acoustic phonetics, statistics and comparative philology to
bring speech back from the past
we are trying to do
Indo-European digits database
Here I'll gather together in one place all the audio demos previously tweeted on the twitter feed @sounds_ancient (http://twitter.com/sounds_ancient), on the blog, and in presentations and lectures. Check out the blog (see link at left) for more demos and examples.
23 July 2020. The pronunciation of "hate" comes from Old English hete, from Proto-Germanic *hat(iz), from Post-PIE *k̂ad- (Grimm's Law) from *k̂eh2d- (vocalization of the laryngeals): phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/hate-
16-21 July 2020. English "acre" derives from Old English "æcer", via the Great Vowel Shift, and in many UK dialects, "loss" of the final [r]. Here's my audio simulation: phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/RP-ac (or, if your device prefers MP3's, phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/RP-ac)
Old English "æcer" comes from Proto-Germanic *akraz (here sounding more like [akroz] or [akros]), from Post-Proto-Indo-European *aĝros (< PIE *h2eĝros). Audio simulations: (wav) phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/RP-ac (mp3)
Here's another example: (some sort of approximation to) Proto-Indo-European *ĝhwér- > Lithuanian žvėr-inė. Listen: phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/PIE-g, phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/Lithu
23 January 2020."Average pronunciations" (1) Means of a bunch of recordings of French numbers: phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/1to10 (2) Medians of same set of recordings:
14 January 2020. A *laryngeal reflex in Modern Persian: سیاه siyah "black", ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *k̂yeh1-, cognate with English "hue". The final [h] is not a random one-off, but seems common/normal in Iranian Persian, Tajik etc. Listen:
17 December 2019. In May 2015 I posted a simulation of how English "ten" developed from Proto-Indo-European *dekmt (using Lithuanian [dešmt] as proxy). Now, a much better job: ten < Old English tien < Proto-Germanic *tehun < PIE *dekmt. Listen and enjoy:
21 November 2019. English "nine" [naɪn] comes from Middle/Old English [ni:n], which is from Proto-Germanic *nigon (perhaps [niɣɵn]), from Proto-Indo-European *h1newh1n̩/m (Mallory/Adams) or *(h1)néwn̩ (Ringe): I'm going with [neun] or [neum]. Listen:
It's not quite right, because [naɪn] should go through [neɪn] on the way to [ni:n], but this simulation goes via something like [noɪn]. But it's a start.
July 2019. Laryngeals in Lithuanian? (a
thread) "raudonas", Lith. for "red", comes from
Proto-Indo-European *h1reudh-; the initial h1 is hypothetical,
based on evidence from several languages. BUT listen to this
first syllable: phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/RUBER
Here's another example of "raudona" from Proto-Indo-European *h1reudh-. Listen to this first syllable: phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/RUBER Downloaded from 50languages.com/phrasebook/les and converted to .wav. Unlike my other demos, these have not been manipulated at all.
I've been looking at tokens of "raudona" today. In most of them, the initial /r/ begins with a little prothetic schwa and then one or two taps [əɾ(ɾ)]. In a minority (~20%?) it's something like [həɾ(ɾ)-], as in the two examples I just posted.
24th follow-up, following feedback
from various Twitter commentators:
been making some videos to illustrate processes of sound
change using spectrograms that morph from one into another.
First, here's "te" changing into "se" (which happened in
See the energy rising at the left?
Here's Latin quinque changing into Modern Italian cinque. See the energy rising at the left as the initial plosive morphs into an affricate.
Here's the vowel [e] in the first syllable of Proto-Indo-European "*kwetwor" changing into [a] in Latin "quattuor". The lower frequency energy creeps upwards, because [a] has a higher first formant frequency than [e] http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/kwetwor-to-quattuor.mp4
Here Proto-Indo-European oin- develops into Anglo-Saxon "an" (pronounced "aan"). The left-to-right upward-sweeping resonance (the second formant of [oi]) collapses, as [a:] has more energy in lower frequencies than [i] does:
Tip: if any of these video clips don't play properly in your browser (e.g. if you just get a black screen), try saving them to your computer and then opening them with e.g. VLC player
7 December 2018. English
"six" comes ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *kswek̂s, via
6 December 2018. This
has been a while in the making: English "four" is from
Proto-Indo-European "kʷetwóres", via Old English "feower",
Proto-Germanic "fidwor" and Pre-Proto-Germanic "hwidwor". Listen:
10 October 2018. English "long" is related to Modern Persian دراز (deraz). "Long" comes from Anglo-Saxon "lang", which came from Proto-Indo-European *dlonghos something like this (I ignore the -os ending), listen:http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/AS-lang-from-PIE-dlong.mp3 …
*dlonghos developed into Middle Persian "derang", something like
"derang" developed into Modern Persian "deraz", I'm guessing
something like this, listen:http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/MPers-derang-to-Pers-deraz.mp3 …
24 July 2018. Anglo-Saxon
"gōs" came from Proto-Indo-European *ghans (via "gōs" came from
Proto-Indo-European *ghans (via something Germanic "gans"), like
29 June 2018. Listen to Latin
"duo" morphing into French "deux"http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/Latin-duo-to-French-deux.mp3 …
28 March 2018. In this thread, we show how the English and Urdu words for "goose" are related.
"goose" comes from Anglo-Saxon gōs, like this:
came from Proto-Indo-European *ghans (via something Germanic
"gans"), like this:
southwards, PIE *ghans developed (eventually) into Urdu "hans",
11 December 2017. West
meets East: English "fierce" is from Middle English fers, from
Latin fer-us, from Proto-Indo-European *ĝhwēr-
Proto-Indo-European *ĝhwēr- developed into žver, thence sher (like
in the Jungle Book tiger, Shir Khan). Listen:http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/PIE-ghwer-to-Persian-shir.wav …
Now it gets
really interesting: Iranianشیر šīr
6 December 2017. Grimm's
Law 1a: The initial [b] in English "(to) bear" comes from a voiced
aspirate [bh] in Proto-Indo-European *bher(e/o)-, like this: http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/PIE-bher-to-Eng-bear.wav …
Grimm's Law 1b:
[b] in English "(to) bear" is from a voiced aspirate [bh] in
Proto-Indo-European *bher(e/o)-. Sanskrit "bhar-" retains the
initial [bh]: http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/PIE-bher-to-Skt-bhar.wav …
7 April 2017. In Old and Middle English, "bite" was pronounced more like the modern word "beat". The vowel evolved, like this: http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/beat-to-bite.wav …
MP3 version of
Middle English "bite" changing to its modern pronunciationhttp://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/beat-to-bite.mp3 …
1 April 2017. (No,
not an April Fool's Day joke!)
For #WhanThatAprilleDay17, a few demos of how English and Persian have a common ancestry in Indo-European.
English "belly" (also "bulge") comes from PIE *bhólĝhis. Irish "bolg" (same root) makes a pretty good proxy: http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/belly-to-bolg.wav …
MP3 simulation of how "belly" comes from PIE *bhólĝhis (Irish "bolg"): http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/belly
"pillow" is also from PIE *bhólĝh-http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/balesh-to-bolg.wav …
Like Persian balish بالش, Slovenian "blazina" (both mean "pillow") is also from PIE *bhólĝh-http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/blazina-Slovenian.wav …
A borough (Old English burh) is a fortified town, from PIE *bherĝhs, "high place": http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/borough-to-bergs.wav …
MP3 version: http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/borough-to-bergs.mp3 …
Also from PIE *bherĝhs, "high place": Armenian bardzr, Pers. borz, Balochi borza, Russ béreg, Ir. brí, Gk. púrgos ...
"borz" evolving from (sort of) PIE *bherĝhs http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/borz-to-bergs.wav …
28 October 2016. Today's experiment: Proto-Indo-European *bhreĝ, 'break' http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/PIE-bhreg.wav …
Modern English 'break' comes from Proto-Indo-European *bhreĝ something like this: http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/break-from-bhreg.wav …
I posted demo of "five" from (Lithuanian) "penki". But
PIE has *penkwe, not penki. So here done better: http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/five-from-penkwe.mp3 …
Starting to fill new table of Indo-European digit sounds at http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/ancient-sounds-database.html … New tokens of *treies, *ksweks, quinque and Ancient Gk, and *penkwe, *septm (wrong stress, but hey), quattuor (hybrid of Ladin kwater and Welsh pedwar, maybe too prominent). Comments +/- welcomed.
2015. Clips relating to the paper we
gave at the 18th International Congress of
Phonetic Sciences, Glasgow
(Coleman, Aston and Pigole 2015, "Reconstructing the sounds
of words from the past"), is available from the "papers"
page (see sidebar at left).
26 May 2015. "Three" comes from Proto-Indo-European "*treyes". Not from Spanish "tres", but that's the nearest I've got. Listen: http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/three-from-treis.wav. Here's the MP3 version: http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/three-from-treis.mp3 …
25 May 2015. "One" comes from Proto-Indo-European *oinos, via Middle English "oon", Anglo-Saxon "an", Germanic "oin(s)". Listen: http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/one-from-oins.wav …
"One" from "oin(s)", MP3 format: http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/one-from-oins.mp3 …
Previously [12th May] we generated a continuum of sounds from "two" to "twa" and vice-versa. Now, we follow "two" all the way back to Proto-Indo-European *dwo(H). WAV: http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/two-from-dwo.wav … MP3: http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/two-from-dwo.wav.mp3 …
“Nine” is from
Proto-Indo-European *h1newh1m (әnewәm) via [niin],
[neɣn] Listen: http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/nain-from-neGn.wav … or http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/nain-from-neGn.mp3 ….
20 May 2015. English "ten" comes via tene, teihen from Proto-Indo-European *dekmt (my nearest recording is Lithuanian [dešmt]): http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/ten-from-deshmt.wav …
18 May 2015. "Eight" came from Proto-Indo-European *Hokto, via changes something like this: http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/eight-from-okto.wav … (MP3 version http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/eight-from-okto.mp3 …)
2015. "Eight" comes
from "aehta" (but I ignore the final vowel for now): http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/eight-from-aeht.wav
15 May 2015. "Four" comes from Anglo-Saxon "feower": http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/four-from-feower.wav …
15 May 2015.
"Five" comes via fif, fimf, pemp from Proto-Indo-European *penkwe.
Lithuanian penki is nearest living word. Listen: http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/five-from-penki.wav …
12 May 2015. Simulating the derivation of Modern English "two" from Anglo-Saxon "twa": http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/two-from-twa.wav … Or if you prefer going forwards in time from Anglo-Saxon "twa" to Modern English "two": http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/twa-to-two.wav …
1 April 2015.
|John Coleman is supported by a
Science in Culture Innovation Award from the
||John Aston is supported by a Fellowship from the|