On Tue, 06 Aug 2002 14:44:46 +0200, Miguel Carrasquer <mcv@...
>If we have a root structure *CeC and a syllabic ending (e.g. *-es) is
>added to it, the rules of PIE Ablaut demand that the result be *CeC-és
>> *CC-és, whether the root is verbal or nominal. On the other hand,
>with a root structure *CoC/*Ce:C the result will be *CoC-és/*Ce:C-és >
>*CeC-és > *CéC-es > *CéC-s. This is true for *both* nouns and verbs,
>with the proviso that there is only a very small number of root nouns
>of the structure *CeC (the only example that comes readily to mind is
>*sé:m-s, *sm-és, f. *sm-íh2 "one"), and only a small number of verbal
>roots of the structure *Ce:C/*CoC (such as the "Narten-presents").
The point is that if Ablaut is a *sound-law* (or rather a collection
of sound-laws), it cannot care whether it's working on verbs or nouns.
The uneven distribution of root structures (for "triliteral" roots:
nominal mainly *CoC ~ *Ce:C, verbal mainly *CeC) is then left as a
morpho(no)logical rule (not a sound law). Of course,
morpho(no)logical rules can be the remains of sound-laws (e.g. Beekes'
not quite adequate suggestion of monosyllabic lengthening). The
difficulty is that there are very little root nouns, period. Is the
near absence of *CeC root nouns the result of some underlying
sound-law, or is it just coincidental? My suggestion would be that
it's neither, and that root nouns of the structure *Cé:C-s, *CC-és
were just more liable to be thematized or otherwise suffixed,
precisely because of their awkward phonotactics, which had resulted
from the earlier blind working of the soundlaws (the zero grade rule
Miguel Carrasquer Vidal