4. The Indo-European Language Family and Proto-Indo-European: Porovnání verzí

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'''1. Speculate on why it makes sense to reconstruct a phonologically balanced system (p.116).'''''Text kurzívou''
 
  
Phonological systems tend towards structural balance, as evidenced by the pairing of voiced and voiceless consonants or front and back vowels. Therefore, reconstructing a phonologically balanced system would make a language acquire sounds to fill gaps and eliminate sounds that cause assymetries.
 
 
'''2) Consider the 3 types of typological classification presented in the book and their respective foci. How is each of the classifications a product of its time and place? '''
 
* 1) ''Based on the number of morphemes per word''
 
 
** from early 19th century
 
** recognizes following types of languages:
 
*** 1) isolating language
 
**** generally has 1 morpheme per word
 
**** words do not vary their form; use no affixes; frequently monosyllabic
 
**** heavy reliance on word order
 
**** Vietnamese
 
 
*** 2) agglutinating language
 
**** several morphemes per word
 
**** every word consists of a root and a number of affixes
 
**** each morpheme remains distinct and identifiable
 
**** 1 meaning expressed per morpheme
 
**** Turkish
 
 
*** 3) inflecting language
 
**** a number of morphemes per word, root + affixes, as well
 
**** morphemes may be fused, modified, irregular (x agglutinating)
 
**** each affix expresses a number of different meanings
 
**** Latin
 
 
** difficulty with this method = assumes a progression from a “primitive” isolating language to a more sophisticated agglutinating type to a most “advanced” inflecting type
 
*** independent words may develop into affixes and separate affixes into inflections BUT there is nothing primitive about isolating languages
 
**** there is even evidence of languages changing in the opposite direction:
 
***** ENGLISH (formerly highly inflected, now shows more agglutinating and isolating characteristics)
 
 
* 2) ''broader type proposed by Edward Sapir in 1921 in book “Language”''
 
** 3 distinctions: analytic, synthetic, polysynthetic
 
*** 1) analytic language
 
**** Modern English
 
**** does not combine inflectional morphemes, and if so, only a little
 
**** grammatical relations indicated by WO and function words  (only to a limited extent by affixing)
 
 
*** 2) synthetic language
 
**** expresses grammatical relations primarily by affixing
 
**** agglutinating and inflecting languages count as synthetic
 
 
*** 3) polysynthetic language
 
**** combines a large number of morphemes into a single word, but keeps the morphemes distinct
 
 
** Sapir sees this classification useful not for classifying languages but for defining changes in them
 
*** the major movement in the ENGLISH language is a movement from synthetic to analytic
 
 
* 3) ''a recent typological classification''
 
** based on the order of elements in the sentence – the position of the subject, verb, and object
 
** languages fall primarily into 3 basic types – SVO, SOV, VSO
 
*** 3 other types, much rarer – VOS, OSV, OVS
 
 
** other WO tendencies arise from the basic order of O and V (S’s not as important typologically)
 
*** - VO x OV -> prepositions x postpositions, suffixes x prefixes,...
 
 
* MAJOR DIFFICULTY WITH ALL THE SCHEMES = there is no such thing as a “pure” type – all are mixed or inconsistent
 
** e.g. Modern English – exhibits features of isolating, agglutinating, and inflecting languages at the same time
 
*** WO – English appears to be quite consistently VO, but it goes against VO tendencies by typically placing ADJ and genitives before nouns (the large house, the table’s leg), but there exist other, periphrastic phrases ( the house at the corner, the leg of the table)
 
 
* PRODUCTS OF ITS TIME AND PLACE
 
** given that the first two classifications seem to be somewhat related, their difference lies in rejecting the puristic view of isolating languages as primitive and opting for a more modern version of a practically identically-focused typology (the number of morphemes)
 
** the last, recent typology is focused differently (syntactically rather than morphologically)
 
 
'''3) Explain the difference bw genetic and typological classification as well as bw the typological classifications themselves'''
 
* ''typological classification'' = based on particular structural features found in languages (with no regard to the derivation of the languages)
 
** typologically related languages resemble one another structurally
 
 
* ''genealogical (genetic) classification'' = employs the metaphor of the “family tree” and is based on the common origin of and historical  relations among languages
 
** it may exhibit many differences
 
** it is more useful for historical work than typological classification
 
 
* geographic proximity is not a factor in either classificatory system
 
* the differences between the typological classifications are specified in the answer to question n.2
 
 
'''4) Classify English genetically and typologically'''
 
* ''typologically'': agglutinating and inflecting characteristics / analytic / SVO
 
 
* ''genealogically'': low-branch West Germanic branch (of Indo-European languages)
 
 
'''5) Define the terms: ease of articulation, perceptual clarity, spelling pronunciation, hypercorrection, overgeneralization, reanalysis, proto-language, cognate and ablaut'''
 
* ease of articulation
 
** the speaker exerts the least effort in articulating sounds, leading to assimilation of neighboring sounds, omissions, clipped forms
 
** one of the unconscious internal causes of change
 
 
* perceptual clarity
 
** one of the unconscious internal causes of change
 
** the hearer requires that sounds be maximally distinct
 
** works against the ease of articulation
 
 
* spelling pronunciation
 
** one of the conscious internal causes of change
 
** the speaker pronounces a word as it is written rather than it is conventionally pronounced
 
 
* hypercorrection
 
** one of the conscious internal causes of change
 
** the speaker may correct a mistake which is not in fact a mistake
 
*** e.g. when speaker wants to avoid North American flapping in words such as voter, he may pronounce the word cheddar wrongly
 
 
* overgeneralization
 
** one of the conscious internal causes of change
 
** the speaker overgeneralizes a linguistic rule, applying it in contexts where it does not hold (prefix “pro-” usually pronounced “prou” and so he might pronounce it “prou” everywhere, even in places where it is pronounced “pro”)
 
 
* reanalysis
 
** one of the conscious internal causes of change
 
** language users develop a new understanding of the structure of certain phrases
 
** e.g. the phrase “according to him” originated as a participle “according” accompanied by a PP “to him” – reanalyzed as consisting of a complex preposition “according to” and an object, “him”
 
 
* proto-language
 
** a single common source of a group of genetically related languages
 
 
* cognates
 
** forms of the same word existing independently in different languages;
 
** direct continuations from a single original word in PIE; (Skt. raja, Lat. rex, OE rice, PIE *reg = KING)
 
** words in different languages that share a common ancestor
 
 
* ablaut
 
** change in the root vowel of a word, which indicates a change in meaning or grammatical function (ex. sing/sang/sung)
 
 
'''6) Explain the process of internal reconstruction and the comparative method'''
 
* one begins the comparative method with languages thought to be sister, the more archaic the better, and focuses on the oldest recorded forms
 
* one collects sets of cognates – forms of the same word existing independently in different languages, and eliminates them from the borrowings, taking into account the possible realizations of sound changes and reflexes of sounds
 
* once cognate sets are established, the ''task of reconstruction'' ''begins''
 
** “sound correspondences” are traced – reflexes of an original sound in the parent language
 
** the original sound is established and finally it has to be determined whether it could have existed in the phonological system of the proto-language
 
** the result is a hypothesis about the structure and vocabulary of a proto-language
 
7''') How do you recognize a cognate from a borrowing?'''
 
* borrowed words tend not to be part of the core vocabulary
 
* borrowings tend to be identical/close in phonetic form to the original word (regal/reg-)
 
* when the object was added to the culture at the same time as the word (bagel, tomato)
 
* if attested late (the 1st written occurrence is late), it tends to be a borrowing
 
 
'''8) Explain the phonetic plausibility (p. 114)'''
 
* the likelihood of sound change going in one direction rather than another
 
* how plausible it is that a sound change is going to have this particular direction (probably derived from experience and previous data)
 
* needs to be considered in the process of reconstruction of a proto-language, in the part where the “sound correspondences” are traced
 
 
'''9) How is ablaut related to the accentual system in Proto-Indo-European (p. 118)'''
 
* accentual system of PIE is a “free accent”
 
** the accent falls on different syllables in different words, and it can even move from one syllable to another within the same word (depending on the inflectional/derivational endings carried by the root)
 
* ablaut = change in the root vowel of a word, which indicates a change in meaning or grammatical function (ex. sing/sang/sung)
 
* BOTH aspects (ablaut and the free accentual system) are related to grammatical functions (derivation, inflection)
 
 
'''10) How can the society and homeland of the Indo-Europeans be described on purely linguistic grounds?''' 
 
* Society:
 
** societal structure of the gods resembled that on earth
 
*** patriarchal, chief god was a father figure
 
*** priests, seers, prayers and incantations, rituals, libations, offering to the gods
 
*** male head of the tribe of family – patrilineal and patrilocal society
 
**** patrilineal = descent traced through the male line
 
**** patrilocal = wife came to live with her husband’s family
 
 
** terms for the family of the husband, no words for relatives on the wife’s side
 
** husband referred to as master
 
** household = social unit
 
*** wooden houses built around a central hearth, entered through double doors
 
*** grouped in villages (= seat of a tribe / clan / family), enclosed/fortified, on hilltops
 
 
** agricultural society
 
*** raised and ground grains, cultivated crops, yoked animals for plowing, sowed seed in furrows, harvested crops using a sickle
 
*** kept dogs and domesticated animals (cows, sheep, goats, swine, NOT chickens or rabbits), used meat and milk – wealth measured in livestock, esp. cattle
 
*** domestic skills and tools advanced
 
**** spun wool, wove cloth, sewed clothing
 
**** cooked and baked
 
***** ate apples, milk, butter, cheese, meat, fish
 
***** season with salt, sweetened with honey; also used honey to brew a fermented beverage, mead
 
 
**** used bow, arrow, axe, but NOT sword
 
**** worked various metals (gold, silver, copper, bronze)
 
**** had a means of transportation over water (ship poled / rowed, NOT sailed)
 
***** walked and rode horses
 
 
**** measured year in agricultural terms – growing seasons, life cycle of animals, weather
 
***** fall = time of harvest
 
 
**** measure time according to the lunar month, named Sun and other stars
 
**** oriented themselves in terms of natural phenomena 
 
***** east = shining, dawn; west = evening
 
***** naming directions -> faced east (south associated with the right and north with the left – left unlucky, taboo)
 
 
**** counted using a decimal system
 
***** '''numbers 1-10''' '''show close parallels in daughter languages, easily reconstructed'''
 
***** also a counting system based on 12
 
 
**** no common term for commerce, but bought humans as slaves or redeemed them from imprisonment
 
**** words for “stealing” and “thief”
 
**** used a legal system – justice meted out orally
 
**** principle of reciprocity, importance placed on exchange, compensation, restitution, hospitality, oath-making and gift-giving
 
**** '''features of their social structure preserved in daughter societies '''
 
***** '''literature of the Greeks (Homer), Germanic peoples (Beowulf, Old Icelandic sagas), oral poetry part of PIE society'''
 
***** '''a special, very rich vocabulary'''
 
 
* Homeland:
 
** familiar with snow, cloudy skies, thunder (words for rain differ)
 
** knew about boggy terrain, uncultivated land / forest, encountered lakes
 
** a number of diff. trees, animals, birds, fish, insects were native in their land
 
** therefore the natural environment of PIE’s seems to be northerly (there are no terms for trees / animals exclusively indigenous to tropical / southerly climates)
 
*** difficulties with locating this land -> cannot be certain this flora and fauna was there 5 or more millennia ago, and names for trees are notoriously changeable
 
***
 
Sources:
 
 
Brinton, Laurel J. and Leslie K. Arnovick. ''The English Language - A Linguistic History''. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.
 

Verze z 26. 9. 2016, 14:50