Εvolution des constrictives en chypriote ancien
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Development of fricatives in ancient Cypriot. After the pioneering article of A. Morpurgo Davies (1988), this study attempts to reconsider, from a different perspective, the development of all fricatives in ancient Cypriot. The relevant data consists mainly of personal names, a very conservative and particular linguistic domain. This paper argues that the following occurred at least from the archaic period: (1) Intervocalic, initial or final /s/ before strong pause shows a tendency to weakening or to sheer loss from the seventh century B.C. on, in all regions of the island. This tendency is in parallel in place and time with that of [w], in the positions where the latter is permitted in terms of phonotactic constraints. The same loss seems to happen to all the constrictives, these being anyway rare before the Hellenistic period. This constitutes a supplementary indication that Cypriot was a psilotic dialect. It also indicates that the thesis about a recent (classical ?) [h-], resulting from s- and supposed to be represented by the sign <se>, is untenable. (2) Within a word or in sandhi conditions, /s/ is occasionally omitted before a continuant consonant, including another that is fricative (or supposed so). (3) In clusters of s + voiceless stop (usually the dental stop), the sequence (C)VstV is in most cases considered as heterosyllabic, (C)Vs|tV, and because of the loose (if any) pronunciation of s, the latter is usually omitted in writing. The weakening and/or the loss of fricatives, mainly in intervocalic position, are live characteristics in many Cypriot Greek local varieties.