THE ORIGIN AND PHONEMIC VALUE OF THE OLD ARMENIAN Ղ (L) AND GH Լ (Ł)

Summary
THE ORIGIN AND PHONEMIC VALUE OF THE OLD ARMENIAN
Ղ (L) AND GHԼ(Ł)
Diachronic Concept
Vardan Z. Petrosyan
Key Words:
Pre-Armenian,liquid sonorant, Velar sound, fricative sound, sub-phoneme. The(ł) and լ(l) sonorants of Old Armenian were the main speech variations of the pre-Armenian sonorant phoneme <*l> and were in a sub-phoneme relation with each other. In the 5 th century, at the initial stage of Classical Armenian, (ł)-լ (l) contrast appears especially at the ending position of the word. It had a function of semantic distinction (phonological). However, in native Armenian it was excluded for (ł) to appear at the beginning of a word. This means that here, in this position, they were in an additional relation of distribution (sub-phonological). Most apparently, the phonemicization of (ł) as a velar sound is the result of divergent developments.

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