Re: (SC2WG2.609) New contribution N2705

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Tue Feb 17 2004 - 17:13:50 EST

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

    From: "Peter Constable" <>
    > 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
    > unspecified).

    In shorter term you agree that it contains a mix of a mathematical notation used
    to write specific regular expressions (alternation noted '~' where regexp uses
    '|', C and V being variables), and some plain-text characters (here only "hx"
    and "shx").

    It true that this looks more like a mathematical notation, but it still contains
    phonological/phonetic letters which are the only ones that are addressed by the
    proposal (here the subscripted x for undetermined vowel tainting of the
    preceding h).

    Also the complex expression could be as well written more simply as:
    without the alternation. My opinion is that parentheses are just there for
    grouping and that the minus sign operator is used in this notation to denote the
    optionality (where regexps use '?')

    I see some similarities between the undetermined vowel tainting letter (the
    subscripted x) and the leading star in the expression, used to denote an
    undetermined infered historic letter. Shouldn't both use the same glyph with
    just a distinct positioning? Could it be that the undetermined vowel tainting
    letter be shown as a subscripted star ?

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