Comments on Uralic Historical Phonology Cover Image

Comments on Uralic Historical Phonology
Comments on Uralic Historical Phonology

Author(s): László Honti
Subject(s): Language studies, Phonetics / Phonology, Finno-Ugrian studies
Published by: Akadémiai Kiadó
Keywords: Proto-Uralic; Proto-Finno-Ugric; etymology; phoneme system; reconstruction;

Summary/Abstract: 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 *D, 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 *2 and *´2 should be assumed rather than *δ and *D, 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 (= *2)/*D (= *´2) + (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 > 0/ /ń”.

  • Issue Year: 60/2013
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 1-68
  • Page Count: 68
  • Language: English