DIVISION OF LINGUISTICS into pure and applied. Pure linguistics ineludes: (1) the comprehensive analysis of objectively given, existing languages, and (2) the study of the beginnings of human speech or language, the original formation of languages, and the general psychological-physiological conditions of their uninterrupted existence. The first, positive part of linguistics includes: (1) grammar and (2) systematics. Also of interest to linguists is the history and methodology of their science.
The Indo-European languages in general and their classification. Scholarly views concerning the gradual separation of these languages. The newest theory of J. Schmidt rejecting the possibility of any systematization in this area. The major families of the IndoEuropean languages.
A more detailed classification of the Baltic and Slavic families of the Indo-European languages. Common features of the Baltic and Slavic families. Their major phonetic differences.
Division of pure positive linguistics. Analysis of language as the basis of subdividing grammar. The simplest, elementary analysis of a concrete language, proceeding from complete expressions of thought (connected, live, concrete speech) to sentences, from sentences to words, from words to their significant, meaningful parts (words as complexes of significant, meaningful parts), on the one hand, and to purely physiological, acoustic parts of speech, to sounds on the other hand (words as complexes of discrete sounds). Analysis of words from different points of view. Division of grammar into (1) phonetics, (2) morphology, and (3) syntax.
Preliminary remarks: (1) The necessity of distinguishing sounds from corresponding letters. (2) The history of the development of writing and the origin (formation) of phonetic writing. (3) The difference between alphabet, graphics, and spelling (orthography). (4) Rendering of sounds of one’s native tongue by symbols of the generally used native alphabet and graphics. Detailed survey of (a) the letters of an adopted alphabet which are used to represent the individual sounds of a given language, and of (b) the sounds of a given language that are represented by individual letters of an adopted alphabet.
Letters of incompletely literate persons and so-called illiterate works in general. Their significance in defining the phonetic character of a language. Survey of individual confusions and so-called mistakes, and slips of the pen. (5) Scientific alphabets, graphics, and spelling. Requirements of precision and adequacy.
The Science of Sounds—Phonetics
What is a sound of language? Its definition from the standpoint of (a) acoustics, (b) anatomy and physiology, (c) psychology.
In considering the sounds of language, two factors must be distinguished: (1) the physiological, in the strictest sense of the term, and (2) the physiological-psychological. The sounds of language may be examined from three points of view: (1) the acousticphysiological, (2) the psychological (word-forming, morphological), and (3) the historical, or etymological. The physiological and the morphological parts of phonetics examine the laws and conditions for the existence of sounds at a given moment of the history of a language (statistics of sounds), whereas the historical part deals with the laws and conditions of the development of sounds in time (dynamics of sounds). Sound analogy.
A. The Statics of Sounds
Part I. The Acoustic-Physiological Aspect.
Purely physiological categories of sounds. In examining them it is necessary to make use of the results of acoustics, physiology, and anatomy.
I. The physiological statics of sounds in the strict sense of the word.
a. Anatomical-physiological and acoustic conditions of the formation and physical existence of sounds. Purely physiological categories of sounds. Analysis of sounds in general, apart from their role in the mechanism of language.
More detailed division (classification) of sounds. Division according to quality. According to quality, sounds are primarily divided into vowels and consonants; their physiological and acoustic differences. Distinctive features of true vowels and true consonants.
Division of consonants. Simple consonantal elements. (1) Anatomical division, according to the speech organs that participate in the production of individual consonants. (2) Physiological division according to the manner of pronunciation. Table of consonants.
Table of vowels. Qualitative distinction: pure vowels and nasal vowels; full vowels and reduced vowels. Quantity of vowels: space and time, stress and length.
Complex (compound) consonants. Identification of simultaneously produced consonants, that is, of consonantal elements pronounced at one and the same time. Aspirates. Nasal resonance. Soft (mouillierte) consonants. Affricates. Tables of complex consonants.
Complex vowels. Double vowels, or diphthongs. Definition of diphthongs. Their different categories: (a) phonetic distinctions; (b) genetic distinctions.
Transition from vowels to consonants and vice versa. Simultaneous combinations of vowels and consonants (the unification of a vowel and consonant into one complex sound). Nasal vowels.
The relative clarity and perceptibility of individual sounds.
Table of all the sounds of the Indo-European languages.
(a.) Parallelism of sounds based on their distinctive physiological properties. These distinctive properties give rise in languages to certain oppositions (parellels) of sounds. The investigation of these oppositions constitutes the object of the second part of phonetics, inasmuch as in primary languages they are intimately connected with the meaning of words and their parts.
b. Sounds in the syllables. The (physiological) syllable as distinet from the simple combination (complex) of sounds. Various categories of syllables.
c. Sounds in the word. Combinations of sounds in general. The distinction of place in the syllable and in the word with relation to the character of sound. Stability of sounds.
d. Sounds in the overall language of man or of a nation. Relativity of the categories of sounds. Influence of external conditions on the sounds of a language. The relation ok language to a nation with respect to sound. The uniqueness of seemingly identical sounds in different languages. The uniqueness of variations of sounds.
The characterization of languages in terms of their phonetic make-up. The difference between the Asiatic and European group of the Indo-European languages. Similar differences in the European area, for example, the difference between the Germanic and Bal to-Slavic languages. Differences in the Slavic area. Subgroups: Russian (Great Russian and Ukrainian), southern (Bulgarian, Slovenian, Serbo-Croatian), and northwestern (Polish, Czech, etc.).
Statistics of sounds. Ratios of the number of various sounds in a given language. Evaluation of the statistics of sounds.
2. Dynamic factors.
Static beginning of changes (substitutions) in sounds conditioned by their physical (physiological) properties. Different categories of sound change based on the difference between the various categories of sounds. The role of habit ia,using certain sounds and combinations (e.g., combinations of consonants) which are apparently more difficult than other sounds which are avoided. Phenomena of assimilation, etc., encountered among all peoples and at all times.
Physiological explanation of sound change. Theoretical and graphic, psychological explanations of assimilation, permutation, and the general tendency toward economy. Comparisons with everyday events. What appears to be unique and to occur only once produces, through countless repetitions, deep changes in the whole language, i.e., in all individuals speaking the language. What appears to be sporadic can, under certain conditions, become a constant linguistic habit.
The conflict between habit and the tendency toward economy. Other factors affecting sounds. Compensatory lengthening. Different categories of compensatory lengthening.
Sound laws: (a) laws of the combination of sounds at the synchronic state of a language: (b) sound laws in the evolution of Ianguage (they are dealt with in the third part of phonetics).
Part II. The Psychological (Word-Formational, Morphological) Aspect.
Examination of sounds from the morphological, psychological standpoint. Their significance in the mechanism of language and for the “feeling” of a given speech community.
The mechanism of sounds, their relations and so-called dynamic interaction based on the connection between sound and meaning. Here we examine the influence of certain sounds on meaning and, conversely, the influence of meaning on the quality of sounds. This is the result primarily of the parallelism of sounds, that is, their physiological oppositions. For example, the distinction between soft and hard sounds, based mainly on the mutual relationship of vowels and consonants, the distinction between long and short, stressed and unstressed, voiced and voiceless sounds, etc. Detailed examination of the parallelism of sounds in various languages. The assumed psychological utilization of parallelism of sounds in the primary Indo-European language.
Original quantitative and preor postpositive gradation (gunation), etc. Stress as the probable cause of original gradation. Distinction of original diphthongs and those due to secondary processes; contractions.
Secondary, qualitative gradation. Replacement of gradation by distinctions of stress.
Gradation of vowels and consonants, based on the previous development of the language and on parallelism of sounds. The (unconscious) use of secondary phenomena and differentiation for internal purposes, for differences of meaning. The psychological role of sound parallelism in parallel roots and in the formation of stems and forms.
The discrepancy between the physical nature of sounds and their value in the mechanism of language and in the perception of language. The psychological role of sounds in a given language as the result of physiological conditions and of historical soundchanges.
The loss of the psychological, internal role of sounds, i.e., of their mobility (variation) in secondary, analytic languages. The evidence of Romance, Germanic, and Bulgarian. A common tendency in all Indo-European languages.
The difference between sound laws in native and borrowed words. The decline of the morphological significance of sounds in secondary words which are treated as mere conglomerates of sounds. Borrowed words; words not transparent in their composition, whose composition has been forgotten. Secondary languages.
B. The Dynamics of Sounds
Part III. The Historical, Etymological Aspect
Development of languages with respect to sounds. The etymological, historical aspect of sounds. Change and stability of sounds.
1. General analysis of sound-changes. Common causes and laws.
Sound-changes conditioned by both static factors discussed above: by the purely physical and the psychological-physiological factors which continually interact with each other in the development of language. In presenting the development of a certain language, it is thus best to discuss the entire development itself, without setting up abstract divisions.
Three common causes (dynamic factors) of sound change: (1) the tendency toward convenience, or conservation of muscular and neurological activity (a purely physiological factor); (2) the loss of connection, or of the awareness of a radical connection between words; (3) the prevalence of the psychological aspect of sounds over the physical one.
The main force behind all purely phonetic sound-changes is the tendency toward convenience, which accounts for the shortening, disappearance, and replacement of more difficult sounds by easier ones; in this respect it is important to note the difference between primary and secondary languages.
Phonetic (physiological) or psychological explanation of seeming exceptions (deviations) from this tendency. The preservative effect (influence) of some sounds upon adjacent (preceding or following) sounds with the possibility of the disappearance of the influencing sounds. The appearance of new sounds as a result of purely physiological or internal, morphological causes. 1. (a) Insertion (epenthesis ), its explanation; (b) Compensatory lengthening, its explanation; (c) The German sound shift (Lautverschiebung)’, (d) Influence of stress, etc. 2. (a) Lengthening of radical and wordformational vowels for derivational purposes; (b) Gradation, polnoglasie, etc.; (c) The role of analogy, folk etymology, and, in general, of unconscious generalization on the basis of newly formed associations and suppression of older ones.
Relative ease and difficulty of sounds in a given speech community.
Categories of sound change: e.g., (1) simple disappearance of a sound for the sake of easier pronunciation; (2) complete assimilation accompanied most often by disappearance, or by compensatory lengthening. Sound changes: (1) independent of other sounds; (2) influenced by other sounds (a) within the same syllable or (b) in contiguous position, across syllables. Examples of the latter are: (1) the German Umlaut; (2) the effect of stressed syllables on the weakening (reduction) and shortening of adjacent syllables; (3) Avestan and Greek epenthesis; (4) Slavic compensatory lengthening.
Quality of sound changes with relation to the position in the word: (1) beginning of the word; (2) middle of the word; (3) end of the word.
The law of word-final pronunciation (Auslautgesetz) conditioned by habit and the general structure and history of a given language. The development of this law in Greek, Gothic, Lithuanian, and Common Slavic. The disappearance of all unstressed syllables following the stressed one in French, and the resulting generalization of stress on the final syllable.
The category of words and of sound combinations which are subject to unusually great, or sporadic, shortenings.
The tendency toward expressiveness and differentiation of two or more originally identical words or of formal parts of words by varying the quality of sounds. The loss of awareness of the origin of a word. The force of inertia.
The limits on the changeability of sounds.
2. Common sound changes in the Indo-European languages in general and in the Balto-Slavic languages in particular.
Historical shortenings and changes of sounds that appeared at a period of transition: (1) from ancient Indie to modern Indie; (2) from ancient Greek to modern Greek; (3) from ancient Romance to modern Romance; (4) from Anglo-Saxon to modern English; (5) from Old High German to Middle High German and from Middle High German to New High German; (6) from Common Slavic to the modern Slavic languages, etc.
3. Etymological kinship and identity of sounds in one language or in related languages due to the historical change of originally single sounds.
History of sounds. The basic sounds of basic forms.
Phonetically distinct sounds (and words) can be identical etymologically when they develop from originally identical sounds; conversely, originally distinct sounds can in the course of time become identical phonetically. Examples of complete phonetic identification or of partial similarity of etymologically different words from one or more languages. Homonymy. Ambiguity. The results of identification (including disappearance) of originally different sounds, especially in more advanced languages.
Sound laws and sound tendencies not strong enough to become an established habit.
The law of sound shift (Lautverschiebung) in German.
4. Characterization of the general phonetic tendencies and directions of development of the Indo-European languages.
In studying the history of the Indo-European languages, one may detect certain tendencies of divergence which vary according to the properties and state of development of the respective Ianguages and which could provide the basis for a genetic classification of these languages. Among these tendencies which are determined by physiological and psycho-physiological (morphological) factors, are, among others, the following:
1) The constant tendency toward economy combined with the force of habit. The tendency toward simplification and shortening of sounds (including their loss or substitution by zero).
a. The influence of the environment of other sounds. Various types of assimilation and dissimilation. Disappearance and appearance of sounds. Changes in the combination of consonants. Consonantal and vocalic diphthongs.
b. Replacement of sounds by easier sounds without the influence of other sounds. The tendency toward shortening, weakening, and disappearance of sounds. Shortening of sounds (of vowels and consonants) to an acoustic minimum, then to a minimum in the sense of preserving the time needed for their production, but without the actual pronunciation of the sound up to its loss, either without a trace or with [compensatory lengthening]. The law of shortening (or narrowing) in the historic development of vowels. The potential for survival of easier, more conveniently pronounced sounds, and the susceptibility to change of more difficult sounds; stability of sounds.
Seeming exceptions to the above mentioned general tendency. The appearance of new sounds: of consonants in clusters that are difficult to pronounce (insertion); of consonants between vowels (elimination of “hiatus”), etc. The replacement of the spiritus lenis by full consonants varying according to the following vowel. Relevant in this respect is also:
2) The tendency toward compensation for shortening.
a. Compensation for the shortening (or lengthening) of a given sound completed in the sound itself. Features (moments) of sounds. The reasons for the qualitative (acoustically) change of short and half-short vowels. Lengthening, or the increase in the duration of the air-stream, is neutralized in the case of narrowing of vowels (going from a to i or u).
Likewise, shortening, or the decrease in the duration of the airstream, is neutralized by opening. Lengthening counteracted by narrowing, and shortening counteracted by opening. The effect produced by increasing the duration of a vowel at the expense of its opening remains, consequently, roughly the same. The strength and intensity of the air, and the duration of its flow as the chief factors of this increase. The law of shortening or narrowing of vowels in a historical perspective.
b. Compensation for the narrowing or disappearance of a certain sound; compensation in preceding or even following sounds (or syllables). Compensation as the result of the conflict between habit and the tendency toward economy. Four types of compensatory extension: (1) compensatory extension for single sounds (cf. above); (2) compensatory extension for the loss of consonants; (3) compensatory extension for the loss of vowels or syllables; (4) so-called contraction. Three types of compensatory phenomena can be distinguished: (1) lengthening of vowels, (2) opening of vowels, (3) stressing of vowels. In general, compensatory extension (or, rather, compensatory strengthening) consists in pronouncing a given syllable with greater energy in compensating for the weakening or loss of a certain muscular activity.
3) The double direction of change.
The total or partial disappearance of a certain category of sounds brings about a new state or a return to the older state.
4) The tendency toward balance.
In the realm of vowels, a tendency toward shortening or narrowing; in the realm of consonants (in which narrowing is more difficult) a tendency toward opening and longer duration.
5) Gradual loss of the distinctiveness of sounds.
The definiteness of sounds in primary languages reflects the greater sensitivity of primitive people. The gradual loss of the definiteness of sounds goes hand in hand with the loss of the significance of words. The ever increasing non-distinctiveness and fusion of consonants. Increasing non-distinctiveness and fusion of vowels; fusion of unstressed vowels. Loss of diversity. The loss of musical (esthetic) feeling for language among some peoples.
6) Qualitative nuances of quantitative distinctions. Replacement of quantitative types of gradation by qualitative types of gradation. Qualitative shading of quantitative differences: (a) of hard and soft consonants; (b) of short and long vowels, etc.
7) Loss of the significance of sounds. The gradual decrease of vocalic and consonantal types of gradation, increasing immobility of vowels and consonants. The distinction in this respect between primary and secondary languages. The gradual development of a fixed stress.
8) Weakening of the esthetic character of language in its external and poetic and creative forms. Weakening of the esthetic character of language through the loss of the distinction of stressed and unstressed syllables and long and short ones. Simplification of the plastic aspect of language. Confusion of stress with quantity, etc.
The physical and geographic conditions of a country have an influence on the organic make-up of a people, which in turn determines the character of their language. Conversely, the language influences the make-up of the speech organs and the physiognomy of both the individual person and the entire people. Probably as a result of physical conditions and the specific development of Ianguage itself, some languages tend to make predominant use of the front speech organs, and other languages of the back speech organs, etc. The corresponding difference between the Asiatic and the European branches of Indo-European.
Tendencies toward the future state of a language condition its present state.
The importance of phonetics.