Major revisions to morphology April 2010 following improvements to sound change program.
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Ewert on atonic vowels
Ewert's treatment is terse, to the point and clarifying:
Fine distinctions of quality are obliterated, with the result that ɛ and e, ɔ and o falI together. Further, the V.L. quantitative distinction (if it ever existed in atonic vowels, cf. § 21) was not maintained. GalIo-Roman therefore inherited from V.L. the atonic vowels a, e, i, o, u, which were presumably short and were already tending to weaken and disappear.
(ii) FINAL AND COUNTERFINAL VOWELS
29. These persist in V.L. in a weakened form with a tendency to confuse e and i, o and u. In Old French, a remains in a weakened form as so-calIed feminine e ( = ə) (cf. § 61): BONA> bonne, AMAS> aimes. This change dates from about the end of the eighth century. e, i, o, u generally disappear (about the seventh century), but they persist in the form of the weakened supporting vowel ə in the following cases: (a) before a group of consonants (AMENT>aiment); (b) after a group of consonants requiring a supporting vowel, notably cons. + I, r, m, n, excepting kl, gr, gn, rm, rn (DUPLUM > double, PATREM > peðre >pere, *HELMU (Germ. helm) > helme > heaume, ALNUM> alne> aune). The group may be primary, i.e. inherited as such from Latin, or secondary, i.e. developed subsequently through the loss of a vowel (MASCULUM > MASC'LU > masle> male). In the absence of any supporting vowel an ə is developed (INSIMUL> ENSEM'L > ensemble, MINOR> MEN'R > mendre later moindre ≠ moins). It will be seen that ə persists even after the reduction of the group which originalIy required the supporting vowel (pere, heaume, aune, male). For the apparent exceptions presented by borrowed words, cf. § 500.
- I take this to mean:
|C.L.||V.L.?||Stage 1||Stage 2||Stage 3||OF|
BPJ 21:13, 24 July 2008 (UTC)