iltain and pappein – consonant gradation


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English – US

I'm wondering why words like iltain or pappein, the alternative genitive plural forms of ilta and pappi respectively, feature the strong grade instead of the weak grade.

In similar phonotactic contexts, I've found the weak grade, like the translative plurals illoiksi and papeiksi or, more obviously, the instructive plurals illoin and papein.

In all of the forms I've given, the consonant subject to gradation appears to be followed by a diphthong and a consonant that closes the syllable.

The only explanation that occurs to me is that the -in in these forms is eliding some other letters, which results in strong form. For instance, I see that the reconstruction of Proto-Finnic includes the form *iltoiden (featuring the strong form) as the genitive plural of *ilta.

In this regard, I also recall the following remark from Pochtrager.

The situation is even more complicated when we turn our attention to the diphthongs. Here, CG sometimes applies before a diphthong, sometimes it does not. As in the case of long vowels, diphthongs in non-initial syllables are never basic, they are the result of the affixation of some marker like plural -i-. When this marker attaches to a stem ending in a short vowel, CG applies as usual; when it attaches to a stem ending in a long vowel, CG is blocked. (Markus Alexander Pochtrager. Finnish Consonant Gradation (2001). MA Thesis. University of Vienna. Page 29.)

So what do you think? How do you explain the use of the strong grade in these forms?

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