The general formula of the OIA voice and aspiration alternation is that the left element of a cluster is the subject of the alternation, while the right element is the trigger of the alternation. We have generally chosen examples at a morpheme boundary between a root and a derivational or inflectional element, i. The table is simplified by omitting a group of consonants with an inserted connective i which prevents both the alternation of voice and of aspiration that would occur were the cluster without i.
Generally aspiration is limited to the righthand element there are no ChCh clusters , even the aspiration from the lefthand consonant could be transferred onto the right one, or onto the preceding voiced unaspirated stop. In other words, any cluster with any aspirated stop keeps its aspiration, always only on the righthand element, and the aspiration is never extended to the lefthand stop. In the table, it is marked by an exclamation mark! The clusters with D on the right side are extremely rare; there is only one example, and all other examples are constructs based on analogy and marked by?
It is clear from the data that the voiceless aspirated stops never with only a single counterexample before a juncture6 alternate. In that, they differ from all three other classes which are not only the subject of alternation, but may be the result of alternation as well. Hence, we can see that, on the one hand, there is an older set containing the inherited classes of voiceless unaspirated stops, voiced unaspirated and voiced aspirated stops, and on the other hand, a set containing only one class of voiceless aspirated stops.
Therefore, we can 6 Even the neutralization before juncture is based on very poorly attested examples from Vedic, see MacDonell The whole system could then be reworked as follows7: 9 T D Th Dh The voiceless aspirates are in opposition to the whole inherited system of Indo-Iranian. The factor of stabilization in IA The question remains: what factor stabilized the position of the voiceless aspirates in the system of stops?
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We suppose that it was the further development of the Indo-Aryan languages which increased the number both of voiced and voiceless aspirates. This process could be simply described as a two-step process, though combined into one result: 1. Conclusion In the preceding we have tried to illustrate two related phenomena: that the Vedic voiceless aspirated stops Th are not fully integrated into the system of stop oppositions, which is obvious from their resistance to syntagmatic alternations, and that their full integration is a matter of the further development into MIA.
Their phonetic nature prevented them from being treated as the voiceless counterparts of the voiced aspirated stops and the aspirated counterpart of the unaspirated voiceless stops.
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This phonemic gap was filled on the way toward the MIA phonemic system through further phonemic alignment to the voiced aspirated stops. Furthermore, we can also speculate that such a gap was not filled in the Iranian languages, which chose a different path of remaking the system by suppressing the opposition between the voiced aspirated and voiced stops. We daresay that the stability of the system of stops in Indo-Aryan was established by an increasing number of alternations in the MIA period, because the system could not be partly dynamic for one part alternations between T—D—Dh and stable Th for another.
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Phonetics in Ancient India. London: Oxford University Press, Bartholomae, C. Handbuch der altiranischen Dialekte. Beekes, R. Grammar of Gatha-Avestan. Leiden: Brill, Comparative Indo-European Linguistics.
Amsterdam: John Benjamins, Bubenik, V. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, In: Cardona — Jain The Sanskrit Language. London: Faber and Faber, Cardona, G. The Indo-Aryan Languages. London: Routledge, Collinge, N. The Laws of Indo-European. Erhart, A. Brno: UJEP, Fahs, A. Grammatik des Pali. Geiger, W. Oxford: The Pali Text Society, Gray, L.
Historical phonology of Old Indo -Aryan consonants
Kobayashi, M. Unpublished Ph.
MacDonell, A. Vedic Grammar. Strassburg: Karl J. A Vedic Grammar for Students. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. See Article History. You can learn more about this topic in the related articles below. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:.
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Consonant, any speech sound, such as that represented by t, g, f, or z, that is characterized by an articulation with a closure or narrowing of the vocal tract such that a complete or partial blockage of the flow of air is produced. Consonants are usually classified according to place of…. Speech, human communication through spoken language.