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By Rodney Sampson

This ebook provides for the 1st time an in-depth ancient account of vowel prosthesis within the Romance languages. Vowel prosthesis is a transformation which contains the looks of a non-etymological vowel at first of a be aware: a well-recognized instance is the preliminary e which seems to be within the improvement of Latin sperare to Spanish esperar and French esp?rer (to hope). regardless of its common prevalence within the Romance languages, it has remained poorly studied. In his wide-ranging comparative insurance, Professor Sampson identifies 3 major different types of vowel prosthesis that experience happened and explores intimately their historic trajectory and the connection among them. The presentation attracts freely all through at the wealthy philological fabrics on hand from Romance and brings to mild quite a few unforeseen alterations within the effective use of prosthesis via time. for instance in French and Italian (which is Tuscan-based), one type of prosthesis grew to become good proven within the early center a while in basic terms to lose productiveness and hence develop into moribund. With its vast use of empirical facts and findings from theoretical linguistics, the ebook bargains a radical and revealing account of a desirable bankruptcy within the phonological historical past of Romance.

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Particularly fruitful for our purposes has been the work carried out on prosodic Introduction 35 phonology, especially syllable theory. Also, more recently there has been a great deal of insightful cross-linguistic investigation of epenthetic phenomena, which of course include vowel prosthesis. This has been either phonetic-based, as when exploring perceptual aspects governing the occurrence of epenthesis, or phonologically based. For the latter, the extensive work on interphonological phenomena has yielded results which shed useful light on formal properties of prosthetic and, more broadly, epenthetic vowels.

The triggering factor for the innovation of the prosthetic vowel seems to have been primarily phonological, relating to syllabic structure. Chronologically, this category of prosthesis has a long attested history. Epigraphical evidence suggests that it goes back at least to the second Categories of prosthesis in Romance 37 century AD. Even so, it is not until the early seventh century that the presence of I-prosthesis is directly alluded to by contemporary observers of linguistic usage. Geographically, I-prosthesis evidently came to be used widely across the Empire.

21. It may be noted that virtually all the supporting data for Vennemann’s work are drawn from Indo-European, and more precisely Italian and German and their dialects (cf. p. 13 and n. 28). g. Hawaiian). Phoneticians have also called attention to Introduction 23 phonological change will often tend to promote developments which generalize CV structure. Just such a tendency is noticeable in many Romance-speaking areas, especially during the course of the first millennium AD when various phonological changes conspire to simplify syllable margins (cf.

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