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Chapitre D'ouvrage Année : 2012

The Grimm-Verner Push Chain and Contrast Preservation Theory.

Roland Noske


This paper treats a central question of the history of Indo-European and Early Germanic. It shows that with the adoption of the Glottalic Theory (which concerns the obstruent inventory of Proto-Indo-European) it is possible to analyze Grimm’s Law and Verner’s Law of Germanic combined as a single, bifurcating, chain shift. This assumption resolves a number of problems related to the traditional Neogrammarian view, according to which Verner’s Law is chronologically is from Grimm’s Law. This assumption of a bifurcating chain shift explains why the undergoers of Verner’s Law are properly included in that of Grimm’s Laws. It also replaces the traditionally assumed, but peculiar chronological development assumed for Germanic: voiceless plosive > *voiceless fricative > *voiced fricative > voiced plosive, by a scenario in which a voiced plosive derives directly from a voiceless one, without unattested detours. In the second part of his paper the author shows that the proposed scenario can be analyzed as a process in Contrast Preservation Theory (Łubowicz 2003, to appear), just like another historical chain shift was analyzed in this theory by Montreuil (2006).
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hal-01191430 , version 1 (01-09-2015)


  • HAL Id : hal-01191430 , version 1


Roland Noske. The Grimm-Verner Push Chain and Contrast Preservation Theory.. Botma, Bert & Noske, Roland. Phonological Explorations. Empirical, Theoretical and Diachronic Issues,, 548, De Gruyter, X, 355 p., 2012, Linguistische Arbeiten, 978-3-11-029516-0, e-ISBN: 978-3-11-029517-7. ⟨hal-01191430⟩
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