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Re: [tied] Neglected alternations

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  • Piotr Gasiorowski
    It s on my list of unsolved problems as well. There s a possible example of *n ~ *h2 as well (*men-/*mah2- think , if it s the latter that we find in ).
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 1 11:46 AM
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      It's on my list of unsolved problems as well. There's a possible example of *n ~ *h2 as well (*men-/*mah2- 'think', if it's the latter that we find in <mood>). I'm not sure if *drem-/*drah2- belongs here, since we also have *dreu- 'run', and since all these roots are triconsonantal, **der- with extensions is a plausible analysis.

      Piotr


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Miguel Carrasquer" <mcv@...>
      To: <cybalist@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2003 3:54 PM
      Subject: Re: [tied] Re: Pronouns again


      On Thu, 27 Feb 2003 03:27:20 +0100 (MET), Jens Elmegaard Rasmussen
      <jer@...> wrote:

      >It may be note that PIE has other cases of an interchange of /m/ and /H2/.
      >One could cite the roots *gWem- and *gWeH2- 'come, go' (combined to a
      >paradigm in Greek baino:, eba:n); there are also *drem-/*dreH2- 'run' and
      >another *drem-/*dreH2- 'sleep'. Could the form with /H2/ be pausa
      >variants? The alternation would not be *very* different from Old Norse
      >springa, prt. sprakk (with -kk < *-nk < *-ng). Still, it would demand
      >something like a labiovelar nasal, and thus does not look particularly
      >appealing.

      This *m ~ *h2 alternation has been on my to-do list for a long time,
      but so far I haven't been able to come up with a solution that made
      sense. Jens' remarks have turned my attention to the problem again,
      so let's have another try at interpreting this mysterious alternation.

      In principle, there are a number of ways in which we can view the
      problem:

      1) There are two roots *gWem- and *gWah2- (etc.), and they are
      etymologically unrelated. The similarity in meaning and shape is
      accidental.

      This possibility is hard to disprove, but I can reject it by an appeal
      to "gut feeling": I "just know" that *gWem- and *gWah2- are related.
      On the other hand, I can accept this possibility for now in its
      "agnostic formulation": Until a good solution is found for the
      alternation *m ~ *h2, the two roots *gWem- and *gWah2- (etc.), must be
      treated provisionally as etymologically unrelated.

      2) There was a root *gWeX-, which split into *gWem- and *gWeh2-
      depending on position/context. This is Jens' speculation above, and
      the area where I have been searching on and off for a solution, in
      vain. Jens' suggestion of something like a labiovelar nasal (*ngW ?)
      might work, but has its problems. In itself, I have no trouble
      accepting the presence of labiovelar *ng in (pre-)PIE, and my personal
      theories about pre-PIE phonology would make the existence of a
      labialized variant *ngW unavoidable (I believe there was stage when
      _all_ pre-PIE consonants had labialized variants). If *nW gave *m in
      certain contexts, as I believe, then *ngW could also have given *m.
      Unfortunately, I cannot find a pathway from *ngW to *h2. If we
      reconstruct the root for "blood" with a labiovelar nasal as
      *h1ésh2angW-, then the result in final position is *h1ésh2r.gW (Skt.
      asr.k), not +h1ésh2&2.

      There is a variant of possibility (2) where the proto-phoneme *X is
      replaced by a consonant cluster:

      2bis) *gWem- and *gWeh2- derive from a root *gWeXY (where *X is
      perhaps *m, and *Y perhaps *h2), which gave sometimes *gWem-,
      sometimes *gWeh2-.

      But this (at least for a cluster *mh2) simply does not work. We can
      explain the loss of *m before *h2 in certain contexts (see below), but
      then we would expect an alternation *gweh2- ~ *gWemh2- which is simply
      not what we see. There is no +gWemh2-

      Some more possibilities:

      3) The root is *gWe-, and *-m and *-h2 are suffixes (root extensions).

      4) The root is *gWem- and *-h2 is a suffix / root extension.

      5) The root is *gWeh2- and *-m is a suffix / root extension.

      Possibility number three is somewhat similar to number one. It is the
      best "agnostic" solution if your gut feeling tells you thet *gWem- and
      *gWeh2- _are_ related, but you do not want to get tangled up in idle
      speculation. Perhapds that's why I find it unsatisfactory. I prefer
      to get tangled up in idle speculation.

      For the time being, I'd like to propose a solution along the lines of
      possibility number 4. The root is *gWem- and the variant *gwah2- has
      a suffix *-h2. Here my provisional speculations about PIE *a come in
      handy. A form *gWe:mh2 or *gWo:mh2 (pre-PIE **gWa:mh2), possibly with
      Szemerényi lengthening due to *-h2, would have been nasalized to
      *gWa~h2, giving *gWah2. Conveniently, we cannot tell the difference
      between *gWeh2- and *gWah2-, so why not? The unextended root remains
      as *gWem-. Now all I have to figure out is what the function of this
      *-h2 was. I can find nothing particularly "passive" about *gWah2- as
      opposed to *gWem- (except perhaps Arm. ka- "stand" vs. e-ki, e-kn
      "come" [aor.]), so linking it to the Sanskrit aorist passive in -i (<
      *-h2 ?) is not obvious (and the Skt. aorist passive form of the root
      gam- (*gWem-) is a-ga:m-i anyway).

      Of course my solution above divorces the PIE *m ~ *h2 alternation in
      PIE *gWem-/*gWah2-, *drem-/*drah2- from the problem of first person
      marking in Nostratic. I would keep the suffixes *-m (active) and *-h2
      < **-k (stative) strictly separate, as they are in Uralic and
      Eskimo-Aleut. We can reconstruct stative *-k vs. active *-m, which
      also neatly fits the Afro-Asiatic evidence (stative *-k(u) vs. active
      *-ni/*na-, with /n/ from /m/ before front vowel [as in Hausa singular
      <ni> "I" vs. plural <mu> "we"]). There is a possibility to unite the
      two, if we take into account second person active *-t versus stative
      *-th2 (< *-tk), and we analyze the latter as 2nd person marker /t/ +
      "stative marker" (possessive marker?) /k/. In that case, perhaps 1st
      person stative /k/ may ultimately be analyzable as 1st person /m/ +
      "stative marker" /k/, with the /m/ eliminated by a very ancient
      (pre-)Nostratic soundlaw.


      =======================
      Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
      mcv@...

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    • Richard Wordingham <richard.wordingham@m
      ... Piotr Gasiorowski ... problems as well. There s a possible example of *n ~ *h2 as well (*men-/*mah2- think , if it s the latter that we find in ).
      Message 2 of 4 , Mar 1 2:24 PM
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        --- In cybalist@yahoogroups.com,
        Piotr Gasiorowski
        <piotr.gasiorowski@i...> wrote:
        > It's on my list of unsolved
        problems as well. There's a possible
        example of *n ~ *h2 as well
        (*men-/*mah2- 'think', if it's the
        latter that we find in <mood>). I'm
        not sure if *drem-/*drah2- belongs
        here, since we also have *dreu-
        'run', and since all these roots are
        triconsonantal, **der- with
        extensions is a plausible analysis.
        >
        > Piotr
        >
        >
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: "Miguel Carrasquer"
        <mcv@w...>
        > To: <cybalist@yahoogroups.com>
        > Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2003
        3:54 PM
        > Subject: Re: [tied] Re: Pronouns
        again
        >
        >
        > On Thu, 27 Feb 2003 03:27:20 +0100
        (MET), Jens Elmegaard Rasmussen
        > <jer@c...> wrote:
        >
        > >It may be note that PIE has other
        cases of an interchange of /m/ and
        /H2/.
        > >One could cite the roots *gWem-
        and *gWeH2- 'come, go' (combined to
        a
        > >paradigm in Greek baino:, eba:n);
        there are also *drem-/*dreH2- 'run'
        and
        > >another *drem-/*dreH2- 'sleep'.
        Could the form with /H2/ be pausa
        > >variants? The alternation would
        not be *very* different from Old
        Norse
        > >springa, prt. sprakk (with -kk <
        *-nk < *-ng). Still, it would demand
        > >something like a labiovelar
        nasal, and thus does not look
        particularly
        > >appealing.
        >
        > This *m ~ *h2 alternation has been
        on my to-do list for a long time,
        > but so far I haven't been able to
        come up with a solution that made
        > sense. Jens' remarks have turned
        my attention to the problem again,
        > so let's have another try at
        interpreting this mysterious
        alternation.
        >
        > In principle, there are a number
        of ways in which we can view the
        > problem:
        >
        > 1) There are two roots *gWem- and
        *gWah2- (etc.), and they are
        > etymologically unrelated. The
        similarity in meaning and shape is
        > accidental.
        >
        > This possibility is hard to
        disprove, but I can reject it by an
        appeal
        > to "gut feeling": I "just know"
        that *gWem- and *gWah2- are related.
        > On the other hand, I can accept
        this possibility for now in its
        > "agnostic formulation": Until a
        good solution is found for the
        > alternation *m ~ *h2, the two
        roots *gWem- and *gWah2- (etc.),
        must be
        > treated provisionally as
        etymologically unrelated.
        >
        > 2) There was a root *gWeX-, which
        split into *gWem- and *gWeh2-
        > depending on position/context.
        This is Jens' speculation above, and
        > the area where I have been
        searching on and off for a solution,
        in
        > vain. Jens' suggestion of
        something like a labiovelar nasal
        (*ngW ?)
        > might work, but has its problems.
        In itself, I have no trouble
        > accepting the presence of
        labiovelar *ng in (pre-)PIE, and my
        personal
        > theories about pre-PIE phonology
        would make the existence of a
        > labialized variant *ngW
        unavoidable (I believe there was
        stage when
        > _all_ pre-PIE consonants had
        labialized variants). If *nW gave
        *m in
        > certain contexts, as I believe,
        then *ngW could also have given *m.
        > Unfortunately, I cannot find a
        pathway from *ngW to *h2.
        Does it help that syllable-initial
        velar nasals have become /h/ in some
        Southern Thai dialects? Voiceless
        velar nasals (or /hN/) have often
        become /h/ in Tai dialects
        generally.
        Richard.
        End---of---Message-----
        If we
        > reconstruct the root for "blood"
        with a labiovelar nasal as
        > *h1ésh2angW-, then the result in
        final position is *h1ésh2r.gW (Skt.
        > asr.k), not +h1ésh2&2.
        >
        > There is a variant of possibility
        (2) where the proto-phoneme *X is
        > replaced by a consonant cluster:
        >
        > 2bis) *gWem- and *gWeh2- derive
        from a root *gWeXY (where *X is
        > perhaps *m, and *Y perhaps *h2),
        which gave sometimes *gWem-,
        > sometimes *gWeh2-.
        >
        > But this (at least for a cluster
        *mh2) simply does not work. We can
        > explain the loss of *m before *h2
        in certain contexts (see below), but
        > then we would expect an
        alternation *gweh2- ~ *gWemh2- which
        is simply
        > not what we see. There is no
        +gWemh2-
        >
        > Some more possibilities:
        >
        > 3) The root is *gWe-, and *-m and
        *-h2 are suffixes (root extensions).
        >
        > 4) The root is *gWem- and *-h2 is
        a suffix / root extension.
        >
        > 5) The root is *gWeh2- and *-m is
        a suffix / root extension.
        >
        > Possibility number three is
        somewhat similar to number one. It
        is the
        > best "agnostic" solution if your
        gut feeling tells you thet *gWem
      • Miguel Carrasquer
        On Sat, 01 Mar 2003 20:46:02 +0100, Piotr Gasiorowski ... Interesting... ======================= Miguel Carrasquer Vidal mcv@wxs.nl
        Message 3 of 4 , Mar 1 3:08 PM
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          On Sat, 01 Mar 2003 20:46:02 +0100, Piotr Gasiorowski
          <piotr.gasiorowski@...> wrote:

          >It's on my list of unsolved problems as well. There's a possible example of *n ~ *h2 as well (*men-/*mah2- 'think', if it's the latter that we find in <mood>).

          Interesting...


          =======================
          Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
          mcv@...
        • tgpedersen <tgpedersen@hotmail.com>
          ... example of *n ~ *h2 as well (*men-/*mah2- think , if it s the latter that we find in ). ... And there s of course that old Germanic Verner
          Message 4 of 4 , Mar 3 1:49 AM
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            --- In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, Miguel Carrasquer <mcv@w...> wrote:
            > On Sat, 01 Mar 2003 20:46:02 +0100, Piotr Gasiorowski
            > <piotr.gasiorowski@i...> wrote:
            >
            > >It's on my list of unsolved problems as well. There's a possible
            example of *n ~ *h2 as well (*men-/*mah2- 'think', if it's the latter
            that we find in <mood>).
            >
            > Interesting...
            >
            And there's of course that old Germanic Verner alternation -Vnx- vs. -
            Vng- > -V(:)- vs. -VN- , ON hest- vs German Hengst, fá vs. fanga. Did
            N > m, n depending on context?

            Torsten
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