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Appendix viii§c - Morphology

Here is a sample morphology of northeadish and the south germanic language family, beginning with proto-indoeuropean through proto-germanic, adapted from Voyles (and highly simplified). Please bear with me as I work out the chronology of the south germanic changes to produce the particular sound i'm looking for.

Late Proto-IndoEuropean

We start off with a late western dialect of proto-indoeuropean, sometime after the laryngeal changes have occurred.

[Grimm’s Law]
  • Voiced aspirated plosives become unaspirated; voiced unaspirated plosives become unvoiced; unvoiced plosives become continuant.
aspirates bʰ → b dʰ → d
gʰ → g
gʰʷ → gʷ (ev.→ w)
b → p
d → t
g → k
gʷ → kʷ
unvoiced p → f
t → θ (þ)
k → x (ev. h)
kʷ → xʷ (ev. hʷ)

This happens in several theoretical stages, none of which anyone really cares about, but the result is:

C [+obstruent, -voiced] → _______ [+continuant], then
C [+obstruent, +voiced, -aspirated] → _______[-voiced], then
C [+obstruent, +voiced, +aspirated] → _______[-aspirated]

[Verner’s Law]
  • Unvoiced non-initial fricatives become voiced when not immediately followed by a stressed vowel.
f → ƀ (ev. v) þ → đ (ev. d or ð) h → ǥ (ev. g or w)
s → z (ev. r)

[Germanic Word Stress Change]
  • Word stress comes to fall on the root syllable.
  • This is likely a very gradual change that began in early proto-germanic and continued into the late proto-germanic period or even well into the daughter languages, as evidenced by variation of Verner's law in the daughter languages.
[A and O Changes]
  • All instances of ā change to ō. This change completely eliminates long a from the language, but it is later replaced by ŋ-deletion and the ē to ā change (except in east germanic).
  • All instances of o change to a. This change completely eliminates short o from the language.  It is replaced in most germanic languages by a-umlaut and/or lowering of u, but disappears entirely from northeadish.
ā → ō
o → a

[Long Diphthong Shortening]
  • Long vowels are shortened in diphthongs.
V̄V → VV

The above two changes have the result of shortening the inventory of indoeuropean diphthongs from twelve to four:

āi, ai, oi, ōi → ai
au, āu, ou, ōu → au
ei, ēi → ei (ev. ī)
eu, ēu → eu

[iji shortening]
  • All instances of -iji- change to -ī-.
  • Syllabic sonorants l̩ m̩ n̩ r̩ become, respctively, ul, um, un, ur.
[Short Vowel Deletion]
  • Short vowels are deleted after unstressed long vowels.
[Other Changes in Transition from IE to PGmc]
  • dl → ll
  • mr → br
  • nm → mm
  • nw → nn
  • rbm → rm
  • sr → str
  • zm → mm
  • nz → nn
  • Cn → CC (where C=any voiced consonant)

At this point, most of the main changes from indoeuropean to germanic have taken place, and the changes hereafter, while common to most or all germanic dialects, occur in the individual daughter languages or as areal changes.  Most of these changes are applied differently in the daughter languages, with particular contrast between east germanic and the other branches.

[First Umlaut]
  • e → i unless followed by r, h, or hw, and is not the preterite of a reduplicated verb. This rule has many different applications in many different stages in the various dialects.  I gloss over much of it here, as this rule eventually reverses itself in northeadish.
[Mora Loss]
  • Loss of a mora and nasals in unstressed word-final syllables in three rules:
[Coronal Consonant Deletion]
  • Final d, t, or þ is deleted after an unstressed short vowel.
[Unstressed Short Vowel Deletion]
  • Unstressed short non-nasal vowels are deleted word-finally or before z.
[Unstressed Long Vowel Shortening]
  • Unstressed long vowels become short.  Remember, at this point there were no os in Germanic.  Northwest germanic ō was shortened to u while “southeast” germanic ō was shortened to a.
[Nasal Loss]
  • Loss of nasals in short unstressed word-final syllables (am and an → ã → a).
[Diphthong Contraction]
  • Unstressed [ai] becomes [ē].
  • Unstressed [au] becomes [ō].
ai → ē    /    _______
au → ō       [-stressed]

 [Ŋ-Deletion (First Stage)]
  • A short vowel followed by nh becomes long and n is deleted.
Vnh → V̄h

[ē to ā]
  • ē becomes ā when stressed. This does not occur in east germanic. This has a few much more elaborate rules in anglosaxon.  In northeadish this happens in a couple of stages, beginning with all occurrences of ē when stressed, and later all remaining occurrences of ē. However, ē from the diphthong ai remains in the languages as ǣ.
 ē → ā /
then  ē → ā

South Germanic

(That pretty much brings us from IndoEuropean to late ProtoGermanic; nothing new there.  Here it gets interesting. At this point, somewhere around 0 - 50AD, there is a distinct separation between east, northwest, and south germanic. What follows is specific to south germanic. Many of these are also areal changes which affect other germanic languages, though not necessarily in the same way.)

[Expansion of Diphthong Contraction]

This actually illustrates a couple of individual changes, but since i’m pretty sure i'm the only one even remotely interested in them, i’m simplifying this to their final outcome, which includes a certain amount of verschärfung and umlaut, which chronologically happen much later.

ai → ǣ
aiw → æw aij → ǣ(g)
au → ō auw →ū auj → ø̄(ig)
ei → ī* eiw → ew eij → ī(g)
eu → ȳ euw → ȳw euj → ȳ(ig)

* It is likely that ei → ī at some earlier point, possibly even in the transition from proto-indoeuropean to proto-germanic, and may be confused by the unrelated gothic practice of writing ī as ei, after the greek fashion.

[Long Diphthong Shortening with Glides]
  • Long unrounded front vowels are shortened before w.
    • āw → aw
    • ǣw → æw
    • ēw → ew
    • īw → iw (ev. → ew)
[Gemination before J]
  • Stops become geminate after a short vowel when followed by /j/.
C[-continuant]→ CC/_______ j

  • An unstressed vowel in the final syllable causes umlaut of the stressed vowel.
[I Umlaut]
  • i, ī, or j in the final syllable causes:
  • a/ā → æ/ǣ
  • æ/ǣ → i/ī
  • e/ē → i/ī
  • ø̄ → ȳ
  • ō → ø̄
  • u/ū → y/ȳ
[U Umlaut]
  • u, ū, or w (but not wj) in the final syllable causes:
  • ō → ū
[A Umlaut]
  • a or ā in the final syllable causes:
  • i → e
  • ē → ā
  • e → a when followed by r and an unvoiced plosive; otherwise short e is not affected by a-umlaut.
  • Unlike other germanic languages, a-umlaut does not affect back vowels, and hence short o does not return to the language in south germanic as it does through a-umlaut in west, north, and east germanic.
[O Raising]
  • ō in the final syllable causes:
  • ō → ū
[E Raising]
  • ē causes i-umlaut only in the past subjunctive of verbs.
[Holzmann’s Law/Verschärfung]

North and east germanic have their own variations on verschärfung, sharpening,  or Holzmann’s Law. Verschärfung does not occur in west germanic. South germanic undergoes a slightly different type of sharpening, in which the glide (w or j) precedes the velar consonant as well as follows it. You may think of it in simplified fashion using the following examples of gemination (ww and jj): -ww- → -wʔw- → -wγw- → -wgw-; -jj- → -jʔj- → -jγj- → -jgj-. Later, the non-geminate combinations and -gg-, below, followed this pattern by assimilation.

[W Sharpening]
  • gg, gw, or ww → wgw (ev. ʒ)
  • gwj, wj → wgwj (ev. ʒ plus i-umlaut)
  • Northeadish uses the character ʒ to represent the sharpened w in its various permutations.
[J Sharpening]
  • gj, jj → jgj (ev. jg plus i-umlaut)
    • The combination of a preceding vowel + jg has various permutations:
      • ajg, ājg, æjg, and ǣjg → ǣg
      • ejg and ējg → ēg
      • ijg and ījg → īg
      • ōjg and ø̄jg → ø̄ig
      • ujg → yjg
      • ūjg, yjg and ȳjg → ȳig
[Coronal Consonant Assimilation of S]
  • Non-strident coronal consonants become s when followed by t or st. ← This may occur a lot earlier in the timeline, before the split of the dialects in proto-germanic.  This mainly affects the second person singular of present and preterite verbs and the superlative of adjectives:
  • dt, þt, tt, dst, þst, tst → st.
[Velar Stopping]
  • Velar stopping of h occurs before s in radical forms.
  • This does not cross word-internal morpheme boundaries, i.e. s must be part of the root.
  • hs → ks e.g fuhsaz → fucs, but þu fanhes → þū fǣhst, not þū fǣcst.
  • It is possible that there is also velar stopping of continuant g at this point as well, but as all gs later undergo this process or disappear, it is impossible to know.
[Obstruent Changes]

This rule encompasses several smaller rules, and is largely simplified.
  • Initial voiced obstruents become stops. (b → b, d → d, ɡ → g)
  • All remaining instances of g become stops. (ɡ → g)
  • Intervocalic b and d become continuants. (b → v, d → ð)
    • Later, the above rule also occurs in proximity to sonorants and g. (e.g. bregdan → bregðɴ,      skuldum → sculðм)
    • This does not affect the geminates -bb- and -dd-. (e.g. abjam → æbba → æb, not ævf.)
[Geminate Simplification]
  • Geminates collapse.
    • Obstruents: bb → b, pp → p, ff → f, dd → d, tt → t, þþ → þ, gg → g, kk → k, hh → h.
    • Sonorants: ll → l, rr → r, mm → m, nn → n.
      • Geminate liquids (ll, rr) that are followed by syllabics do not collapse together with the syllabic as with singular liquids, e.g. kwelan → qeln but kwellan → qelɴ.
[Nasal Deletion of G]
  • Germanic ng (/ŋg/ or /ŋγ/) becomes ŋ in all instances except when followed by w.
[Expansion of First Umlaut]
  • i → e whenever followed by l, r, h, or hw.  Later,
  • i → e when the following syllable contains a non-high vowel (i.e. e, a, or o).  Later,
  • i → e when the following syllable contains u.
  • To simplify the above: i → e when immediately followed by l, r, h, or hw, or whenever not followed by a syllable containing i or j.)
[Stressed Final Vowel Lengthening]
  • All remaining final vowels are lengthened when stressed except for a.
    • sa → sa
    • si → sī, þu → þū
  • z → r in all instances.
  • ur → ru in all instances except:
    • after a sonorant or
    • when word- or morpheme boundary-final.
  • wur → vru only when word-initial. (Cf. inf. verpɴ → pret. vrupм, but inf. ænðverpɴ → pret. ænþwurpм)
  • ar → ra when followed by l or s. (need to expand on this...)
[W to V]
  • Initial w becomes v before unrounded front vowels, l, and r, except after a velar consonant.
w→v /C[-back]o_______V[-back,-round] or C[+sonorant -nasal]

I may expand this rule to include all obstruents [e.g. sw, tw, dw, þw], creating a rule that would look something like this:

w→v /##_______V[-back, -round] or C[+sonorant -nasal]

[Dʀ to Ðʀ]
  • d becomes ð before syllabic r (ʀ).
  • Cf. late old english stop-fricative alternation before putatively syllabic resonants.
  • (Is this rule redundant after the obstruent change rule above?)
[Short Unstressed Vowel Deletion]
  • A short unstressed vowel is deleted after a single consonant when followed by a stressed syllable.
[Expansion of W-Verschärfung]
  • The labiovelar combinations kw and hw assimilate the secondary glide w in circumstances similar to those of sharpened w.
  • All of these combinations are represented in the orthography by individual characters whose pronunciation differs greatly according to context. (See Orthography, §4 for details.)
[Final Unstressed Syllable Shortening]

This is a hyper-oversimplification of several extensions of Mora Loss, and mainly just shows the final outcomes of several rules.
  • Germanic -ōn remains as -a:
    • When preceded by a stop, and liquid following a stop, or s.
  • Final u and au are shortened to -a.
  • All remaining instances of i are lowered to e or deleted.
  • Subjunctive endings in ē or ī remain as a, but continue to cause i-umlaut.
  • Adjective endings in -iga, -ega, or -aga are shortened to -ag, but continue to cause i-umlaut.
    • Adverbs derived from such adjectives take the ending -ega.
  • Adjectives ending in a form of -līc become -lec. Adverbs derived therefrom take -līca.
  • Verb infinitive endings
    • Remain as -n after a vowel or non-geminate liquid.
    • Remain as -ɴ in all other cases.
  • Singular endings for strong nouns remain:
    • No ending for nominative.
    • Genitive ending of -s or -as.
    • Dative ending of -a.
    • No ending for accusative.
  • Plural endings for strong nouns remain:
    • Nominative ending of -ʀ.
    • Genitive ending of -a.
    • Dative ending of -м.
    • Accusative ending of -ɴ.
  • Singular endings for weak nouns remain:
    • No ending for nominative.
    • Genitive ending of -ɴs or -nas.
    • Dative ending of -na.
    • Accusative ending of -ɴ.
  • Plural endings for weak nouns remain:
    • Nominative ending of -nʀ.
    • Genitive ending of -na.
    • Dative ending of -nм.
    • Accusative ending of -nɴ.
[Final Obstruent Devoicing]
  • Final voiced continuants are devoiced unless occurring after a voiced obstruent.
    • Final devoiced -v is transcribed as -vf.
    • Final devoiced -ð is transcribed as -ðþ.
    • Final devoiced -s is transcribed as -s.