Re: [tied] IE thematic presents and the origin of their thematic vowel
- glen gordon wrote:
> If 'non-suffixed' here means 'athematic' then we'reBut what's your basis for believing that all root presents are
> on the same wavelength. That similarity is what
> makes me feel that the athematic stems are originally
> aorist and that originally, inherent duratives were
> given *-e-. That seems to make the root aorist the
> unmarked part of this earlier system, interestingly
secondary? There're quite a few of them and they're well in evidence
everywhere, including Anatolian. It seems more likely to me that root
presents and root aorists are equally ancient. If a durative verb had to
be derived from an aorist, the most common morphological markers were
*-je/o- or *-sk^e/o-, or a nasal infix. On the other hand, aorist stems
could be derived from root presents by adding *-s- and lengthening the
underlying root vowel.
As regards the subjunctive theory of the origin of the plain thematic
present, it's instructive to look at Tocharian: only three verbs of that
class correspond to simple thematics outside Tocharian (and Anatolian);
the others mostly function as subjunctives in Tocharian itself, and
typically correspond to reconstructible PIE root verbs (mostly aorists).
In other words, inherited subjunctives of this type outnumber the
formally identical simple thematic presents in Tocharian. This squares
well with the hypothesis that the shift from subjunctive to durative
meaning took place gradually after the IE breakup.
> The exact origin of Narten presents still stumpsHow does that explain the pattern *wé:g^H-s-t vs. wég^H-s-n.t? It
> the hell out of me. However, I wouldn't call the
> sigmatic aorists "Narten alternations". There, the
> aorist's vowel has been lengthened by the same
> sound change that has caused lengthening in the
> nominatives in *-s. 'Clipping', a corollary of
> Syncope. It works for all fricatives, like *-x, too.
doesn't seem to be any different from *ste:u-ti vs. *stew-n.ti .
>>My suspicion is that the barytone thematic type"Pre-sigmatic" here only means root aorists -- a class which was on the
>>(*bHér-e-) is the subjunctive of the lost
>>pre-sigmatic Narten aorist, [...]
> I think saying "pre-sigmatic" here is untenable.
> I link the sigmatic aorist with Tyrrhenian *-as-e,
> seen in Etruscan (-asa), EteoCypriot (-as(a)i) and
> Minoan (-asi). I similarly link the IE *n-infix
> with Tyrrhenian *-an-e.
> Even if you don't appreciate the connections I make
> between IE and Tyrrhenian and wish to take the
> stricter internal reconstruction route, you still
> have to contend with these tasty grammatical
> *-no- <=> *-n-
> *-to- <=> *-s-
> Nope, I don't think there ever was a 'pre-sigmatic'
> stage in IE, unless we're going back many millenia.
decline, giving way to the transparently aoristic *-s-stems. Root
aorists surely existed till the end of PIE, and afterwards.
> What this looks like to me is that *-he- has beenYes, I also assume an originally accented suffix, the only difference
> added in the subjunctive *stew-he-, originally with
> accent on the suffix, therefore explaining the
> shortening of the once unstressed root vowel.
between us being that I don't see much evidence for the *h1. Not that I
can exclude it absolutely, but I think Ockham is on my side until such
evidence can be presented.
> And if we are really talking about plain ol' *-e-If one accept's Jens's infix theory, pretonic **O-swe:p- becomes
> in the subjunctive, why would we theorize
> *swo:p-eye- > *swo:p-ye- and yet also *ste:w-e- >
> *stew-e- then?
**O-swep-, then the remaining full vowel attracts the accent; next, the
still consonantal *O gets metathesised and eventually vocalised,
coalescing with the full vowel and causing it to lengthen. All is
regular here. In the case of *ste:w-é- we have the usual shortening of
the pretonic long vowel and the retraction of accent, but no lengthening
by contraction, hence the outcome *stéw-e-.
- This is a polite and reasoned response to my criticisms.
It is a method of answering criticism we could all seek to emulate.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Grzegorz Jagodzinski" <grzegorj2000@...>
Sent: Friday, October 07, 2005 2:07 AM
Subject: Re: Re: [tied] Re: *kap-
> Patrick Ryan wrote:
> > ***
> > Patrick:
> > I am going to comment here on the language being used not on the main
> > argument which is being handled nicely by Grzegorz and Brian.
> > Grzegorz, I think you do not understand that implying someone is
> > "undereducated", as you do here below, is an insult, and an
> > argumentum ad hominem, even if it be true.
> Patrick, you would have been right if I had written "you are
> But I had not. "You quote bad sources written by undereducated ones" means
> not the same. You may term it an attack ad homines if you insist, or
> ad personas - but it is not a direct attack towards a person I discuss
> A subtle but important difference.
> I only stated, and I maintain it, than most linguist (the majority) did
> even know what Zipf wrote. They think that he wrote only about statistic
> classes, and they quote one another in this point to motivate what they
> think. Only few (the minority) have the consciousness that Zipf formulated
> law which deals with probabilities and word length in a text. Which is
> the majority sometimes tries to send the minority back to school or
> that the minority misscalls Zipf's law. Very sad, indeed.
> > Terming someone's argument "ridiculous", i.e. 'worthy of ridicule', is
> > similarly offensive.
> Not similarly, and it is not an attack ad hominem but an attack ad
> argumentum. Anyway, it is much less offensive than "don't be ridiculous",
> isn't it? I have heard such lines from my adversary but he has not heard
> such a statement from me, so you need not be his attorney.
> > I would also suggest a new thread, "Zipf's Law", since the arguments
> > advanced bear little relationship to *kap-.
> I do not think it is needed. As I said, it was not my intention to explain
> what Zipf's law is and what it is not, which linguists understand this
> only like a statistic law and which linguists understand this term as a
> saying about relations between word lengths and frequencies. I talked
> some words which were changed due to frequency and not because of such or
> another phonetic rule ("sound law"). I quoted Zipf's law as the base for
> statement. And even if it appeared that there is not the accordance here
> what Zipf's law is and what it is not, I have been under impression that
> nobody calls my argument in question. But "has", "had" developed
> irregularily, and they are in close relation to PIE *kVp-. Ergo: we should
> expect that *kVp- developed irregularily in other languages as well. Ergo:
> Latin and Germanic habe:- may be related even if against known sound
> This is what is important, all the rest is unnecessary commentary.
> > What published authors (print or Net) say about
> > Zipf is interesting
> ... but it is more interesting what Zipf himself said. I gave a quotation.
> > but lining up a group of publishers who _seem_
> > to agree with you
> Is there any seeming in terming Zipf's law "dealing with probabilities and
> word length in a text"? Or in the statement "George K. Zipf is famous for
> his law of abbreviations"? (it's from the article quoted by Brian, by the
> way) But abbreviation = a making shorter, and short has something to do
> length, and not with statistic classes, isn't it? So, what doubt have you?
> > is only proof that some interpret Zipf in the same
> > way that you do (if, in fact, they do - which I sincerely doubt).
> If you are interested in this problem, read W. Man'czak's book "Problemy
> je,zykoznawstwa ogólnego". Yes, of course, the book is in Polish, and what
> of it. Professor Man'czak, who is a Romancist and a scholar interested in
> generel linguistics, gives a detailed analysis of the problem and plenty
> examples on how Zipf's law functions. At the beginning of chapter 3, he
> wrote (my translation): "even if the name of the American linguist Zipf is
> scarcely known to most linguists, there is no doubt that the history of
> linguistics will acknowledge him as one of the most eminent lingists of
> 20th century". It appears that we should agree with both those statements:
> that Zipf is scarcely known and that his law has much more universal
> character than so called "sound laws".
> > You both want to determine exactly what Zipf had in mind with his
> > formulation? Ask him (if he is still alive?).
> Not a problem, let's read his books. I cited him just because of this.
> Grzegorz J.
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