(M-Noric is conceived as a later proto-stage, from which more recent dialects develop.)

Proto-Noric (see had the following sound system:

vl.stops: p t k q
vd.stops: b d g
asp.stops: ph th kh (qh?)
vl.affricates: ts tc (=tS)
vd.affricates: dz dx (=dZ)
asp.affricates: tsh tch (=tSh)
vl.fricatives: s c (=S) h
vd.fricatives: z x (=Z)
Nasals: m n
Res. w l r j
(NB: the symbols in parens are the CXS equivalents, which will be used henceforth)

Vowels: short a e i o u y (=[i\]), long â ê î ô û
(NB: the traditional colon will be used henceforth to indicate vowel length, so a: e: etc.)
Long/short vowels may occur freely in either syllable of the word; stress may occur on either syllable.

The word-base is defined as: C(R)VC ~(C)V(R)C; however, the actual word must end in a vowel, so C(R)VCV ~(C)V(R)CV. R (resonant) is defined as the sounds m n r l w j (with some restrictions-- see below-- these may also fill the C slot).

Prefixes have the shape (C)V(R)- ~CRV-; suffixes are -(R)CV

In addition to the (canonic) discussion of Proto-Noric at the site mentioned above, there is also a listing of proto-forms at

Constraints on occurrence:

1. In the CR- and -RC- slot, sequences of identical R are not allowed (no initial/medial mm, nn, rr, ll, ww, jj)

2. In the CR- slot, sequences of stop+identical N are not allowed (e.g. no p(h)m-, bm-, t(h)n-, dn- --this implies no dental/palatal affricate+n, but that has not yet been established); sequences of stop/affricate+non-identical N are permitted-- thus pn- bn- tm- km- gn- etc. are OK. In the -RC- slot, all combinations are possible except identical resonants, as in (1) above.

3. The sequences -uwC- and -ijC- do not occur. (This implies no Cwu- or Cji-, but that has not yet been established.)

4. There has been discussion whether initial affricate+R is permitted, but this may not have been established with certainty.... If it is accepted, it follows, then, that there can be no word of the shape Affr.-V-R-C-V, since an earlier **CRVRCV would not have been possible. For my purposes, I've assumed that only tS(h)/dZ+j were not possible, but aside from that, affricate+{mnrlwj} is OK.


M-NORIC SOUND CHANGES--so far as I can tell, these are ordered:

Note: vowel-initial words are assumed to have an automatic [ʔ] onset.


1. *h > ʔ /Va__Va (i.e. between like vowels), and /[a(:)]__V; *h > 0 in all other environments (viz. #__(R) and -R__V, and between non-like vowels (further changes to these new **VV sequences have not been worked out). Note that *hV- will end up as **ʔV-; note, also, that a new /h/ develops in final position when original unstressed long final V lose their length (ex. *'taba: > 'tabah)-- see further below sub "Vowels"

2. *qh merges with *kh

3. the aspirated stops > fricatives (*ph th kh > f T x resp.) (a) before a vowel and (b) after {w j}; elsewhere they lose their aspiration > plain stops (i.e. /#__R and /{mnrl}__V; the aspirated affricates simply lose their aspiration and merge with the plain affricates.

4. *s/z > S/Z /#__R

5. Affricates lose their stop-element > fricatives /#__R (insofar as AFF+R is a permitted sequence). Thus: *tsR > sR-, tSR- > SR- etc. (definitely ordered w.r.t. Rule 4)

6. *q (assumed to have been an uvular stop) > k /#__R and /...{R}__ (with some exceptions in cases of V{wj}__; in all other environments > ʔ (i.e. /#__V and /V__V and in those cases of -V{wj}q- where the VR sequence develops into a simple vowel.

7. *w is (a) semivocalic [w] /-V__C- (and often lost due to coalescence with the V) and /#C__, but with these exceptions: *rw-/lw- metathesize > wr-/wl- [vr-/vl-] and (ordered): *#(C)wy- > #(C)u-, then all other *#pw- > f , *#bw- > v, and *#mw-/nw- > b (other #CwV- sequences are unaffected)
(b) * w > labiodental fricative [v] /#__V, V__V and #__R (in effect only before *{nrlj}since ?*#wm- > m- and *#ww cannot occur)
(c) *w > b / -N__V-

8. Nasals in medial -N+Stop/Affric/Fric.- clusters assimilate to the POA of the stop/affric/fric; in cases of N+r/l, an intrusive stop develops, as follows: *m+{rl} > -mb{rl}-, *n+{rl} > -nd{rl}-. (Per 7c, we have already seen that N+w > N+b, and the N then assimilates; sequences of -N+j- are not affected.) Thus, *m > n /__[labial, dental, palatal], *n > m /__labial, and both *m/n > ŋ /__velar. This new velar nasal is of uncertain phonemic status.

9. *j (palatal semivowel) generally survives without change except: *#(C)jy[±str]- > #(C)i- (assuming the palatal fricatives/affricates developed from earlier **stop+j, then it is possible sequences of pal.fric/affric+y do not occur).

10. *r is a tap or trill. We have already seen that *rw- > *wr-; now note that initial and medial *(-)rj- and initial *jr- > Z (medial *-jr- is unaffected).

11. *l generally survives unchanged, except: initial and medial (-)lj- and initial *jl- > j (medial -jl- is unaffected). In M-Noric, /l/ develops fronted/velarized ("bright/dark") allophones following front/back vowels resp.

The M-Noric consonant system, then, is not vastly different from Proto-Noric, save for the addition of new fricatives /f T x/, the glottal stop, the velar nasal, and final /h/ of restricted occurrence. However, due to other shifts and mergers, P-Noric and M-Noric sounds do not entirely correspond one-for-one.

M-Noric consonants:

vl.stops: p t k ʔ
vd.stops: b d g
vl.affricates: ts tS
vd.affricates: dz dZ
vl.fricatives: f T s S x (-h)
vd.fricatives: (v) z Z -- **v is most likely an allophone of **w
nasals: m n (ŋ)
resonants: w(~v) r l j

--VOWELS exhibit the greatest amount of change. The relevant factors are length and stress. Keep in mind that initial *(C)jy- and *(C)wy- > (C)i/u resp.

1a. Unstressed short vowels in either syllable merge and are lowered, as follows: *i,e > E, *u,o > O, *y,a > ə. In word-final position, a ʔ is added (ex. *'tabi > 'tabEʔ, *tu'ki > tO'ki). This lowering takes place both in open syllables, and when the V is followed by a -{mnrl}C- cluster-- but vowels followed by a -{wj}C- cluster undergo special changes, of which more later. Keep in mind that final {E O ə} add a glottal stop.

1b. Stressed short vowels in open syllables and in closed syllables /-__{mnrl}C- are unchanged (note that y[+str] is [i\])-- with one exception--

(i) stressed *y in the ultima harmonizes with penult {aeiou} before lowering or diphthongization occurs-- exs. *li'sy (via **li'si) > lE'si, *ka'ty (via **ka'ta)> kə'ta, also *puj'ky (via **puj'ku) > pOj'ku)
(ii) stressed ultima *y with penult *y (i.e. *y in both syllables): the stressed y > /i/ following {S,Z,tS,dZ}, /a/ in all other cases-- exs. *ly'sy > lə'sa, *kyn'tSy > kən'tSi. (There are frequent irregularities, esp. if the penult y is followed by -{wj}C-.)

1c. Short vowel + {wj}C.

(1) unstressed {EOə} undergo further phonetic lowering/dissimilation as follows:
--(i) Ew, Ej > [æw] and [æj] resp.
--(ii) Ow, Oj > [Qw], [Qj] resp.
--but (iii) əw, əj in unchanged

(2) stressed {aeiouy} change as follows:
--(i) iw > y [i\], ex. *'tiwka > 'tykəʔ
--(ii) ew > o, ej > e:, exs. *'tewki > 'tokEʔ, *'tejku > 'te:kOʔ
--(iii) yw > u, yj > i, exs. *'lywto > 'lutOʔ, *'lujto > 'litOʔ
--(iv) aw > O, aj > E, exs. *'kawmy > 'kOməʔ, *'kajsu > 'kEsOʔ
--(v) uj > y [i\], ex. *'tujka > 'tykəʔ (note homonymy with *'tiwka!)
--(vi) ow > o:, oj > e, exs. *'sowti > 'so:tEʔ, *'sojti > 'setEʔ

Note that these changes are ordered (early?) so as to interact with various consonantal changes-- with the elimination of the clusters -{wj}C-, certain C are now in intervocalic position; thus--

(i) *'CawqV > 'COʔVʔ, or 'CawkhV > 'COxVʔ, and so forth (ii) Note also: *'CjyCV > 'CiCVʔ, and *Cjy'CV (via **Ci'CV) > CE'CV, and similarly in case of *Cwy-

2a. Unstressed long vowels in either syllable merge, shorten and are raised, as follows: *i: ,e: > i, *u: ,o: > u; *a: merely shortens > a; in a final syllable, an /-h/ is added (ex. *'taba: > 'tabah, *to:'ki > tu'ki). These processes take place both in open syllables, and when the V: is followed by a -{mnrl}C- cluster-- but vowels followed by a -{wj}C- cluster only merge and raise-- but they remain long and undergo special changes, of which more later. Keep in mind that final unstressed {i a u} add an /h/.

2b. Stressed long vowels in open syllables are unchanged. In closed syllables /-__{mnrl}C- they lose their length (exs. *'ta:be: > 'ta:bih, *sin'qe: > sEN'ke:, *'si:ldo > 'sildOʔ)

2c. Unstressed long vowel {i: a: u:} + -{wj}C-

(1) These diphthongs are simplified, but in the process create new unstressed long vowels, as follows:
--(i) i:w > y:, i:j (< *e:j) > i:
--(ii) a:w > O:, a:j > E:
--(iii) u:w (< *o:w) > u:, u:j > y:

(2) Stressed long {aeiou}preceding -{wj}C- become bisyllabic as follows: the original long V > short, the glide vocalizes and lengthens and becomes stressed, thus--
--(i) 'i:w > i'u:
--(ii) 'e:w > e'o:, but 'e:j > e:
--(iii) 'a:w > a'o:, 'a:j > a'e:
--(iv) o:w > o:, 'o:j > o'e:
--(v) 'u:j > u'i:
Again, these changes produce new intervocalic environments for some of the consonant shifts.

The result is a new vowel system: i e E y ə a u o O of which all but /ə/ may be long, plus 6 diphthongs that occur only in unstressed syllables: Ew, Ej, Ow, Oj, əw, əj.