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Hello/Intro and a Question on Particle *h1é

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  • Doug Barr
    Hello, My name is Doug, and I just joined the list and am enjoying watching the conversation zoom by overhead. :-) Learning is good! I have some amateur
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 9, 2004
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      Hello,

      My name is Doug, and I just joined the list and am enjoying watching
      the conversation zoom by overhead. :-) Learning is good! I have some
      amateur knowledge and a fair bit of raw talent for languages and
      linguistics, and PIE has always fascinated me.

      I have a question that I hope hasn't been answered before - at 32000+
      plus messages I didn't search the entire archive :-) - concerning the
      use of the particle *h1é. If I'm reading my books right it was used to
      signal the perfect, e.g. *h1é bhéret "he brought," but it seems that
      one could use just the perfect *bhéret" on its own.

      So my question is, is *h1é ever attested with present-tense form, e.g.
      **h1é bhérei?

      The reason I ask is that it occurred to me to wonder if the function of
      *h1é might be semantically similar to the function of the inchoative
      (?) "current relevance" particle 'la' of Cantonese; this is essentially
      the same as 'le' in Mandarin, except that in Mandarin the perfective
      verbal suffix is also '-le' and the two cannot occur next to each
      other, whereas in Cantonese the two are distinct and can co-occur,
      which makes things clearer.

      In Cantonese, the particle 'la' at the end of the sentence in Cantonese
      means that the situation has "come to be," i.e. it is "currently
      relevant" or represents a change from a previous state. In the
      following examples, 'ngóh' is "I/me," "jouh' is "do" and 'sih' is
      literally "matter, affair" but the combination 'jouh sih' is a politer
      word for "to work." So we have: ngóh jouh sih' "I work" (blanket
      statement) vs. 'ngóh jouh sih la' "I work (now)" (I didn't use to,
      perhaps); negative 'ngóh m`h jouh sih' "I don't work" (blanket
      statement) vs. 'ngóh m`h jouh sih la' "i don't work now, I don't work
      any more."

      The particle '-jó' adds a perfective meaning - 'ngóh jouh-jó sih' "I
      went-to work," 'ngóh jouhjó sih la' "I have gone to work," "I am at
      work."

      These indicate aspect, not tense. Mostly they indicate the past, but
      they can appear in any tense: 'la' adds the meaning that the situation
      is currently relevant or a new situation, or (with the future) that it
      will be so at the time specified; '-jó' adds the meaning that the
      action was/is/will be completed at the time specified.

      So in PIE, IF the parallel is there, it would run *bhéret "he brought,
      he did bring," *h1é bhéret "he (has) brought," *bhérei "he brings, he
      is bringing" - then ***h1é bhérei "he is bringing now (but didn't use
      to, or what he brought is still here and "currently relevant")?"

      I hope this is not completely off the wall! Thanks for any comments or
      corrections - learning is good, as I said.

      Be well,
      Doug
    • Miguel Carrasquer
      On Wed, 09 Jun 2004 13:56:37 -0700, Doug Barr ... *h1e- has been discussed before... ... *(h1e-)bheret is not a perfect . It s either an imperfect or an
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 9, 2004
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        On Wed, 09 Jun 2004 13:56:37 -0700, Doug Barr
        <lingoman@...> wrote:

        >I have a question that I hope hasn't been answered before - at 32000+
        >plus messages I didn't search the entire archive :-) - concerning the
        >use of the particle *h1é.

        *h1e- has been discussed before...

        >If I'm reading my books right it was used to
        >signal the perfect, e.g. *h1é bhéret "he brought," but it seems that
        >one could use just the perfect *bhéret" on its own.

        *(h1e-)bheret is not a "perfect". It's either an imperfect
        or an aorist (depending on the specific verbal root).

        >So my question is, is *h1é ever attested with present-tense form, e.g.
        >**h1é bhérei?

        No.

        >The reason I ask is that it occurred to me to wonder if the function of
        >*h1é might be semantically similar to the function of the inchoative
        >(?) "current relevance" particle 'la' of Cantonese; this is essentially
        >the same as 'le' in Mandarin, except that in Mandarin the perfective
        >verbal suffix is also '-le' and the two cannot occur next to each
        >other, whereas in Cantonese the two are distinct and can co-occur,
        >which makes things clearer.
        >
        >In Cantonese, the particle 'la' at the end of the sentence in Cantonese
        >means that the situation has "come to be," i.e. it is "currently
        >relevant" or represents a change from a previous state. In the
        >following examples, 'ngóh' is "I/me," "jouh' is "do" and 'sih' is
        >literally "matter, affair" but the combination 'jouh sih' is a politer
        >word for "to work." So we have: ngóh jouh sih' "I work" (blanket
        >statement) vs. 'ngóh jouh sih la' "I work (now)" (I didn't use to,
        >perhaps); negative 'ngóh m`h jouh sih' "I don't work" (blanket
        >statement) vs. 'ngóh m`h jouh sih la' "i don't work now, I don't work
        >any more."
        >
        >The particle '-jó' adds a perfective meaning - 'ngóh jouh-jó sih' "I
        >went-to work," 'ngóh jouhjó sih la' "I have gone to work," "I am at
        >work."
        >
        >These indicate aspect, not tense. Mostly they indicate the past, but
        >they can appear in any tense: 'la' adds the meaning that the situation
        >is currently relevant or a new situation, or (with the future) that it
        >will be so at the time specified; '-jó' adds the meaning that the
        >action was/is/will be completed at the time specified.
        >
        >So in PIE, IF the parallel is there, it would run *bhéret "he brought,
        >he did bring," *h1é bhéret "he (has) brought," *bhérei "he brings, he
        >is bringing" - then ***h1é bhérei "he is bringing now (but didn't use
        >to, or what he brought is still here and "currently relevant")?"
        >
        >I hope this is not completely off the wall! Thanks for any comments or
        >corrections - learning is good, as I said.

        The PIE augment doesn't seem to carry any aspectual meaning.
        In the languages that show *h1e-, it's used as a general
        marker of past tense, regardless of aspect (it is combined
        with imperfects, aorists, pluperfects, etc.). In Vedic, the
        *lack* of augment turns the verbal form into an "injunctive"
        (a modal category which is similar to conjunctive, optative
        and/or imperative).

        The last time we discussed *h1e- here, I seem to recall a
        general willingness to accept that it originates in a
        particle meaning "then". In Anatolian, most Hittite
        sentences begin with an 'empty' particle nu-, while in
        Luwian the same function is performed by a- (< *h1e-). For
        Proto-Anatolian, we can therefore reconstruct two sentence
        introductory particles, *nu- "now" and *h1e- "then".
        Although the Anatolian facts do not suggest anything like
        it, it stands to reason that *nu- was originally used to
        introduce present tense sentences, and *h1e- sentences in
        the past tense. From there, it's but a small step to the
        augment as attested in Greek, Vedic and elsewhere.


        =======================
        Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
        mcv@...
      • Doug Barr
        ... Duh, it s right there in the book. :-[ Thank you. ... So *h1e would have been sentence-initial in PIE, and then moved to pre-verbal position in the
        Message 3 of 3 , Jun 9, 2004
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          On Jun 9, 2004, at 2:25 PM, Miguel Carrasquer wrote:

          > *(h1e-)bheret is not a "perfect".  It's either an imperfect
          > or an aorist (depending on the specific verbal root).

          Duh, it's right there in the book. :-[ Thank you.

          > Although the Anatolian facts do not suggest anything like
          > it, it stands to reason that *nu- was originally used to
          > introduce present tense sentences, and *h1e- sentences in
          > the past tense.  From there, it's but a small step to the
          > augment as attested in Greek, Vedic and elsewhere.

          So *h1e would have been sentence-initial in PIE, and then moved to
          pre-verbal position in the descendant languages that kept the augment?

          Doug
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