From: Piotr Gasiorowski
----- Original Message -----From: richardwordinghamSent: Thursday, August 29, 2002 3:00 PMSubject: [tied] Re: Bangani> To me, "The Centum element is a substrate." means that speakers of a Centum language switched to a (locally) higher status non-Centum language. Is this what you mean, or have I misunderstood the term?Yes, this is what I mean. Indo-Aryan was the dominant language of the area; a relatively small Centum-speaking population was absorbed and so was some of its vocabulary.
> Germanic, Balto-Slavonic and Sanskrit do not distinguish PIE /a/ and /o/ in the contexts we have here. Only Celtic indicates /a/. If we ignore the Celtic, the only problem I see with the Greek is how kótos is formed from *k^ot-u- ~ *k^ot-(o)r-. I can see two options:
> *k^ot-u-o- >* k^otwo- > kotos (is this grammatical PIE?)This would have given *kottos or *kossos in the vast majority of Greek dialects. As far as I know, no such form are attested.
> *k^ot-o- > kotos
> It would be nice to derive Celtic *catu from pre-Grimm's law pre-Germanic *katu- < *kotu-, but I don't know how plausible that is. It goes against the usual flow of loanwords.It does, especially in this semantic field (warfare), which is why I'm inclined to take the Celtic evidence at face value.
> Does *k^at- have a problem? I thought we could write PIE with only e/o/e:/o:/& vowels, but how do we render *k^at? ...
I'm not a laryngeal purist. "Non-larygeal" *a doesn't take part in any ablaut alternations, but I see no reason why it shouldn't have existed as a phoneme (it certainly existed as a very distinct allophone of *e). There are words like *k^aso- 'hare; grey' which seem to require *a, and I somehow don't feel that reconstructions like *dah2iwer- of *g^Hah2ns- are all that superior to *daiwer- and *g^Hans-. Miguel thinks some instances of *a reflect an old nasalised vowel. Whether he's right or wrong, there may have been more sources of *a than are dreamt of in Beekes.Piotr