Did Proto-Romanian have "special phonemes"? Cover Image

A avut protoromâna „foneme speciale”?
Did Proto-Romanian have "special phonemes"?

Author(s): Sorin Paliga
Subject(s): Language studies, Phonetics / Phonology, Lexis, Historical Linguistics, Philology
Published by: Editura Universităţii din Bucureşti
Keywords: lryngeal; velar spirant; archaic phonemes; linguistic reconstruction; Proto-Romanian;

Summary/Abstract: The paper reviews the various situations, which allow to postulate that Proto-Romanian did have a specific phoneme, a laryngeal or, perhaps, a velar spirant, conventionally noted as *X. The glossary and the case studies preceding it suggest that there are strong arguments supporting the reconstruction of such a phoneme; vatră, fărâmă, ceafă and buf are analyzed in more detail, but the list is a lot longer. The paper also discusses the situation of Proto-Slavic ch [χ], which – in initial position at least – also witnesses the existence of a ‘special phoneme’ in pre-expansion Slavic. The relationship between the Romanian and the Slavic forms should be understood in the light of old north Thracian and Proto-Romanian relations with Proto-Slavic. These were approached in other works and studies.

  • Issue Year: XLIX/2013
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 139-158
  • Page Count: 20
  • Language: Romanian