Thursday, August 12, 2004

Morphologically Conditioned Sound Change II

A few posts back, I looked at a new case of what looks, on the surface, like morphologically conditioned sound change. Homophonous noun and verb prefixes *m- and *m- developed into Moyon Naga bʌ- and ŋ- respectively (the verb prefix is a syllabic nasal that assimilates to the following consonant in place of articulation, but which is realized as a velar nasal before glottals and vowels). What gives?

Well, as entangledbank pointed out, there are at least three possible culprits (assuming we want to avoid the idea that sound changes are morphologically conditioned): stress differences, analogy, and affixation.

We could suppose, for example, that nouns received stress on the penultimate syllable while verbs received stress on the final syllable (not unlike some word pairs in English). Stress might have served as an environment for the denasalization or fortification of *m-, as well as the strengthening of the anaptyctic vowel in the prefix. Unstressed syllabic *m- might, around the same time, have become *ŋ-. This stress would have to be traced, originally, either to analogy or some sort of stress-shifting affixation. Such a state of affairs should never come about independently through neo-Grammarian sound change. One problem with this hypothesis is the fact that related languages show no evidence for such a stress difference, so the whole argument would have to rest upon an internal argument based upon these facts. The second problem is that *m doesn't become b in roots of monosyllabic words, where it would invariably fall in the stressed syllable (e.g. PTB *mik > Moyon mik. This fact ends up being a problem for several possible hypotheses, and tends to make sound change look less attractive and analogy more attractive.

So what do I think? I believe that affixation is ultimately to blame. In a number of languages related to Moyon (including several of the Tangkhul languages) all nouns receive a prefix ʔ- or ʔa- except in certain morphosyntactic environments (e.g. the obligatory possession construction). While the glottal stop is usually followed by an anaptyctic vowel, the loss of this vowel would result in the creation of prenasalizaed sonorants where that prefix immediately preceded liquids or nasals. Stress then acted as a conditioning environment: in stressed roots, glottalized sonorants became plain sonorants, but in unstressed prefixes, glottalized sonorants become voiced plosives. Later, anaptyctic vowels were lost after sonorants (if they ever existed). Thus *m-ka > **ʔəməkha > **ʔməkha > Moyon *bʌkha ‘chin’ but *m-kaw (approximately) > **məkhow > Moyon ŋkhow ‘cough’.

3 Comments:

At 4:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rhodiola Rosea is the latest natural remedy to join the arsenal of natural anxiety and stress (shear stress) reducers.

Rhodiola Rosea, also known as Golden Root, is a native plant of arctic Siberia. For centuries it has been used by eastern European and Asian cultures for physical endurance, work productivity, longevity, resistance to high altitude sickness, and to treat fatigue, depression, anemia, impotence, gastrointestinal ailments, infections, and nervous system disorders.

The first recorded medicinal applications of rodia riza (renamed Rhodiola Rosea) was made by the Greek physician, Dioscorides, in 77 C.E. in 'De Materia Medica'. Rhodiola Rosea has been included in official Russian medicine since 1969.

Despite its long history, the Western world has only recently become aware of the health benefits of Rhodiola Rosea. It has come to the attention of many natural health practitioners because of studies which tested its affects on combating anxiety and stress.

Rhodiola Rosea is considered an adaptogen. This means it has an overall stabilizing effect on the body without disrupting other functions. Its ability to normalize hormones may be effective for treating depression and anxiety.

Studies of Rhodiola Rosea show that it stimulates neurotransmitters and enhances their effects on the brain. This includes the ability for the brain to process serotonin which helps the body to adapt to stress.

Since adaptogens improve the body's overall ability to handle stress, it has been studied to identify it's effects on biological, chemical and physical stress.

A study was performed to test the effects of Rhodiola Rosea when stress or shear stress is caused by intense mental work (such as final exams). Such tests concluded that using Rhodiola Rosea improved the amount and quality of work, increasing mental clarity and reducing the effects of fatigue.

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This report included details of studies which highlight the overall health benefits of Rhodiola Rosea.

The generally recommended dose is 200-600mg/day. The active properties should be a minimum 0.8 percent salidroside and 3 percent rosavin.

It is important for consumers to know that Rhodiola may be sold using other species that do not share the properties of Rhodiola Rosea, shear stress, or at ineffective strengths for treatment. Anyone with depression or anxiety should also check with a health professional when treating these symptoms.

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At 5:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many of our modern drugs have harsh side-affects and cost the “earth”, so the next time you come down with a cold or the flu or toddler separation anxiety, why not try a gentle alternative that costs next to nothing?

Instead of immediately forking over large amounts of money for over-the-counter drugs, go to the kitchen cupboard and see what you can find to relieve your symptoms including toddler separation anxiety.

Here are some helpful hints for toddler separation anxiety …

A simple hot compress applied to the face is very soothing to those throbbing aches and pains of a blocked sinus, while a few drops of eucalyptus oil on a handkerchief can provide welcome relief for similar conditions. While supplements of vitamin C, D and zinc will shorten the lifespan of a common cold, a hot lemon drink is also extremely good. And be sure to cuddle-up in bed when you have a cold, as it will make the body sweat out the germs.

Cool lemon juice and honey are a great soother for a sore throat and gives the body much-needed vitamin C at the same time The juice of one lemon in a glass of water is sufficient. Melt the honey in a little hot water for ease of mixing.

A smear of Vaseline or petroleum jelly will do wonders for those sore lips and nose that often accompany a cold.

A 'streaming cold' where the nose and eyes water profusely, can respond to drinking onion water. Simply dip a slice of onion into a glass of hot water for two seconds, then sip the cooled water throughout the day. Half an onion on the bedside table also alleviates cold symptoms because its odor is inhaled while you sleep.

People prone to catarrh may find that chewing the buds from a pine or larch throughout the day will clear up their condition in just a few days.

Do you suffer from sore eyes? If your eyes are sore from lengthy exposure to the sun, try beating the white of an egg and then spread it over a cloth and bandage the eyes with it. Leave the preparation on overnight. Soft cheese (quark) is also a good remedy for this condition.

For those unpleasant times when you suffer from diarrhea, two tablespoons of brown vinegar will usually fix the problem. Vinegar can be rather horrible to take, but who cares! The problem is more horrible. Vinegar can usually be found in most people's cupboards, so you don't need to worry about finding someone to run to the shop for you in an emergency.

Sleepless? Instead of reaching for sleeping pills, which can quickly become addictive, try this: Drink only caffeine free tea or coffee starting late in the afternoon.. Go to bed earlier rather than later, as being overtired tends to keep people awake. Make sure the bedroom is dark and quiet. Use only pure wool or cotton sheets and blankets. Polyester materials can cause sweat and make you thirsty (if your child constantly asks for water throughout the night, this could be the reason).

And don't watch those scary movies just before retiring! If you still can't sleep, make a tea of lemongrass or drink a nightcap of herbal tea containing chamomile. It's easy to grow lemongrass in your garden or start a flower pot on the balcony for ease of picking. Simply steep a handful in boiling water for five minutes. Honey may be added for a sweetener.

Of course there will be times when you do need modern drugs, so if these simple remedies don't have the required affect, be sure to see a health care professional.


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