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78 Phonology To sum up

by Zeev Ben-Hayyim
78  Phonology To sum up, in SH, too, there no longer exists the phonological conditioning which led to the development of all the above mentioned interchanges. It would seem that the interchanges themselves determine the nature of SH far less than TH. Regarding the a/ ä interchange, note that both vowels can appear in the same conditions, e. g., an p , an ] n and possibly even within the boundaries of the very same form, such as  jay, ipyb:  ammäk, lammdk/ ammäk, lämmäk. Indeed, there seems to be a certain tendency to vowel harmonization a... a, a... a, as in  äla rf? y,  älüto vmty — but  alat nty,  alatu inty,  am ay,  ammi etc., but  ammak ( alongside  ammak),  ay τι,  ayyem D n, but  ayya rrnn ( cf. also 6.3.2). This tendency does not, however, under any circumstances be-come a rule or even a custom, for we have encountered  ag ΛΠ, baggak  pra; az ΐ#, bazzak -| Tyn;  ay τι,  ayyat rrn, or bäläm uyhi. Therefore, when SH adopts either of the vowels a or a within the bounda­ries of a word, and even more so, within the boundaries of a certain form or morpheme ( e. g., a or a in the feminine suffix, but dt in its construct state!), SH has taken another step beyond TH in transferring an originally phonological interchange to the realm of morphology. 1.5.2 Diachronic Study 1.5.2.0 In order to grasp correctly the relationship between SH and TH, it is necessary to complement the description of the shifts taking place in the vowel system with a diachronic study: how did the vowels develop from the earliest stage common to both traditions ( and this is not necessarily  Proto- Semitic!) to what actually exists. Two points must not be overlooked: one, what is being compared is an apparently abstract average, i. e., there can never be complete certainty that a given word in the two traditions relates to the very same ori­gin, e. g., a certain nominal pattern or a certain verb form, such as yaqtulu rather than yiqtalu, though this may be very probable; the other, the difference in stress between the two traditions was preceded by a period of equivalence ( 1.4.8). Nevertheless, this does not mean that the stress on each and every word was precisely the same. Regarding the common stage, we assume the existence of three short vowels i, a, u, and three long ones i, ä, ü, and the existence of short vowels in word- final positions both with nouns and with verbs. There is no significance to the question under consideration whether all the qualities of the short vowels existed during the said period, and whether they still had the meanings of their functions in PS. In words of this stage the hyphen following them marks any short vowel. 1.5.2.1 i. Examples: bin-, sim- libb-, bitt-, sila-, libab-, himär-, tihäm-, Chapter Home  | TOC  | Index

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78 Phonology To sum up, in SH, too, there no longer exists the phonological conditioning which led to the development of all the above mentioned interchanges. It would seem that the interchanges themselves determine the nature of SH far less than TH. Regarding the a/ ä interchange, note that both vowels can appear in the same conditions, e. g., an p , an ] n and possibly even within the boundaries of the very same form, such as \\" jay, ipyb: ' ammäk, lammdk/' ammäk, lämmäk. Indeed, there seems to be a certain tendency to vowel harmonization a... a, a... a, as in ' äla rf? y, ' älüto vmty — but ' alat nty, ' alatu inty, ' am ay, ' ammi etc., but ' ammak ( alongside ' ammak), ' ay τι, ' ayyem D\\" n, but ' ayya rrnn ( cf. also 6.3.2). This tendency does not, however, under any circumstances be-come a rule or even a custom, for we have encountered ' ag ΛΠ, baggak \\" pra; az ΐ#, bazzak -| Tyn; ' ay τι, ' ayyat rrn, or bä'läm uyhi. Therefore, when SH adopts either of the vowels a or a within the bounda­ries of a word, and even more so, within the boundaries of a certain form or morpheme ( e. g., a or a in the feminine suffix, but dt in its construct state!), SH has taken another step beyond TH in transferring an originally phonological interchange to the realm of morphology. 1.5.2 Diachronic Study 1.5.2.0 In order to grasp correctly the relationship between SH and TH, it is necessary to complement the description of the shifts taking place in the vowel system with a diachronic study: how did the vowels develop from the earliest stage common to both traditions ( and this is not necessarily \\" Proto- Semitic\\"!) to what actually exists. Two points must not be overlooked: one, what is being compared is an apparently abstract average, i. e., there can never be complete certainty that a given word in the two traditions relates to the very same ori­gin, e. g., a certain nominal pattern or a certain verb form, such as yaqtulu rather than yiqtalu, though this may be very probable; the other, the difference in stress between the two traditions was preceded by a period of equivalence ( 1.4.8). Nevertheless, this does not mean that the stress on each and every word was precisely the same. Regarding the common stage, we assume the existence of three short vowels i, a, u, and three long ones i, ä, ü, and the existence of short vowels in word- final positions both with nouns and with verbs. There is no significance to the question under consideration whether all the qualities of the short vowels existed during the said period, and whether they still had the meanings of their functions in PS. In words of this stage the hyphen following them marks any short vowel. 1.5.2.1 i. Examples: bin-, sim- libb-, bitt-, sila'-, libab-, himär-, tihäm-, << Chapter >> Home | TOC | Index
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