tiberian phonology, puzzle for peter

peter_kirk at sil.org peter_kirk at sil.org
Fri Aug 6 19:18:31 EDT 1999

Not sure why you've singled me out on this one. But it does look like 
you are making a good case for four different underlying vowels in the 
first syllable of "segholates". But I would need to check the 
environments carefully (e.g. does )EBEN become )FBEN in pause because 
of the aleph? - is the aleph treated as a guttural in pause?). I would 
also want to check the distributions of the pausal forms used for 
diagnosis, as some might be rather rare and I would not want to be 
confused by dialect variations. But in principle I have no reason to 
object to your analysis.

Peter Kirk

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: tiberian phonology, puzzle for peter
Author:  decaen at chass.utoronto.ca at internet
Date:    05/08/1999 13:51

hey peter,

since you easily grasp the principles of phonological analysis, here's 
a teaser to open your mind. ;-)

using standard transcription, and vowels I,",E,A,F,O,U,  schwa :

MELEK:  "king",  P.ESEL  "idol"
how many vocalic phonemes (first syllable only!)?

but forms in major pause!?
MELEK:  , vs.  P.FSEL
how many now?

but closed syllables, unstressed?
MELEK:/MAL:K.       vs     CEDEQ/CID:Q "righteousness" 
P.FSEL/P.IS:L     vs     )FBEN/)AB:N "stone"
how many now? still just one from *a or *i?

and take a guess which pattern is most common, which least (hint, all 
the textbooks take MELEK: as paradigmatic: wrong!).

Dr Vincent DeCaen     <decaen at chass.utoronto.ca>
c/o Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, 4 Bancroft Ave., 2d floor 
University of Toronto, Toronto ON, CANADA, M5S 1A1

Hebrew Syntax Encoding Initiative, www.chass.utoronto.ca/~decaen/hsei/ 

The mind takes to a new idea the way the body takes to microbe: 
It rejects it.  --P.D. Medawar

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