4 Misc. Questions

Henry Churchyard churchyh at ccwf.cc.utexas.edu
Thu Sep 30 05:10:09 EDT 1999

> Subject: 4 Misc. Questions
> From: "Joseph Brian Tucker" <music at riverviewcog.org>
> Date: Wed, 29 Sep 1999 16:45:1

> 1. I am looking for some bibliography on the 3 letter reconstructions
> being artifical in BH roots. If the first two radicals are the same
> and the third is different but are connected words isn't the 3
> letter root concept forced?

Yes and no -- the "biliterals" do show somewhat different forms from
the "triliterals" in some forms, but in other cases three consonants
in root positions do appear even in forms derived from biliteral roots
(e.g. _sobhebh_ "turning around", participle).  In theoretical
phonology since the 1980's, linguists have recognized a distinction
between the lexical roots, which may possibly contain only two
featurally-specified consonantal "melodies", and the syllabic or
prosodic templates associated with the various morphological stem
types in which root consonants are embedded.  It is this phonological
embedding (or "autosegmental association") of roots in templates which
can cause a two-consonant root to appear as three consonants in some
cases such as _sobhebh_.

Henry Churchyard   churchyh at ccwf.cc.utexas.edu   http://www.crossmyt.com/hc/

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