Discussion examples for
proto-Bole Perfective Marker
Bole is a West Chadic language spoken in northeastern Nigeria. Use internal reconstruction to reconstruct the original form of the Bole perfective marker.
There is just one one correspondence
set for the Bole perfective marker, raising the question of which
of the three variants may have been original. We can use the the
sound changes which would be required to get the modern forms
from each reconstruction to help decide:
To reconstruct *wo requires that *w strengthen to a stop in postconsonantal environments. While not completely unnatural, it is certainly not as common a type of change as the weakenings required for the other proposed reconstructions (stop > glide / V___V, assimilation to voicing of preceding consonant). Choosing between *k and *g is not obvious, however, since both involve natural voicing assimilations to the preceding consonants.
Comparative data from Karekare resolves this.
In Karekare, k appears in both
/ V___V and / ___V. It would make no sense to reconstruct the
Karekare perfective marker as coming from anything other than
*ko. Since this is also one of the variants of the Bole
perfective marker, this must be the original form for Bole as
Return to Karekare data
Karekare is a language of the Bole-Tangale subgroup of West Chadic and is thus fairly closely related to Bole. Both Bole and Karekare have a plural agreement ending -an, suffixed to the verb when the subject is plural. Bole also has a feminine singular agreement ending when the subject is feminine singular (either 'you (feminine singular)' or 'she'). This is seen as the suffix -ak in the Bole data. Karekare does not have feminine singular agreement.
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proto-Spanish Verb Root Vowels
Reconstruct the vowels of the roots of the following
Spanish verbs. (The archaic thou is used in English to
distinguish 2nd person singular from 2nd person plural.)
Vowel Correspondence sets
This problem shows the uncertainty often found in internal reconstruction. The differing correspondence sets show that we must reconstruct at least seven vowel distinctions, but we have no way to be sure what those distinctions were. Without going into detail, the real answer lies in the vowel length distinction of Latin, which has disappeared in all the modern Romance languages, showing up as differences in vowel quality or diphthongization.
Back to Spanish data
Do not use the Spanish word tengo in your correspondence sets. It has undergone an irregular develoment and is included here for completeness.
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