Remarks on the Phonological Evolution of Russian in Comparison with the Other Slavic Languages

Remarks on the Phonological Evolution of Russian in Comparison with the Other Slavic Languages

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Overview

The first English translation of a classic and groundbreaking work in historical phonology.

This is the first English translation of a groundbreaking 1929 work in historical phonology by the renowned linguist Roman Jakobson, considered the founder of modern structural linguistics. A revolutionary treatment of Russian and Slavic linguistics, the book introduced a new type of historical linguistics that focused on the systematic reasons behind phonological change. Rather than treating such changes as haphazard, Jakobson here presents a “teleological,” purposeful approach to language evolution. He concludes by placing his book in the context of the exciting structural developments of the era, including Einstein's theories, Cezanne's art, and Lev Berg's nomogenesis.

The original Russian version of the book was lost during the 1939 German invasion of Brno, Czechoslovakia, and the only edition available until now has been the French translation by Louis Brun. Thus this first English translation offers many linguists their first opportunity to read a major early work of Jakobson. Ronald Feldstein, a leading Slavicist and phonologist in his own right, has not only translated the text from French to English, he has also worked to reconstruct something as close to the missing original as possible. Feldstein's end-of-chapter annotations provide explanatory context for particularly difficult passages.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262038690
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 11/13/2018
Series: The MIT Press
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Roman Jakobson (1896–1982) was one of the greatest linguists of the twentieth century. Educated in Moscow and Prague, he taught at Masaryk University, Columbia University, Harvard University, and MIT. His many published works include Six Lectures on Sound and Meaning (MIT Press).

Table of Contents

Translator's Foreword: The Significance of Roman Jakobson's Remarks on the Phonological Evolution of Russian in Comparison with the Other Slavic Languages xiii

Notes on Early Common Slavic to Late Common Slavic xix

Author's Preface xxiii

1 Basic Principles 1

1.1 Phonological System: The Phoneme 1

1.2 Types of Phonological Oppositions: Correlations 2

1.3 Paired and Unpaired Phonemes 3

1.4 Relations between Disjunctive and Correlative Units 3

1.5 The Archiphoneme and Its Variants 4

1.6 Phonological System of Literary Russian 5

1.7 Relations between Phonemic Variants and Archiphonemes 7

Annotations to Chapter 1, Basic Principles 9

2 Remarks on Current Issues of Comparative Historical Phonology 15

2.1 Extending the Use of Comparative Historical Methodology 15

2.2 Contradiction (Antinomy) between Synchronic and Diachronic Linguistics and Ways of Overcoming It 15

2.3 Typology of Changes 19

2.4 Phonetic "Laws" 19

2.5 Laws of Reciprocal Relations of Correlations 19

2.6 Importance of Acoustics for Historical Phonology 21

Annotations to Chapter 2, Remarks on Current Issues of Comparative Historical Phonology 22

3 Remarks on the Evolution of the Phonological System of Proto-Slavic 25

3.1 First and Second Velar Palatalizations 25

3.2 Influence of Palatal Consonants on Following Vowels 26

3.3 Reciprocal Influence of Vowels and Liquids inside Diphthongs 26

3.4 Influence of Vowels on Preceding Consonants 28

3.5 Unification of the Syllable 28

3.6 Ultimate Fate of the Products of Velar Palatalizations 28

3.7 Diphthongs of Proto-Slavic 29

3.8 Elimination of Homogeneous Diphthongs 31

3.9 Evolution of Nasal Diphthongs 31

3.10 Fundamental Tendency of Diphthongal Evolution 33

3.11 Qualitative Differentiation of Long and Short Vowels 33

3.12 Evolution of "Long Vowel + n" Diphthongs 34

3.13 Restructuring of Quantitative Relations 35

3.14 Redistribution of Prothetic Consonants and Its Consequences 36

3.15 System of Palatal Consonants and Dialect Variations in Their Evolution 37

3.16 Dialect Differences in the System of Vowels in Sequences with Paired Softs and the Treatment of the Affricate 3 38

3.17 Link between the Fate of e and the Dialectal Treatment of the Sequence 3'ä 40

3.18 Dependency of Nasal Diphthong Evolution on the Treatment of e(jat') 41

3.19 Limitation of the Role of j 43

Annotations to Chapter 3, Remarks on the Evolution of the Phonological System of Proto-Slavic 44

4 The Proto-East-Slavic Change of Initial je- to o- and Similar Developments in the Other Slavic Languages 59

4.1 Reason for the Change of Initial je- to o- 59

4.2 Conditions for the Loss of j- When Preceding e in Word-Initial Position 60

4.3 A Bulgarian Parallel 63

4.4 A Sorbian Parallel 64

4.5 A Czecho-Slovak Parallel 65

4.6 Hypothetical Isogloss of the Elimination of the Group "Initial j + e + Soft Consonant" and Attempt at an Explanation 66

Annotations to Chapter 4. The Pro to-East-Slavic Change of Initial je- to o- and Similar Developments in the Other Slavic Languages 67

5 Dialectal Facts about Proto-East-Slavic 71

5.1 Fusion of c and c in Northern Russian 71

5.2 Treatment of the sk + oi Reflex in, Northern Russian 71

5.3 Other Dialect Features; Disparate Nature of Isoglosses 72

Annotations to Chapter 5, Dialectal Facts about Proto-East-Slavic 74

6 Consequences of the Loss of Weak Jers for the Slavic Languages 77

6.1 Loss of Weak Jers as a Factor in the Breakup of Proto-Slavic 77

6.2 Consequences of the Loss of Weak Jers for the Correlation "Voiced ∼ Voiceless Consonant" 78

6.3 Consequences of the Loss of Weak Jers for the Correlation "Soft Group ∼ Hard Group" and Subsequently for Accent and Quantity 79

6.4 Changes in Czech 80

6.5 Changes in Western Bulgarian and the Confrontation of These Changes with Those of Czech 83

6.6 Changes in Northern Kashubian and the Problem of the Accentological Periodization of West Slavic 85

Annotations to Chapter 6, Consequences of the Loss of Weak Jers for the Slavic Languages 89

7 The Establishment of the "Soft ˜ Hard Consonant" Correlation in Russian and Other Slavic Languages, and Related Facts 99

7.1 Treatment of Palatal Sonorants 99

7.2 Treatment of the Opposition of Front and Back Vowels 100

7.3 Details of the Establishment of the "Soft ∼ Hard Consonant" Correlation in Ukrainian 101

7.4 Dialect Split of East Slavic Due to Weak Jer-Fall 104

7.5 Phonological Details of Belarusian 106

7.6 Diphthongs and the Role of Prothetic ν in Ukrainian 107

7.7 Diphthongs and the Role of Prothetic ν in Russian 111

7.8 Diphthongs and the Role of Prothetic ν in Northern Belarusian 113

7.9 Evolution of Eastern Bulgarian Compared with Ukrainian 114

7.10 The Place of This Phonological Type on the Slavic Linguistic Map 116

Annotations to Chapter 7, The Establishment of the "Soft ∼ Hard Consonant" Correlation in Russian and Other Slavic Languages, and Related Facts 118

8 Features Common to Russian and Absent in Other East Slavic Dialects 135

8.1 Classification of Development Linked to Weak Jer-Fall on the Basis of Their Degree of Spread 135

8.2 Russian Innovations Listed by Trubetzkoy 136

8.3 Elimination of Russian Reduced i, y 136

Annotations to Chapter 8, Features Common to Russian and Absent in Other East Slavic Dialects 138

9 Russian Dialect Changes of Unaccented Vowels 141

9.1 Critique of Hypotheses That Derive Akan'e from Old East Slavic Quantity 141

9.2 Attempt to Derive Akan'e from Intensity Relations 143

9.3 Types of Dissimilative Akan'e 145

9.4 Akan'e and Other Types of Change in the Unaccented Vowel System 146

9.5 Types of Nondissimilative Akan'e 148

9.6 Conditions on the Rise of Akan'e and Its Southward Spread 149

9.7 Genetic Relations between Different Akan'e Types 151

9.8 Northward Spread of Akan'e 151

Annotations to Chapter 9, Russian Dialect Changes of Unaccented Vowels 153

10 Some Conclusions 159

10.1 Impossibility of Separating a Single Linguistic Process from the System as a Whole 159

10.2 Spread of Linguistic Innovations 160

10.3 Breakup of a Common Language 162

10.4 Tendency toward Structural Linguistics in Contemporary Ideology 163

Annotations to Chapter 10, Some Conclusions 166

Appendix A Author's Transcription 169

Appendix B On Cyrillic Transliteration 171

Appendix C Major Jakan'e Types 177

Author's References 185

Annotation References 191

Notes 195

Index 205

What People are Saying About This

Endorsement

Professor Feldstein has done a brilliant job of not only rendering Jakobson's seminal work into English but also providing expert commentary that brings Jakobson's original text to life. This work should be read by any linguist who is interested in phonology in general, historical comparative phonology, and principles of diachronic analysis.

Edna Andrews, Chair, Linguistics Program, Duke University; author of Markedness Theory and Neuroscience and Multilingualism

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