Romanian Phonology - Vowels - Vowel Alternations

Vowel Alternations

Romanian has a broad process of alternating between a mid vowel and a "low" vowel: /e̯a/ alternates with /e/, /o̯a/ with /o/, and /a/ with /ə/.

Originally, this was the result of a phonological process wherein mid vowels (Balkan Latin, by this time, had merged the long and short mid vowels) lowered to and under stress; a subsequent change diphthongized these vowels. This has resulted in stress alternations, as shown in the examples below, where stressed vowels and diphthongs are highlighted in bold:

Stressed Unstressed
a - ə carte 'book' cărtici 'book' (diminutive)
ca 'house' căsuță 'house' (diminutive)
e̯a - e beat 'drunk' bețiv 'drunkard'
sea 'evening' înserat 'dusk'
o̯a - o poartă 'gate' portar 'gatekeeper'
coastă 'rib' costiță 'rib' (diminutive)

This has since been morphologized and now shows up in verb conjugations and nominal inflection (e.g. oaste/oști, 'army'/'armies')

Read more about this topic:  Romanian Phonology, Vowels

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Czech Phonology - Morphophonology - Vowel Alternations
... The most important alternations are those of short and long phonemes ... Some of these alternations are correlative, i.e ... changes in some phonemes (/oː/ → /uː/, /uː/ → /ou̯/), some alternations are disjunctive, i.e ...

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