Muta cum liquida in the light of Tertenia Sardinian metathesis and compensatory lengthening Latin tr > Old French Vrr

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This article is designed to show that muta cum liquida (branching onsets) enclose an empty nucleus (in case they are bipositional). Arguments come from two data sets. A compensatory lengthening is studied that has occurred in the evolution from Latin to Old French <i>within</i> a muta cum liquida: <i>tr dr</i> &#62; <i>rr</i>, i.e., the loss of <i>t d</i> is accompanied by the gemination of <i>r</i> iff the preceding vowel is short (<i>petra</i> &#62; <i>pierre</i> vs. <i>paatre</i> &#62; <i>p&#232;re</i>). In Tertenia Sardinian, it is argued that metathesis of <i>r</i> from the right to the left of the <i>o</i> in /ses&#248; d&#248;ormendu/ &#8594; <i>s&#57360;r&#248;</i> <i>&#240;&#248;r&#596;mm&#941;ndu</i>; <i>ndu</i> (with ensuing gemination of the m on the position vacated) occurs in order to circumscribe the second of two empty nuclei (&#248;) in a row.


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