amnesia is it possible to forget they know the languages but still be able to speak and understand them?
Hans-Georg Lundahl, amateur linguist
Answered just now
Probably yes.

They would be amnesiac about learning, but rediscover fluency.

Can a dead language be reconstructed from the substratum influence it imparted upon other speeches?
Hans-Georg Lundahl, amateur linguist
Answered 7m ago
In some linguistic aspects, those that are preserved in other languages as substratum.

For those who count Greek as descended from Proto-Indo-European rather than Indo-Europeanised in an Indo-European Sprachbund, “thalassa” is substrate from pre-Greek. According to this theory (the first), words in -tta / -ssa and some other ones (-ssos, -enai, -nthos) come from the pre-Greek language. So, you have reconstructed three, four endings from toponymy, along with a few roots.

Other option is of course, “thalassa” (or previous versions of word) always belonged to Greek and Indo-European traits of Greek were either borrowed from Greek to other IE, or from other to Greek.

The bottom line, languages can be reconstructed depending on two factors, the one is, how much trace they left, the other is, where they were related to the preserved languages. And that latter is sometimes a guess.

No comments: