Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Unexpected obstruent loss in initial obstruent–sonorant clusters: an apparent example from Basque*

  • Juliette Blevins (a1) and Ander Egurtzegi (a2)
Abstract

The apparent loss of initial obstruents in Basque borrowings from Romance (e.g. laru ≪ Lat. claru) is striking. While Proto-Basque is generally reconstructed as lacking initial clusters, the expected repair in loans, based on typology, phonology and phonetics, is copy-vowel epenthesis, not obstruent loss. Indeed, there is evidence for a vowel-copy process in Basque in other loans with obstruent–sonorant clusters (e.g. gurutze ≪ Lat. cruce). We suggest that initial obstruent loss before /l/ but not /r/ is related to Romance developments. In the Romance varieties in contact with Basque, /fl pl bl kl gl/ all show evidence of neutralisation to /ʎ/ word-initially. We hypothesise that obstruent loss in words like Basque laru reflects influence from local Romance languages at a time when Basque lacked /ʎ/. In contrast, vowel copy conforming to Basque syllable structure was the norm in Romance loanwords with clusters not affected by this process.

Copyright
Corresponding author
E-mail: jblevins@gc.cuny.edu, egurtzegi@phonetik.uni-muenchen.de.
Footnotes
Hide All
*

An early version of this paper was presented at the CUNY Phonology Forum 2016 Conference on Sonority. We are grateful to the audience there, as well as Phonology reviewers and editors, for comments and corrections. This research has been partially funded by the Endangered Language Initiative of the Graduate Center, CUNY, and, for the second author, by the Spanish MINECO (FFI2016-76032-P; FFI2015-63981-C3-2; FJCI-2014-21348), the Basque Government (IT769/13) and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Symbols used in this paper are as follows: >, < = ‘changes to, from’; ≫, ≪ = ‘borrowed into, from’; *=‘reconstructed form’; **=‘expected, but unattested historical form’.

Footnotes
References
Hide All
Adell Eric (2014). A descriptive account of Spanish loanword phonology in Kaqchikel. Kansas Working Papers in Linguistics 34:4. https://doi.org/10.17161/KWPL.1808.12862.
Alcover Antoni M. (1908–09). Bolletí del diccionari de la llengua Catalana. Vol. 4. Palma de Mallorca: Estampa de ca'n Amengual y Muntaner. Available (August 2017) at https://alcover.iec.cat.
Artiagoitia Xabier (1993). Syllable structure in Modern Basque and in Proto-Basque. In Hualde José Ignacio & de Urbina Jon Ortiz (eds.) Generative studies in Basque linguistics. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: Benjamins. 263287.
Berent Iris (2013). The phonological mind. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Blevins Juliette (1995). The syllable in phonological theory. In Goldsmith John A. (ed.) The handbook of phonological theory. Cambridge, Mass. & Oxford: Blackwell. 206244.
Blevins Juliette (2003). The independent nature of phonotactic constraints: an alternative to syllable-based approaches. In Féry Caroline & van de Vijver Ruben (eds.) The syllable in Optimality Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 375403.
Blevins Juliette (2004). Evolutionary Phonology: the emergence of sound patterns. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Broselow Ellen (1983). Nonobvious transfer: on predicting epenthesis errors. In Gass Susan M. & Selinker Larry (eds.) Language transfer in language learning. Rowley, Mass.: Newbury House. 269280.
Broselow Ellen (1992). Transfer and universals in second language epenthesis. In Gass Susan M. & Selinker Larry (eds.) Language transfer in language learning. Revised edn. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: Benjamins. 7186.
Broselow Ellen (2015). The typology of position-quality interactions in loanword vowel insertion. In Hsiao Yuchau E. & Wee Lian-Hee (eds.) Capturing phonological shades within and across languages. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 292319.
Brown Cecil H. (2009). Vocabulary Zinacantán Tzotzil. In Haspelmath Martin & Tadmor Uri (eds.) World loanword database. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. Available (August 2017) at http://wold.clld.org.
Calabrese Andrea & Leo Wetzels W. (eds.) (2009). Loan phonology. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: Benjamins.
Campbell Lyle (1998). Historical linguistics: an introduction. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
Canfield D. Lincoln (1981). Spanish pronunciation in the Americas. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Churchward C. Maxwell (1940). Rotuman grammar and dictionary. Sydney: Methodist Church of Australasia.
Clements G. N. (1990). The role of the sonority cycle in core syllabification. In Kingston John & Beckman Mary E. (eds.) Papers in laboratory phonology I: between the grammar and physics of speech. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 283333.
Corominas Joan & Pascual José A. (1991–97). Diccionario crítico etimológico castellano e hispánico. 6 vols. Madrid: Gredos.
De Hoz Javier (1981). El euskera y las lenguas vecinas antes de la romanización. In Tovar Antonio, Elissalt Koldo Mitxelena, Allières Jacques, Haritschelhar Jean & Alvarez Enparantza Txillardegi José Luis (eds.) Euskal linguistika eta literatura: bide berriak. Bilbao: Deustuko Unibertsitatea. 2756.
Echenique Elizondo María Teresa (1987). Historia lingüística vasco-románica. Madrid: Paraninfo.
Egurtzegi Ander (2013). Phonetics and phonology. In Martinez-Areta Mikel (ed.) Basque and Proto-Basque: language-internal and typological approaches to linguistic reconstruction. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. 119172.
Egurtzegi Ander (2014). Towards a phonetically grounded diachronic phonology of Basque. PhD dissertation, University of the Basque Country.
Fleischhacker Heidi (2001). Cluster-dependent epenthesis asymmetries. UCLA Working Papers in Linguistics 7: Papers in Phonology 5. 71116.
Fleischhacker Heidi (2005). Similarity in phonology: evidence from reduplication and loan adaptation. PhD dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles.
Goddard Cliff (1992). Pitjantjatjarra/Yankunytjatjara to English dictionary. Alice Springs: Institute for Aboriginal Development.
Gorrochategui Joaquín (1984). Estudio sobre la onomástica indígena de Aquitania. Bilbao: University of the Basque Country.
Gorrochategui Joaquín (1995). The Basque language and its neighbors in antiquity. In Hualde et al. (1995). 3163.
Gorrochategui Joaquín (2002). El área de Bilbao en la antigüedad. In Ortuondo Ana Elejabeitia, Otaegi Juan, Arejita Adolfo, Martínez Carmen Isasi & Etxebarria Nagore (eds.) Bilbao: el espacio lingüístico. Bilbao: University of Deusto. 103120.
Hartman Steven Lee (1974). An outline of Spanish historical phonology. Papers in Linguistics 7. 123191.
Hartman Steven Lee (1985). On opening black boxes: Latin -nge- and -ng'l- in Hispano-Romance. In King Larry D. & Maley Catherine A. (eds.) Selected papers from the 13th linguistic symposium on Romance languages. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: Benjamins. 149162.
Hualde José Ignacio (2003). Segmental phonology. In Hualde José Ignacio & de Urbina Jon Ortiz (eds.) A grammar of Basque. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter. 1565.
Hualde José Ignacio, Lakarra Joseba A. & Trask R. L. (eds.) (1995). Towards a history of the Basque language. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: Benjamins.
Kang Yoonjung (2003). Perceptual similarity in loanword adaptation: English postvocalic word-final stops in Korean. Phonology 20. 219273.
Kang Yoonjung (2011). Loanword phonology. In van Oostendorp Marc, Ewen Colin J., Hume Elizabeth & Rice Keren (eds.) The Blackwell companion to phonology. Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell. 22582282.
Kenstowicz Michael (2007). Salience and similarity in loanword adaptation: a case study from Fijian. Language Sciences 29. 316340.
Lausberg Heinrich (1956–62). Romanische Sprachwissenschaft. 4 vols. Berlin: de Gruyter.
Luthy Melvin J. (1973). Phonological and lexical aspects of Colloquial Finnish. Bloomington: Indiana University.
Malkiel Yakov (1963–64). The interlocking of narrow sound change, broad phonological pattern, level of transmission, areal configuration, sound symbolism: diachronic studies in the Hispano-Latin consonant clusters cl-, fl-, pl- . Archivum Linguisticum 15. 144173. 16. 1–33.
Martinet André (1955). La reconstruction structurale: les occlusives du basque. In Martinet André. Économie des changements phonétiques: traité de phonologie diachronique. Berne: Francke. 524550.
Menéndez Pidal R. (1968). Manual de gramática histórica española. 13th edn. Madrid: Espasa-Calpe.
Michelena Luis (1976). Fonética histórica vasca. 2nd edn. San Sebastián: Diputación de Guipúzcoa.
Michelena Luis (1981). Lengua común y dialectos vascos. Anuario del Seminario de Filología Vasca ‘Julio de Urquijo’ [International Journal of Basque Linguistics and Philology] 15. 291313.
Michelena Luis (1995) The Latin and Romance element in Basque. In Hualde et al. (1995). 137169.
Michelena Luis & Sarasola Ibon (1987–2005). Orotariko Euskal hiztegia. [General Basque dictionary.] 16 vols. Bilbao: Euskaltzaindia.
Mikkola J. J. (1938). Die älteren Berührungen zwischen Ostseefinnisch und Russisch. Helsinki: Suomalais-Ugrilainen Seura.
Oñederra Miren Lourdes (1990). Euskal fonologia: palatalizazioa, asimilazioa eta hots sinbolismoa. Bilbao: University of the Basque Country.
Otero Carlos-Peregrín (1971). Evolución y revolución en romance. Barcelona: Seix Barral.
Parker Stephen G. (2002). Quantifying the sonority hierarchy. PhD dissertation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Penny Ralph (2002). A history of the Spanish language. 2nd edn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Repetti Lori & Tuttle Edward F. (1987). The evolution of Latin pl , bl , fl , and cl , gl in Western Romance. Studi Mediolatini e Volgari 33. 53115.
Scharfe de Stairs Emily F. (ed.) (2009). Tumbalá Ch'ol Dictionary, Chiapas, with dialectal variations from Tila and Sabanilla. 3rd edn. Available (August 2017) at http://www.mexico.sil.org/es/resources/archives/35328.
Schmeiser Benjamin (2009). A gestural account of Latin obstruent ʎ lateral onset cluster realizations in Galego-Portuguese. Textos Seleccionados. XXIV Encontro Nacional da Associação Portuguesa de Linguística. Lisbon: Associação Portuguesa de Linguística. 497509.
Sievers Eduard (1881). Grundzüge der Phonetik, zur Einführung in das Studium der Lautlehre der indogermanischen Sprachen. Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel.
Steriade Donca (1982). Greek prosodies and the nature of syllabification. PhD dissertation, MIT.
Steriade Donca (1999). Alternatives to syllable-based accounts of consonantal phonotactics. In Fujimura Osamu, Joseph Brian & Palek Bohumil (eds.) Item order in language and speech. Prague: Karolinum. 205242.
Steriade Donca (2001). Directional asymmetries in place assimilation: a perceptual account. In Hume Elizabeth & Johnson Keith (eds.) The role of speech perception in phonology. San Diego: Academic Press. 219250.
Turmo Mur ‘Pallasón’ Vicente (2000). Tradizions y cosas de Graus. Graus: Centro de Creación y Cultura del Pirineo.
Tuten Donald N. (2003). Koineization in Medieval Spanish. Berlin & New York: De Gruyter.
Uffmann Christian (2006). Epenthetic vowel quality in loanwords: empirical and formal issues. Lingua 116. 10791111.
Uffmann Christian (2007). Vowel epenthesis in loanword adaptation. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
Uffmann Christian (2015). Loanword adaptation. In Honeybone Patrick & Salmons Joseph C. (eds.) The Oxford handbook of historical phonology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 644665.
Väänänen Veikko (1963). Introduction au latin vulgaire. Paris: Klincksieck.
Vaux Bert & Wolfe Andrew (2009). The appendix. In Raimy Eric & Cairns Charles E. (eds.) Contemporary views on architecture and representations in phonology. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. 101143.
Wichmann Søren (2002). Diccionario analítico del Popoluca de Texistepec. Ciudad Universitaria: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Phonology
  • ISSN: 0952-6757
  • EISSN: 1469-8188
  • URL: /core/journals/phonology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 4
Total number of PDF views: 63 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 481 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 19th December 2017 - 21st February 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.