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Structural analogy in language and its limits [Contrast and analogy v.2]

Structural analogy in language and its limits [Contrast and analogy v.2]

John Anderson 44 2.4

John Anderson 44 2.4 Extrasegmentals: umlaut And we find that umlaut processes in phonology also have a plausible syntactic analogy. I choose to illustrate umlaut from the pre-history of Old English (henceforth OE), despite the increase in speculation necessitated by the use of reconstructed forms, because the historical phenomena involved will lead on rather directly to a final remark on analogies. But, for instance, similar phenomena are discussed in relation to Djingili by van der Hulst & Smith (1985). Indeed, what follows is partly based on suggestions made there, particularly in their §4, where they suggest that umlaut in Djingili involves the spread of a feature associated lexically with a suffix. In Djingili, an extrasegmental i feature associated with a suffix spreads to unspecified vowel positions, as (schematically) in (98.a), as well as being realised in the suffix itself; (98.a) shows the effect of adding the stative singular suffix to the (unspecified) stem which otherwise (in the absence of an extrasegmental {i}) appears as galal: (98) a. Umlaut in Djingili galal ‘branch’ sg + stative sg ji ⇒ gilil7i {C}{V}{C}{V}{C} {C}{V}{C}{V}{C} – {i}({C}{V}) b. {V{ }} ⇒ {V{a}} It may be that this proceeds, as with Finnish harmony, via the accentual head. Vowels that are not filled in by an extrasegmental, undergo the default (98.b). With i-umlaut in Germanic not all the umlauted vowels are unspecified; in this respect the process is more like canonical harmony (as described above). We can illustrate the effects of i-umlaut in OE in the second forms in each of (99) compared with the first: 26 (99) a. burg ‘city’ – byrig ‘city’ dative sg b. ofost ‘haste’ – efstan ‘hasten’ c. cwæl ‘died’ – cwellan ‘to-kill’ d. faran ‘go’ – færþ ‘goes’ All of these are reconstructed as having a suffix containing {i} which ‘triggered’ the umlaut reflected in these spellings; I interpret the {i} as extrasegmental. The {i} is ‘spread’ to the root vowel, which I take to involve, as in Finnish harmony, its being associated with the accented (and in these particular cases, transitive) vowel, as in (100): (100) pre-OE i-umlaut : : {V} | {V{}} ..... ({i}(.....({V} The extrasegmentality of {i} is again indicated by its placement outside the brackets in (100). Derivatively, the suffixal {i} is apparently associated within the suffix itself with

45 Structural analogy in language, and its limits either an unspecified vowel position (as in e.g. (99.a)) or an empty onset (as in e.g. the source of (99.d), *[kwæljan]). The ‘effect’ of (100) is to attach the extrasegmental {i} of the suffix to the accentual head, so that it is manifested in any base/stem vowel (any vowel within the accentual domain) that contains either u or is substantively unspecified (as again indicated by the angles of optionality around the u); combination of the extrasegmental with segmental vowels is expounded either by ‘fronting’ (99.a-c) or ‘raising’ (99.d) one step towards {i}. Forms like gædeling ‘companion’ that are reconstructed as having a back round vowel in the unstressed syllable preceding the i-bearing suffix (cf. Old Saxon gaduling) are usually interpreted as having undergone ‘double umlaut’ (e.g. Campbell 1959: §203), though the apparently reduced second vowel comes to be spelled e in OE. This follows from the formulation in (100): the vowel in question falls within the accentual domain, and thus will manifest (if eligible) the extrasegmental (i). The front rounded vowels that result from i-umlaut in the history of the forms on the right in (99.a-b) unrounded subsequently, rather early in the case of (99.b), as reflected in the typical spelling, rather later in the case of (99.a), where y spellings persist through much of OE. There do occur early spellings for the umlaut of the vowel of (99.b) with oi or oe (Oidilualdo (name), doehter ‘daughter’ dative sg, for instance – see Campbell 1959: §196, Hogg 1992: §5.77), as well as ui for the high vowel (Campbell 1959: §199, Hogg 1992: §2.18), which are usually interpreted (see particularly Hogg 1992: §2.18) as evidence for the postulated original outputs of i-umlaut, i.e. respectively mid and high front rounded vowels. I reconstruct the (underspecified) pre-i-umlaut pre-OE vowel system as in (101.a), which also indicates the usual spellings of un-umlauted descendants of the vowels in the system: (101) pre-umlaut pre-OE system of short monophthongs a. {i} ‘i’ {u} ‘u’ {i, } ‘e’ {u, } ‘o’ { , } ‘æ’ { } ‘a’ b. {i} ‘i’ {u} ‘u’ {i;a } ‘e’ {u,a} ‘o’ {a;i } ‘æ’ { a} ‘a’ The asymmetrical fully-specified system is given as (101.b). In one respect, the asymmetry of (101.b) is evident from inspection of the system itself: there is no grave partner to (a;i}, given that realisationally (u,a} pairs with {i;a} – it is redundantly {u;a}. But the system is also asymmetrical with respect to the corresponding long/intransitive system which lacks a congener of short {a}, as argued in Colman (2003) and Anderson (forthcoming), which present detailed analyses of i-umlaut as it effects the various vowel subsystems in Old English (long/short/pre-nasal, diphthongal). 27 I again follow Anderson & Durand (1988a,b, 1993) in associating these asymmetries with non-specification, in this case of two (short) vowels, one simplex the other involving a combination. The contrast between the unspecified (compound and simplex) vowels, represented by ‘æ’/’a’, is marginal, being

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