In classical Latin, the opposition between voiced and voiceless consonants in syllable coda is neutralised in word internal position, where an obstruent gets the laryngeal feature of the following consonant, but is still active in word final position, as is proved by some minimal pairs (e.g. at ‘but’ / ad ‘to’, quot ‘how many’ / quod ‘what, that’). Nevertheless, the originals of imperial and late antique age display a large fluctuation between final -d and -t. An exam of the deviations from the classical norm attested in inscriptions, ostraka, wood tablets and papyri allows to assume that final devoicing (e.g. sed > set ‘but’) is largely more frequent than voicing (e.g. et > ed ‘and’), even before a word beginning with a vowel or a voiced consonant. Therefore, a final neutralisation, with emergence of the unmarked (voiceless) element of the opposition, is supposed. Since a similar process, but with opposite directionality, is normally reconstructed for prehistoric Latin, a typological change in laryngeal features is presumed within the history of Latin language.

Il consonantismo finale del latino volgare e la storia della lingua latina

Schirru, Giancarlo
2021

Abstract

In classical Latin, the opposition between voiced and voiceless consonants in syllable coda is neutralised in word internal position, where an obstruent gets the laryngeal feature of the following consonant, but is still active in word final position, as is proved by some minimal pairs (e.g. at ‘but’ / ad ‘to’, quot ‘how many’ / quod ‘what, that’). Nevertheless, the originals of imperial and late antique age display a large fluctuation between final -d and -t. An exam of the deviations from the classical norm attested in inscriptions, ostraka, wood tablets and papyri allows to assume that final devoicing (e.g. sed > set ‘but’) is largely more frequent than voicing (e.g. et > ed ‘and’), even before a word beginning with a vowel or a voiced consonant. Therefore, a final neutralisation, with emergence of the unmarked (voiceless) element of the opposition, is supposed. Since a similar process, but with opposite directionality, is normally reconstructed for prehistoric Latin, a typological change in laryngeal features is presumed within the history of Latin language.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11574/208698
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