Sonority sequencing principle

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Stephen Hughes
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Sonority sequencing principle

Post by Stephen Hughes » May 10th, 2014, 3:26 pm

MAubrey wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:Is that the natural (phonetic not etymological) to say the word?
In English, the phoneme /s/ functions independently of the sonority sequencing principle (a very strong phonological universal), which then allows for syllabus structures where /s/ appears before plosives like /t/ before the syllable's nucleus. Greek does not do this. If you're going to have a pre-nucleus consonant cluster within a syllable, then the first consonant needs to have lower sonority than the second (e.g πνεύμα). So when word internal clusters seem to appear like with αποστεγασαντες, there is a phonological requirement for having a break there. English, while not alone in what it does, is still a bit of a linguistic outlier in its syllable structure.
It seems logical enough. How about a word like στρόφιγξ "pivot" (LXX).
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

MAubrey
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Re: Sonority sequencing principle

Post by MAubrey » May 10th, 2014, 5:33 pm

Clusters at the beginning and the end of words are exceptional.

English allows /s/ to violate the principle for clusters that appear anywhere in the word. Greek does not.
Mike Aubrey, Linguist
Koine-Greek.com

MAubrey
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Re: Sonority sequencing principle

Post by MAubrey » May 10th, 2014, 6:11 pm

I should emphasize that I'm not a phonologist and my thoughts on Greek syllable structure are nascent at best. I'm sure Randall has far more thought out ideas about Greek syllable structure, considering his research focuses. There is no comprehensive work. Devine & Stephen's book Greek prosody touches on the question, as does Allen's Accent and rhythm, but we could use something that more explicitly oriented toward analysis of Greek syllables. Most works on clitics at least touch on the subject, too.

Nevertheless, sonority sequencing is a valuable starting point for analysis for working through various syllable positions (and they do need to be worked through separately). All languages are a little different in how they approach sonority...which is why this is a principle rather than a rule
Mike Aubrey, Linguist
Koine-Greek.com

Stephen Hughes
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Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

The case of προσκοπή (προ-σκοπή / προσ-κοπή)

Post by Stephen Hughes » May 15th, 2014, 1:57 am

In the case of a word like this προσκοπή, which could be either of a pair (προ-σκοπή "looking out for" & προσ-κοπή "cause of offense"), would the sense of the word be expressed / recognised through its context (collocations) or by over-riding the Sonority sequencing principal and pronouncing them derivationally?
Cassius Dio Cocceianus, Historiae Romanae, 33.9.3 wrote:οἵ τε γὰρ Θρᾷκες ὑπὸ τοῦ Φαβίου ἐς προσκοπὴν πεμφθέντες
For the Thracians being dispatched by Fabius to scout out [things] forward [of the force] (as πρόσκοποι "a reconnoitring party") ...
ἐς is Herodotus' (the father of history's) way of writing εἰς.

Some other related words are; προσκοπέω A.2 watch (like a πρόσκοπος "outpost, vedette" or spy)
2 Corinthians 6.3 wrote:μηδεμίαν ἐν μηδενὶ διδόντες προσκοπήν
not giving any (no) cause of offence to anyone (nobody)
προσκοπή is taken in the sense of πρόσκομμα "a stumbling (block)",
1 Peter 2:8 wrote:Λίθος προσκόμματος καὶ πέτρα σκανδάλου
cf. the verb προσκόπτω "to stumble [over some obstacle on the path (that wasn't seen or expected)]", "trip (over [some thing]).
  • cf. ἐπισφαλής "prone to falling [in and of itself not stable]", περισφαλάω "to stagger", σφάλλω A.1 of a drunken man, σφαλλόμενος προσέρχεται reeling, staggering, Ar.V.1324, cf. Heraclit. 117; “ς. ὑπὸ οἴνου” X.Lac.5.7 ,
  • cf. the NT uses the family of ἀσφαλής "not (internally / itself) prone to falling", "certain, "secure", etc. q.v.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Stephen Hughes
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προσκόπτειν - σφάλλειν self-misrepresentation

Post by Stephen Hughes » May 15th, 2014, 9:50 am

I think I misrepresented my understanding of the relationship between προσκόπτειν and σφάλλειν, when I rushed that last post off.

If προσκόπτειν is not σφάλλειν in as much as one particular cause is not a genaral effect. But a cause is still part of the overall process, and likewise, σφάλλειν - referring as it does to the overall process - can and does quite frequently include the meaning of "trip (somebody) up. The derivative (alpha-privative) forms (words) in the NT seem all to come from from the being unstable in itself meaning, so that's why I fixated on that aspect of its meaning in that post.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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