RE: (SC2WG2.609) New contribution N2705

From: Peter Constable (
Date: Tue Feb 17 2004 - 16:32:15 EST

  • Next message: "Re: (SC2WG2.609) New contribution N2705"

    > From: []
    On Behalf
    > Of Michael Everson

    > >*hxC(V)- ~ *shxC(V)- [the x's to be subscripted]
    > >
    > >are more like mathematical formulae than text.
    > They are not mathematical formulae. It is a kind of linguistic
    > (though not phonetic) notation.

    Yes. In case anyone isn't sure what the notation means, I believe it is
    as follows (assuming these works are typical of works in historical

    * precedes a transcription to indicate it is a historical reconstruction
    posited by inference from data obtained from later periods in time

    ~ is used to indicate an alternation; thus, *hxC(V) is in alternation
    with *shxC(V)

    s and h are symbols for particular phonemes; as indicated in the doc, hx
    is being used to represent the laryngeal with uncertain vowel coloring

    C and V, of course, represent an arbitrary consonant and vowel

    ( ) denotes optionality; thus, the above notation is short hand for *hxC
    ~ *shxC and *hxCV ~ *shxCV

    So, the expression *hxC(V)- ~ *shxC(V) is saying, in relation to certain
    phoneme sequences known to exist in later varieties, that an earlier
    precedessor to the language(s) in question is believed to have had hC or
    shC, and hCV or shCV (with the vowel colouring on the h unknown or left

    Peter Constable
    Globalization Infrastructure and Font Technologies
    Microsoft Windows Division

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