Legitimate word forms?

Stephen Carlson
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Re: Legitimate word forms?

Post by Stephen Carlson » September 4th, 2018, 8:48 pm

Alan Bunning wrote:
September 1st, 2018, 8:06 am
I doubt your doubts, because multiple scribes wrote them and did not correct their “mistakes”, and in most cases, neither did any of the many subsequent hands which also did not bother to “correct” them.
I'm concerned that this may be reading too much into scribes and later hands not correcting "mistakes".
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
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Alan Bunning
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Re: Legitimate word forms?

Post by Alan Bunning » September 4th, 2018, 11:18 pm

RandallButh wrote:
September 2nd, 2018, 12:15 am
In order to deal with the question a person must think PHONOLOGICALLY.
Yes, of course, which is how these examples were found in the first place! My program found them, not because they were spelled differently, but because they were NOT phonetic matches according the normal phonetic equivalents. So my general question still remains unanswered. Let me try asking it one more time another way: how many times does a word that is phonetically different and is used multiple times in several manuscripts, need to appear before it gets to be considered a legitimate word form? Since the words sound similarly, I could accept that there could be slight pronunciation errors or different dialects. There are hundreds of “uncorrected” words that only appear once which I can write off as scribal mistakes. But I am concerned about the ones that appeared multiple times, were never “corrected” by subsequent hands, and sometimes even appear in other writings.
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Alan Bunning
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Re: Legitimate word forms?

Post by Alan Bunning » September 4th, 2018, 11:26 pm

Stephen Carlson wrote:
September 4th, 2018, 8:48 pm
Alan Bunning wrote:
September 1st, 2018, 8:06 am
I doubt your doubts, because multiple scribes wrote them and did not correct their “mistakes”, and in most cases, neither did any of the many subsequent hands which also did not bother to “correct” them.
I'm concerned that this may be reading too much into scribes and later hands not correcting "mistakes".
Again, if these scribes are making "mistakes", multiple scribes are all making the same phonetic mistake. The fact that they are repeated across several manuscripts, sometimes repeated again by the same scribe, not correct by subsequent hands, and occur in other writings, makes it less likely that they were “typos”, and more likely that there was an underlying phonetical difference.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Legitimate word forms?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » September 5th, 2018, 5:23 am

Guys, let's not get into too much of a text criticism discussion here. Alan, while you have a point, there are other explanations. It's possible that the mistakes took place in an early exemplar, and that the scribe(s) copying simply felt they didn't have sufficient authority to make corrections, particularly if, as happened more and more in late antiquity and especially the medieval period, the scribes may have been less than proficient in the language they were copying. I'm not saying that you can't make an argument, only that all factors must be taken into consideration as the evidence is examined.
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RandallButh
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Re: Legitimate word forms?

Post by RandallButh » September 5th, 2018, 6:20 am

I think that there may be some confusion above between phonetic, scribal and phonologic.

Legitimate word forms need to be worked into a phonology that makes sense. There are all kinds of "static" when taking thousands of samples. These must be observed and distilled into phonological systems and the historical development of the systems must be traced through time and dialects. For example, on μεταξύ above as μετοξύ: if this is a legitimate dialectical form, then some environment must be shown where [ a ] regularly goes to [ o ] or where [ a ] and [ o ] merge. And if [ o ] and [ ω ] have already merged, then one would expect examples of [ a ] for [ ω ] as well. They must then be set up into a phonological system that makes sense within the system and it should be related to the development of the parallel dialectical systems within the history of language. Until that is done, it is just static.

Our ears [and eyes, because eyes pass on to a phonological loop in a brain] filter static all the time, we are not usually aware of it because we hear according to phonology(-ies) in our heads.
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Alan Bunning
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Re: Legitimate word forms?

Post by Alan Bunning » September 5th, 2018, 8:39 am

RandallButh wrote:
September 5th, 2018, 6:20 am
They must then be set up into a phonological system that makes sense within the system and it should be related to the development of the parallel dialectical systems within the history of language.
Why does it need to be a system? For example, there are a lot of people here in the Midwest that “worsh” their hands. There is no system here where “a” = “or” and there is no other word that I know of where they do that. Sometimes I think there is just word slop where there are slight differences in the way someone pronounces a word.
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RandallButh
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Re: Legitimate word forms?

Post by RandallButh » September 5th, 2018, 10:02 am

See Midland American English on wikipedia, under phonology.

Sounds in a language are never isolated but part of a system.

By the way, squaRsh is mentioned along with waRsh and WaRshington.
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Alan Bunning
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Re: Legitimate word forms?

Post by Alan Bunning » September 5th, 2018, 10:44 am

RandallButh wrote:
September 5th, 2018, 10:02 am
See Midland American English on wikipedia, under phonology.

Sounds in a language are never isolated but part of a system.

By the way, squaRsh is mentioned along with waRsh and WaRshington.
Well, I am guessing the analysis of that in writing would look just like what I am seeing. I am not sure that three words would be a broad enough system that we would make a general inference from writings centuries after the fact. While I grew up saying “worsh” and “worshington” (but never “squorsh”), I never wrote it down that way because I knew that wasn’t the correct form. But if a 3rd grader were writing it down phonetically, some of them might turn in “worsh” because that is how it was spoken. Thus, you would see a few papers written that way (more than mere coincidence), but most of them not written that way, even in the place where it was spoken.

If I saw several occurrences of “worsh” in writing centuries after the fact in numerous writings, based on probability I would not conclude that it was a common slip of the pen, but possibly an indication of a different pronunciation. And if nobody played “squorsh” or went to “Worshington” in their writings, I would only see “worsh” appear a few times. (And BTW, from one of my previous posts, just like the case of μετοξύ, there WERE many other words where “α” and “ο” were swapped.)

But still none of this really answers my question. How many times does a word form have to appear in how many difference sources before you would begin to suspect an underlying phonetic difference?
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RandallButh
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Re: Legitimate word forms?

Post by RandallButh » September 5th, 2018, 11:21 am

One occurrence is enough, if you know what you're doing and control the whole SOUND system.
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Alan Bunning
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Re: Legitimate word forms?

Post by Alan Bunning » September 5th, 2018, 12:00 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
September 5th, 2018, 5:23 am
Guys, let's not get into too much of a text criticism discussion here. Alan, while you have a point, there are other explanations. It's possible that the mistakes took place in an early exemplar, and that the scribe(s) copying simply felt they didn't have sufficient authority to make corrections, particularly if, as happened more and more in late antiquity and especially the medieval period, the scribes may have been less than proficient in the language they were copying. I'm not saying that you can't make an argument, only that all factors must be taken into consideration as the evidence is examined.
Yes, I did think of the TC angle, but was not wanting to go there, for it would be very difficult to know. In other words, what is the probability that an uneducated fisherman wrote a word as he heard it, and some meticulous scribes copied exactly what he wrote, while some other scribes “fixed” it.
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