On Mon, 30 Sep 2002, Miguel Carrasquer wrote:
> On Sun, 29 Sep 2002 16:35:31 +0200 (MET DST), Jens Elmegaard Rasmussen
> <jer@...> wrote:
> >On Sun, 29 Sep 2002, Miguel Carrasquer wrote:
> >> In connection with this, a question: why is the acc.pl. in Lithuanian
> >> subject to
> >> Saussure's law? Where does the acute intonation come from... the
> >> a:-stems?
> >It was restored: o-stems had IE *-o:ns, so a-stems got *-a:ns, both
> >acute, in Lith. as well as in Greek.
> Let's go a bit slower, because I don't quite follow. OK, there is a
> tendency in
> Greek o- and a:-stems for the casu:s recti to have acute (mikrós, mikrón;
> mikroí, mikroús;; mikrá, mikrán; mikraí, mikrás), and the oblique cases
> circumflex (mikroû, mikrôi; mikrôn, mikroîs; mikrâs, mikrâi; mikrôn,
> But that is because the oblique cases are mostly contractions (*-o-syo >
> *-o-ei, *-o-om, [dat.pl. *-o:is]; *-a:-os, *-a:-ei, *-a:-om [dat.pl.
> analogical]), and the nom/acc/voc. forms are not (*-o-s, *-o-m, *-o-i,
> *-a:, *-a:-m, [nom.pl. analogical], *-a:-ns).
> Can the Greek acute be equated just like that with the Lithuanian acute?
Mostly yes, but not here, and I did not say it could or should. I just say
they both *have* an acute. They are typologically comparable in that they
are both restored, piecing together /a:/ and /-ns/ in place of the
> might say they are almost each other's opposites: in Greek, one has acute
> there are reasons for a circumflex (contractions, lengthened long vowels,
> etc.)... In Lithuanian, one has a circumflex, unless there are reasons
> to have
> an acute (laryngeals, Winter-lengthening, etc.)...
> So *how* exactly is it relevant that Greek has an acute in the nom. and
> plural? I'll admit right away that the match is indeed remarkable (not
> so in
> the singular, however), especially if as I remember the Lith. adjective,
> the noun in -a~i, is subject to Saussure's law in the nom.pl. -ì as
The Greek -oí and the Lith. -ì, -íe-ji are relevant in showing that plain
*-o- + the consonant /y/ yielded acute tone (or, had short prosody) in
word-final in the source of both languages (which can hardly be anything
other than PIE). They also show that the concatenation of *-o- and the
deictic particle /i/ of the locative yielded Gk. Isthmoi~, Lith. namie~
with a different (circumflex, longer, or disyllabic) prosody from the one
of the nom.pl. I used to regard the Lith. subst. nom.pl -ai~ as due to
secondary reintroduction of the stem vowel -a-, giving -a- + -ì. Since
then I have been persuaded by Kortlandt's explanation as the proper ending
of "soft" adjectives, cf. medìnis 'wooden', nom.pl medìniai, where it
fails to attract the ictus and so must be (or, have become) underlyingly
circumflex. The whole business shows the delicacy of Auslautgesetze.
> >The IE acc.pl af *aH2-stems appears
> >to have had no nasal, cf. Sanskrit -a:s, Goth. -o:s and even Latvian -as
> >for both nom.pl and acc.pl. This must reflect some peculiar development
> >the underlying *-eH2-m-s, perhaps akin to the treatment of -V:ms as in
> >Sanskrit ma:s 'meat' (stem ma:ms-) and the m-stem nom.sg seen in Skt.
> >ks.a:s (Av. zå) 'earth' and Av. ziiå 'winter'. The phenomenon goes under
> >the name of Stang's Law, but Stang actually did not express any strong
> >faith in the idea (Kurylowicz Festschrift of 1965). The merger or
> >near-merger of the nom.pl and the acc.pl in the a-stems had the funny
> >effect in Slavic that the restored accusative moved into the nom.pl, and
> >from there also into the homophonous (or near-homophonous) gen.sg, which
> >also both became -y with a-stems and -(j)eN with ja-stems.
> But in Slavic the acc.pl. is not acute, judging by golová, gólovy.
The Slavic evidence only says it was a strong case with recessive accent.
It says nothing about the intonation of the ending. The acc.pl. is a weak
case in Sanskrit, but has initial accent in Greek and Balto-Slavic. The
weak grade ablaut combining Skt. datás (dant- 'tooth') and Gk. ándras
(ané:r 'man') looks like propagation of the weak stem alternant into the
member of the strong cases that offered the least resistance, so that the
result was in PIE a form with accent on the weak form of the stem, a
situation retained in Greek and Balto-Slavic, but one from where Sanskrit
has proceeded by moving the accent to the ending like in all proper weak