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Thread: Why we see Germanic sound shifts (Grimm's law) in Akkadian loanwords from Sumerian?

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    Why we see Germanic sound shifts (Grimm's law) in Akkadian loanwords from Sumerian?



    For example Akkadian tuppu "clay tablet" from Sumerian dub, Akkadian xattu "scepter" from Sumerian kadru, Akkadian kuku "cake" from Sumerian gug, ...

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    it can be pure independant convergence - but if we look at geography, it seems that Anatolian turkic shows devoicing of stops, as do some Armenian dialects; it could have been shared (without geographic link but perhaps with historic links) by today Hungarian and also (not sure, based only on orthography) and by Etruscan and Rhaetic. Common substrata in western Europe with an Anatolian one? It seems rather an eastern trait in southern Europe, compared to the opposite trend in Southwestern and Western Europe (except Germanic) - Greek doesn't seem concerned at first sight. in North, Finland Finnic shows the same trend, at a stronger scale, seemingly. The official Italian shows, if not devoicing, a tendancy to refuse voicing and lenition: link with LN Central Europe Hungary and ? with Etruscan ??? very uncertain questions of mine based on very few and little.
    Akkadian could be a Semitic dialect imposed to a more northern (E-Anatolian-S-Caucasus) substratum?

    But all this requires linguistic knowledge, not only about today languages but also their ancient forms, and evidently, about ancient languages.

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    About devoicing, I think it is clear that it never happens without any reason, especially when voiced stops (b,d,g) exist in a language, I believe in the phonology of the original language which was spoken in the northeast of Mesopotamia these voiced stops didn't exist, so we see these sound changes in Hittite, proto-Armenian, Akkadian and of course proto-Germanic but aspirated stops (bʰ,dʰ,gʰ) existed and after deaspiration they were changed to voiced stops (b,d,g).

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Linguists do not know the actual realization of many Sumerian phonemes. They're still discussing it. Remember that these Latin alphabet renderings of Sumerian, Akkadian and so on are just approximations, transliterations, the words were not in fact written that way, nor did the letters necessarily refer to the exact same sounds in different languages, as they all adapted the writing system imperfectly to their own phonology.

    In my opinion, since this is a very common phenomenon in other languages, such as Korean and Chinese, it's totally possible, even likely considering these Akkadian loanwords from Sumerian, that the distinction in Sumerian stops was not between voiced and voiceless, but between two voiceless consonants with different realizations, e.g. one aspirated, the other unaspirated. When those words are assimilated by a language from another language family containing the voiced vs. voiceless distinction, they won't perceived that unaspirated and purely alveolar /t/ as d and unaspirated /k/ as g, but as tand k.

    Besides, languages do not "share" sound shifts of another language family just to borrow words from another language. Languages are not that self-conscious. Either Akkadian shows the same sound shifts in all its lexicon in relation to its earlier forms (Proto-Semitic or perhaps Proto-East Semitic specifically), or then the explanation is an entirely different phenomenon, not sound shifts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrus View Post
    About devoicing, I think it is clear that it never happens without any reason, especially when voiced stops (b,d,g) exist in a language, I believe in the phonology of the original language which was spoken in the northeast of Mesopotamia these voiced stops didn't exist, so we see these sound changes in Hittite, proto-Armenian, Akkadian and of course proto-Germanic but aspirated stops (bʰ,dʰ,gʰ) existed and after deaspiration they were changed to voiced stops (b,d,g).
    Of course it happens without "any reason". Devocing of voiced consonants has happened in several totally unrelated languages in different continents, as well as many other sound shifts. There are only so much phonemes in human languages, so there can only be so much possible sound shifts, and some of them are much more probable than others due to matters of similar physical realization in the phonological apparatus of the body. There is even convergent evolution in biological living beings, let alone in sound shifts and grammatical changes. Of course they exist whether you want to believe it or not. The science of linguistics has already proven that that phenomenon exists, you can either accept it and become more respectable as far as a scientific analysis of your posts is concerned, or you can reject it and keep yourself in the pseudo-scientific realm of fringe theories.

    If you don't think devocing can happen without influence from foreign or substrate languages, see present-day Tuscan Italian. In recent centuries, /k/ became /x/ or /h/ in the Tuscan dialect. Do you think that's because of "Germanic influence" even though actual Germanic influence was much more present in North Italy and even in parts of South Italy? Of course it was not. The bulk of the Germanic migration had already been absorbed and "Italanized" since centuries earlier all over Italy. It just happens that a sound shift occurred. Sound shifts happen all the time in languages. Some of them will involve devoicing or voicing of consonants. These are two of the most common sound changes crosslinguistically.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrus View Post
    so we see these sound changes in Hittite, proto-Armenian, Akkadian and of course proto-Germanic but aspirated stops (bʰ,dʰ,gʰ) existed and after deaspiration they were changed to voiced stops (b,d,g).
    Not in Akkadian. Akkadian distinguished voiced vs. voiceless stop consonants. They had b/p, t/d/ and k/g. Exactly because of that I think it's much more likely that simply Sumerian had other contrast in its stops, not voiced vs. voiceless, but maybe aspirated vs. unaspirated or something like that. Akkadian simply represented the Sumerian sounds in a way adapted to its own phonology (which didn't make that kind of different contrast).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    Of course it happens without "any reason". Devocing of voiced consonants has happened in several totally unrelated languages in different continents, as well as many other sound shifts. There are only so much phonemes in human languages, so there can only be so much possible sound shifts, and some of them are much more probable than others due to matters of similar physical realization in the phonological apparatus of the body. There is even convergent evolution in biological living beings, let alone in sound shifts and grammatical changes. Of course they exist whether you want to believe it or not. The science of linguistics has already proven that that phenomenon exists, you can either accept it and become more respectable as far as a scientific analysis of your posts is concerned, or you can reject it and keep yourself in the pseudo-scientific realm of fringe theories.

    If you don't think devocing can happen without influence from foreign or substrate languages, see present-day Tuscan Italian. In recent centuries, /k/ became /x/ or /h/ in the Tuscan dialect. Do you think that's because of "Germanic influence" even though actual Germanic influence was much more present in North Italy and even in parts of South Italy? Of course it was not. The bulk of the Germanic migration had already been absorbed and "Italanized" since centuries earlier all over Italy. It just happens that a sound shift occurred. Sound shifts happen all the time in languages. Some of them will involve devoicing or voicing of consonants. These are two of the most common sound changes crosslinguistically.
    This thing that you don't know the reason doesn't mean these sound changes happen without any reason, for example /k/ has become /x/ in Iranian languages too, for example Persian oxtapus "octopus" is from Greek oktopous: https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/اختاپوس The reason of this sound change is very clear but when you don't know it, you can't say it has no reason. I think you certainly know the difference between sound change laws and some random sound changes in a language, for example we see t>d sound change in numerous Persian words in the last 2,000 years but it can never be called a sound change law because there are also many words that we don't see this sound change.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrus View Post
    This thing that you don't know the reason doesn't mean these sound changes happen without any reason, for example /k/ has become /x/ in Iranian languages too, for example Persian oxtapus "octopus" is from Greek oktopous: https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/اختاپوس The reason of this sound change is very clear but when you don't know it, you can't say it has no reason. I think you certainly know the difference between sound change laws and some random sound changes in a language, for example we see t>d sound change in numerous Persian words in the last 2,000 years but it can never be called a sound change law because there are also many words that we don't see this sound change.
    You're deluded, Cyrus. The fact that sound changes like that happen in different language families, in different times, in different places, in genetically unrelated populations, in totally unconnected cultures/societies obviously points to one evident thing that linguists have found out since more than a century ago: sound changes often happen due to internal dynamics of change that were underlying, latent in the phonology of a language, and which slowly and gradually evolve even in the absence of any major external influence. You just don't want to accept the fact that in fact devoicing of consonants (like /k/ > /x/ or /h/) is actually a very frequent and ordinary change cross-linguistically, and it doesn't need to have anything to do with Iran or the Near East more broadly. The Tuscans do not need to have come from Iran to have experienced exactly that sound change. Too bad, yet another lame argument of yours that has nothing to do with actual scientific knowledge. Go tell an actual professional linguist that sound changes like devoicing of consonants could only happen due to a reason, and that can only be substrate influence of earlier languages. You will be lucky if he/she only laughs at your amateurish proposal.

    There's no such a thing as a sound change that is not associated with some sound rule. What may happen is just that a certain sound rule applied to vocabulary only in a specific time (so it didn't affect vocabulary created or borrowed later) and/or only in certain positions of the phoneme in the word, under some specific constraints. Most sound changes are not simply "random", they have a clear explanation of how and why they worked like that. It's not the why that you'd like, because it has to do with phonetic articulation and other linguistic aspects, not the phonology/geography correlations you wished were true (but aren't), but sound changes happen for a reason: a phonological reason. And similar or even identical patterns of sound changes most certainly do not need to happen simultaneously in the very same place.

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    0 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    You're deluded, Cyrus. The fact that sound changes like that happen in different language families, in different times, in different places, in genetically unrelated populations, in totally unconnected cultures/societies obviously points to one evident thing that linguists have found out since more than a century ago: sound changes often happen due to internal dynamics of change that were underlying, latent in the phonology of a language, and which slowly and gradually evolve even in the absence of any major external influence. You just don't want to accept the fact that in fact devoicing of consonants (like /k/ > /x/ or /h/) is actually a very frequent and ordinary change cross-linguistically, and it doesn't need to have anything to do with Iran or the Near East more broadly. The Tuscans do not need to have come from Iran to have experienced exactly that sound change. Too bad, yet another lame argument of yours that has nothing to do with actual scientific knowledge. Go tell an actual professional linguist that sound changes like devoicing of consonants could only happen due to a reason, and that can only be substrate influence of earlier languages. You will be lucky if he/she only laughs at your amateurish proposal.
    There's no such a thing as a sound change that is not associated with some sound rule. What may happen is just that a certain sound rule applied to vocabulary only in a specific time (so it didn't affect vocabulary created or borrowed later) and/or only in certain positions of the phoneme in the word, under some specific constraints. Most sound changes are not simply "random", they have a clear explanation of how and why they worked like that. It's not the why that you'd like, because it has to do with phonetic articulation and other linguistic aspects, not the phonology/geography correlations you wished were true (but aren't), but sound changes happen for a reason: a phonological reason. And similar or even identical patterns of sound changes most certainly do not need to happen simultaneously in the very same place.
    Is it possible that an Indo-European people migrated to China and sound changes exactly the same as proto-Germanic ones happened in their language? If it is impossible, please explain why?
    If there are actually no reason for sound changes and phonology of native languages had no role then there could be actually some other IE languages the same as proto-Germanic in different lands, as you said, /k/ can be changed to /x/ in all languages, the same thing can be said about all other Germanic sound shifts, so you can't say a word is a Germanic or not, it could be a loanword from another IE language with the same sound changes!
    When you claim something you should be able to prove it, mention a language that for example both /d/ and /t/ exist in its phonology but we see d>t sound change in all words, like what has happened in proto-Germanic. You have just seen k>x in a language and think it is the sound change!

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    some phonétic changes can obey to very old habits of phonation and overpass time and linguistic barriers (whan languages shift occur), depending on substrata, without respect to the holy concept of structure. So to study these trends on a scale larger than a lone defined language is not without interest. But the matter is very unsteady and to do too straightforwards deduction concerning geographically or chronologically far settled language is dangerous.

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