A Hypothesis on the Origin of Old Chinese Pharyngealization (上古漢語咽化聲母來源的一個假設)

In: Bulletin of Chinese Linguistics
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  • 1 CNRS/INALCO laurent.sagart@gmail.com
  • | 2 法國國家科學研究院 laurent.sagart@gmail.com
  • | 3 University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
  • | 4 密歇根大學 wbaxter@umich.edu

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It is proposed that oc pharyngealized onset consonants—that is, ‘type-A’ onset consonants—arose out of Proto-Sino-Tibetan plain consonants followed by geminate vowels separated by a pharyngeal fricative. When the first copy of the geminate vowel fell, the initial consonants formed clusters with the pharyngeal fricative, evolving into the oc pharyngealized consonants we reconstruct. In the Kuki-Chin branch of Tibeto-Burman, the pharyngeal fricative fell, and long vowels resulted. This proposal supposes a statistical correlation between Kuki-Chin long vowels and oc type-A words on the one hand, and between Kuki-Chin short vowels and oc type-B words on the other, as originally proposed by S. Starostin. A significant statistic bearing on forty-three probable Chinese-Kuki-Chin cognates supports this correlation. Thus reconstructed, a precursor language of Proto-Sino-Tibetan was aligned with Proto-Austronesian and Proto-Austroasiatic in exhibiting a surface constraint against monomoraic free words: by that constraint, the vowel of an underlying monosyllable was realized as a geminate with an intervening parasitic consonant such as a glottal stop or a pharyngeal fricative, while the vowels of a disyllable remained nongeminate. After reduction of disyllables to monosyllables, this process resulted in a pharyngealized vs. nonpharyngealized consonant distinction in oc.

論文提出對上古漢語咽化聲母(即“A類聲母”)來源的一個假設,認為咽化聲母來源於原始漢藏語的無標記輔音,並且此無標記輔音後跟隨著由咽部擦音[ʕ]分割的雙胞元音(geminate vowels)。在雙胞元音的前半部分脫落後,輔音聲母跟咽部擦音形成了複輔音。新形成的複輔音最終演變為上古漢語的咽化聲母。而在藏緬語庫基-欽(Kuki-Chin)語支中,則是咽化擦音脫落,使雙胞元音變為長元音。本文解釋了漢語與庫基-欽語中一個統計學的顯著相關性:一方面,庫基-欽語含長元音的詞與上古漢語含A類聲母的詞呈顯著相關;另一方面,庫基-欽語含短元音的詞與上古漢語含B類聲母的詞呈顯著相關,正如斯塔羅金(S. Starostin)所說。據此構擬,我們提出原始漢藏語、原始南島語與原始南亞語中的一個共同限制(constraint):禁止在語流中出現單音拍(monomoraic)詞。在這一限制的作用下,單音節詞的單元音發生了雙胞化(germination),雙胞元音中間插入了喉塞音或咽部擦音之類的次聲輔音。而同時,雙音節詞的元音無變化。漢語經過雙音節詞的單音節化,就形成了無標記輔音與咽化輔音的音位對立。(This article is in English.)

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