Re: [tied] Re: Ingvar and Ivar

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 6180
Date: 2001-02-19

Some people claim that the alternation is due to the original stress mobility of Germanic o-stems (as in Balto-Slavic), so that e.g. a root-stressed nominative was accompanied by an end-stressed dative. After the operation of Verner's Law just one root allomorph was generalised and the other disappeared. The only traces that survive are sporadic dialectal reflexes of variants like *xanxista-/*xangista-. This explanation is somewhat circular but not implausible. Levelling of this kind must have taken place in root nouns at any rate, otherwise we would find alternations like *mu:s-/*mu:z- (> NWG *mu:r-) for 'mouse' or *tanT-/*tund- for 'tooth'. "Hare" (OE hara, ON heri, OHG hasô) is a consonantal stem, and an original pattern like *xás-on-/*xaz-en-ó- is thinkable. Every time the effects of Verner's Law were eliminated from some Germanic paradigm, the cleaning process was carried out very thoroughly. For example, of the numerous Old English Vernerian alternations in the strong conjugation only was/were has survived. Gothic speakers did the same thing much earlier. Had there been no other but Gothic and Modern English conjugations to compare, Verner's Law wouldn't have been discovered.
----- Original Message -----
From: tgpedersen@...
Sent: Monday, February 19, 2001 1:07 PM
Subject: [tied] Re: Ingvar and Ivar

Interesting grammatical question. By saying that one possible solution is not accepted as the standard explanation I am not positing the existence of a "standard explanation". But since you ask me, my impression is that mostly people leave as it is, just noting the fact that there is a Vernerian alternation (as you did in your first answer). Some day someone will undoubtedly make an explanation as systematic as the one everyone uses for the verbs, but I'm not that guy.


> ----- Original Message -----
> From: tgpedersen@...
> To: cybalist@...
> Sent: Saturday, February 17, 2001 1:25 PM
> Subject: [tied] Re: Ingvar and Ivar
> Always glad to be of service. But can we conclude from the
existence of such a Verner-alternating pair that they both came from
a stress-alternating single word? This is routinely done for verbs,
but this new-fangled idea of stress-alternating PIE nouns (after my
time at uni) seems not to be quite accepted as the standard
explanation for eg. Hase/hare?