Bonus Material 2017

A little recap of history: Freelance Reconstruction, the blog you’re currently reading, [1] was originally started as a Tumblr microblog. It turned out though that my blogging style needs a sturdier framework, and for several years now, I’ve been happy to be based on WordPress instead.

This much some old readers may recall. However I never have gotten much into doing quick-paced community engagement blogging on here, in part indeed due to the heavier-duty software. And since I still hang out on Tumblr for unrelated reasons, I’ve also found it useful to have an outlet to comment on things related to linguistics that come up in there.

Thus, enter a new, more casual linguistics sideblog: This has been running for a bit over a year by now, but I don’t think I’ve mentioned anything about it earlier on here. Perhaps I should also request that anon asks be redirected there instead of the old defunct version of this blog?

Here is also a list of some posts on there that might be of interest to the readers on here as well.

1. Original blog posts and commentary on topics:

— on the structure and history of Finnish:

— on Uralic linguistics in general:

— on phonological fun facts and typology:

— other stuff:

2. Links to other blogs, articles etc. without much additional insights of my own:

[1] I’ve seen this blog occasionally linked under the name “Protouralic”, but to be exact, that is only my blog’s URL, not the title. The discrepancy is mainly since I can foresee maintaining this blog long enough that I will no longer be doing freelance reconstruction… It remains to be seen what the blog will be renamed at that point, though.

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12 comments on “Bonus Material 2017
  1. j. says:

    Additionally, people who read comments on blogs might be interested in checking out an ongoing mini-debate on linguistic classification that I also participate in, over at the Languagehat post Origins of the Japanese language.

  2. David Marjanović says:

    Hey! It’s 1 am, and I stayed up late yesterday!

  3. David Marjanović says:

    phonemic syllable breaks in Finnish – I find nothing mysterious about vowel clusters, including sequences of identical vowels that don’t contract to a long vowel. All over (at least) Central and South Bavarian, /aˈɛi/, /iˈɛa/ and /aˈɛia/ – each with as many syllables as vowels, none with inserted glottal stops or anything – are grammatical near-sentences.

    sisaruksetGeschwister! “Siblings” (rarely also as a backformed singular) formed as a collective from “sister”. Gebrüder is obsolete and only ever meant specifically “brothers” AFAICT.

    flap = one-contact trill – no! The American flap sounds rather different from the one-contact trills scattered over the world, even the one used for intervocalic /r/ in early-20th-century RP. It isn’t articulated the same way either.

    Pronoun borrowing in colloquial Vietnamese – also Thai (me, you) for the same reason.

  4. j. says:

    flap = one-contact trill – no! The American flap sounds rather different from the one-contact trills scattered over the world,

    That’s the point: the American English allophone of /t/ is not a flap, but rather a tap (if we define “flap” as a single-contant trill vs. “tap” as an overshort plosive — apparently confusion on which would be which is common).

    • David Marjanović says:

      I’d say these are three different things, not two; in the American /t d/ allophone, the tongue flaps past the alveolar ridge instead of staying there and building pressure. Admittedly, I don’t know if overshort plosives really exist.

  5. David Marjanović says:

    Forgot yesterday: deriving the Proto-Iranian prevocalic *f *θ *x directly from *pH *tH *kH by the usual preconsonantal fricativization is phonetically implausible, no matter whether *H was something like [x] or something like [h]. Rather, voiceless aspirates becoming fricatives may be an argument for dating the loss of voiced aspiration earlier than the fricativization of the voiceless aspirates.

  6. Crom daba says:

    Another problem is that Saka doesn’t fricativize *TH clusters, instead it has voiceless aspirates, Balochi and Wakhi also have voiceless stops in this position, although it might be later spirant hardening in the case of Balochi (and Wakhi is possibly related to Saka).

    • David Marjanović says:

      How were the fricatives written in Saka?

      • j. says:

        As Brahmi script aspirates, as far as I know (also, /tsʰ tʂʰ/ as ‹ts kṣ›).

        Kümmel has a proposal that, before the general loss of voiced aspirates, there was an “aspiration throwback” change where *T-NDʰ > *Tʰ-ND. This at least would require the fricativization of *Tʰ, which would be surely also the best routing for *TH.

  7. Crom daba says:

    On further review of Bailey’s dictionary, it seems unlikely that Saka aspirates are retentions as Lubomir Novak states. I’m not sure how to explain words with /ch/ though, maybe Indic loans or secondary aspiration.

  8. David Marjanović says:

    I forgot my favorite example of a phonemic syllable break! It’s a minimal pair in most Standard German accents: Karl /ˈkaːl̩/, kahl /kaːl/.

    Unfortunately Charles the Bald doesn’t exhibit it, due to adjective declension: Karl der Kahle.

  9. David Marjanović says:

    kaali – talking about German opens a can of Pieris caterpillars! There’s a lot of regional variation. In Austria, Kohl is specifically Savoy cabbage, which is called Wirsing in northern Germany, plus lots of other names elsewhere. Brussels sprouts are Kohlsprossen (pl.) or sometimes Sprossenkohl (sg.), cauliflower is Karfiol (final stress), and kale remains largely unknown. White and red cabbage end in -kraut rather than -kohl, same pattern as for Sauerkraut (Sauerkohl far enough north).

    Also, sour cherries are Sauerkirschen down north, but Weichseln in Austria.

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