Friday, December 7, 2012

Deleting the perfect v

In the last post I looked at syncopation in perfect verb forms. And then I remembered poor īre. It syncopates too, but it doesn't seem to have a theme vowel. So we get this.
īvī → iī
īvistī → īstī
īvit → iit
This reveals something about the v-deletion. First, *VVV is seemingly broken by . Second, if v deletes and takes ī to i, then something really odd, though by no means without parallel elsewhere, is going on with īstī. But then it doesn't happen with iit. Strange things are afoot at the Circle K.

But I got another reminder yesterday in class. v-deletion is even more widespread. Remember nōrit? That's right.
nōverit → nōrit
So now we've got -vi- and -ve- deleting. Now we've got some patterns to go hunting for. The question is this: can I find a -- or -- that deletes? If so, this is really simple. It's about front vowels. Will I find -vo- or -vu- deletion? Then it is short vowel deletion, but for now all I can say is -vi- and -ve- delete.
/wV+front+short/  → Ø / V_C
If only -vi- and -ve- deleting, then there are, as I said before, strange things afoot at the Circle K. Then it is confined to front short vowels. (And I really don't care for the terminology long/short since it also is a vowel difference.) What is is about v and these vowels that are prone to deletion? While something like nōrit isn't ambiguous, it isn't wholly clear either.