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Thread: e- in escape,estate and other words

  1. #41
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    Re: e- in escape,estate and other words

    This map suggests it's intermediary between Western and Eastern with some characteristics of both.: probably the plurals, articles and verbs being more western. As for the prominent role of systematic i- + s(C)- we can only speculate at this point.

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    Re: e- in escape,estate and other words

    Quote Originally Posted by berndf View Post
    Where did you get this from? Ethnologue e.g. classifies Sardic and Corsican as a separate family on Romance languages, but I never heard of it being classified as Western.

    I have always read that Sardinian languages are neither Western nor Eastern, linguistically speaking. By the way, only Tuscan and some other central and Southern dialects/languages of Italy can be classified as Eastern according to most experts in Romance languages. Other linguists refuse such a rigid distinction.
    Last edited by olaszinho; 4th November 2012 at 2:25 PM. Reason: mistake
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    Re: e- in escape,estate and other words

    I admit that my intervention was a little bit hasty and I have to retract the part about Western Romance. However, I don't retract the part about Sardinian not being Eastern Romance, since its many consonantic endings are definitely a feature of the Western Romance languages.
    It was some years ago I read about Sardinian being Western Romance, so I cannot tell you now where exactly I read this.

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    Re: e- in escape,estate and other words

    Quote Originally Posted by fdb View Post
    Prothetic i- is indeed common in Italian, but if you look at the Romance evidence as a whole you will see that it is a secondary development.
    I'm looking, but I'm not seeing. Prothesis is "secondary" in Italian in the sense that it didn't catch on and is a vestigial phenomenon in the modern standard language, but it is not chronologically secondary. On the contrary, it appeared earlier in the Italian peninsula before spreading north and west, according to Loporcaro:
    [I-prosthesis] is widespread in Latin texts from Africa […], whence it seems to have spread to southern and central Italy (whereas it is virtually absent in Christian epigraphs from northern Italy and Gaul […]). (2011, p. 98)

  5. #45
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    Re: e- in escape,estate and other words

    Yes, but you need to distinguish between i- prothesis, which is mainly restricted to Italian, and e- prothesis, which is a shared innovation in Gallo-Romanic and Ibero-Romanic.

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    Re: e- in escape,estate and other words

    Quote Originally Posted by fdb View Post
    Yes, but you need to distinguish between i- prothesis, which is mainly restricted to Italian, and e- prothesis, which is a shared innovation in Gallo-Romanic and Ibero-Romanic.
    I cited a Tuscan form in e- above, and a Vulgar Latin form in i-. Changes between i and e are very common in Romance, in both directions. ĭ > e is one of the basic vowel correspondences in Romance, and e commonly raises to i in protonic syllables in Italian (re- > ri-, de- > di-, finestra, dicembre, etc.). So I still don't see why i-prothesis has to be a separate development.

    P. Bec (It. VII, 9): "Le lat. vulg. a développé d'assez bonne heure une voy. adventice, dite prothétique, devant le groupe initial s+cons. (ou z des mots grecs) […] Cette voy. est d'abord i, puis e."

  7. #47
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    Re: e- in escape,estate and other words

    Quote Originally Posted by fdb View Post
    There are 24 columns of words beginning with st- in Meyer-Lübke, Rom. etym. Wb., and if you read through them you will be left with no doubt that in the vast majority of words Latin st- remains st- in Italian and Romanian (and also in Vegliotic, Engadine, Friaulic), but becomes est- in Gallo-Romanic and Ibero-Romanic (and also in Logudorese Sardinian). You will find a comparable situation with sp- and sc-. ...
    No one has replied to my point about Romanian, Vegliotic etc.

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    Re: e- in escape,estate and other words

    Quote Originally Posted by fdb View Post
    No one has replied to my point about Romanian, Vegliotic etc.
    What is there to reply to? No one disputes that Latin sC- generally corresponds to sC- in modern Italian and in Romance varieties to the east. The question is whether this has always been the case, or if these languages had prothetic vowels at some point their (possibly pre-literary) evolution and later lost them. I doubt that you can find a conclusive answer for Romanian, Vegliot, etc., and certainly not just by looking in Meyer-Lübke.

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    Re: e- in escape,estate and other words

    Quote Originally Posted by CapnPrep View Post
    No one disputes that Latin sC- generally corresponds to sC- in modern Italian and in Romance varieties to the east.
    Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by CapnPrep View Post
    The question is whether this has always been the case,
    that means: none of the "Eastern" Romance languages had prothetic vowels prior to their splitting off into separate languages; the i- in Italian would then be an inner-Italian development,

    Quote Originally Posted by CapnPrep View Post
    or if these languages had prothetic vowels at some point their (possibly pre-literary) evolution and later lost them.
    in other words: Italian, Romanian, etc. had inherited prothetic vowels and then lost them independently of each other after they had split into separate languages.
    Is that really a likely scenario?

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    Re: e- in escape,estate and other words

    Quote Originally Posted by fdb View Post
    in other words: Italian, Romanian, etc. had inherited prothetic vowels and then lost them independently of each other after they had split into separate languages.
    Is that really a likely scenario?
    Here's another scenario: Italian inherited prothetic vowels and later eliminated them, while Romanian maybe never had them. Why do you assume that Italian and Romanian must have evolved in parallel?

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    Re: e- in escape,estate and other words

    That is a third option, different from the two suggested in 48. It is not likely to go down well with those (not necessarily including me) who posit a proto-Romance dichotomy of "Western" and "Eastern" Romance, with the presence or absence of prothetic vowels as one of the decisive shibboleths for distinguishing the two.

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    Re: e- in escape,estate and other words

    Quote Originally Posted by fdb View Post
    That is a third option, different from the two suggested in 48.
    The question I formulated in #48 can and should be asked about Italian and Romanian independently, with no prior expectation that the answer will be the same for both languages. Facts first, generalizations (if any) second. A strict dichotomy of Eastern vs. Western Romance is something that needs to be demonstrated, not posited.

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    Re: e- in escape,estate and other words

    But why -es is the suffix, not the prefix. It iis put at the beginning of the word, not at the end.

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    Re: e- in escape,estate and other words

    Quote Originally Posted by yakor View Post
    But why -es is the suffix, not the prefix. It iis put at the beginning of the word, not at the end.
    In "estate" it looks a prefix since it comes right at the beginning of the word..... but really an e- got added to the beginning of the word (e-state) to make pronunciation easier for speakers of Vulgar Latin/Old French. It means nothing here and never did.
    In "escape", a Latin prefix ex- (out of) turned into es- over time. But only people who know Latin recognize there is a prefix here, because "scape" (in English) means nothing without the es-.
    English borrowed both of these words. In both cases it is impossible to remove this e-, so it's not seen as a prefix. It is affixed permanently to the words in the language(s) or dialect(s) that have them.

    Berndf already answered this better than me. Let's reexamine his message since it has been lost at the bottom:
    There is no single answer to that. The etymology of these words is totally different. In estate, the initial e- is not a prefix morpheme and is not derived from ex-. Vulgar Latin/Proto-Romance added this initial e- in front of sc-, sp- and st- solely for ease of pronunciation, it has no meaning; and English got it from Old French and Norman French. In words derived from ex+verb (like escape), the prefix ex- was generally shortened to e-. In some words this happened already in Latin, in some words only later. In front of words starting with c-, exc- often changed to esc- rather than to the to-be-expected ec-, probably only for phonetic reasons, i.e. similarity to other words starting esc-.
    Last edited by merquiades; 4th November 2012 at 8:25 PM. Reason: clarify

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    Re: e- in escape,estate and other words

    Quote Originally Posted by yakor View Post
    But why -es is the suffix, not the prefix. It iis put at the beginning of the word, not at the end.
    To be a prefix, es- would have to me a functional group, i.e. it would have to have a "meaning", i.e. estate would have to be analysable as es-tate, i.e. es- would have to mean something and -tate would have to mean something. And this is obviously not the case.

    On the other side, escape could be analysed as es-cape. But Webster seems not view this as a functional prefix; but e- alone is a prefix, i.e. the "s" in e-s-cape is just a phonetic linking element. On the other hand, Webster considers -es a separate suffix, i.e. in glass-es or bush-es.

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    Re: e- in escape,estate and other words

    Quote Originally Posted by berndf View Post
    But Webster seems not view this as a functional prefix; but e- alone is a prefix, i.e. the "s" in e-s-cape is just a phonetic linking element.
    That is a very strange analysis, and it should be made clear that it does not come from Merriam-Webster. They do recognize e- as a prefix in words like edentulous and eluviation, but it does not follow that they believe that every word beginning with e- involves this prefix! (Or that e- is the only possible outcome of Latin ex- in English.) For escape, they give the same etymology provided by fdb and owlman5 in the very first responses of this thread.

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    Re: e- in escape,estate and other words

    Quote Originally Posted by CapnPrep View Post
    That is a very strange analysis, and it should be made clear that it does not come from Merriam-Webster. They do recognize e- as a prefix in words like edentulous and eluviation, but it does not follow that they believe that every word beginning with e- involves this prefix! (Or that e- is the only possible outcome of Latin ex- in English.) For escape, they give the same etymology provided by fdb and owlman5 in the very first responses of this thread.
    They do say that the prefix e- is derived from ex-. The also say that escape is derived from excapare yet they do not acknowledge es- to be a prefix. On the other hand they regards -s as in books and -es as in glasses as distinct suffixes. This asymmetry should be explained.

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    Re: e- in escape,estate and other words

    Quote Originally Posted by CapnPrep View Post
    Hispania > España looks entirely regular to me. For French, I guess the expected phonetic form would be Espaigne > Épaigne, so the actual form Espagne shows some anti-phonetic (etymological, foreign) influence, but I still see no reason to think that the initial vowel was epenthetic. Historia/histoire are learned forms.

    Update: It turns out that Spania is attested for Late Latin (and Σπανία in Greek), and then we have all the Sp- forms throughout Germanic… So it seems that both analyses may be possible for España (unless someone knows of attested aphetic forms in Ibero-Romance).
    Would the Spania > Espaigne > Épaigne evolution be the origin of "Spain" with maybe an intermediate form "Spaign"? That would account for the "ai" in English. The CNRTL attests "espaignol" for 1181-91.

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    Re: e- in escape,estate and other words

    I can imagine "Espaigne" (if you listen to Québecois pronunciation the group "ai" is almost a diphthong there, which would correspond to Old or Middle French pronunciation), but I cannot think how "Épaigne" would have reverted to the modern "Espagne"... and please don't forget that Spanish kings married French princesses (Philip II and Elisabeth Valois, e. g.) and French kings married Spanish princesses (Louis XIII and Anne of Austria, Louis XIV also married a Spanish princess).

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    Re: e- in escape,estate and other words

    Quote Originally Posted by Angelo di fuoco View Post
    I can imagine "Espaigne" (if you listen to Québecois pronunciation the group "ai" is almost a diphthong there, which would correspond to Old or Middle French pronunciation), but I cannot think how "Épaigne" would have reverted to the modern "Espagne"... and please don't forget that Spanish kings married French princesses (Philip II and Elisabeth Valois, e. g.) and French kings married Spanish princesses (Louis XIII and Anne of Austria, Louis XIV also married a Spanish princess).
    Hi Angelo. I would imagine it was taken as a loan from the Spanish "España" or else at least affected by it at a later date. España/ Espagne match one another too much. Otherwise, perhaps the yod was absorbed into the palatal nasal "gn". It wouldn't be the only example: bretaigne-bretagne, perhaps montaigne-montagne, yet it mostly didn't saigne, daigne, baigne
    Last edited by merquiades; 4th November 2012 at 10:47 PM.

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