On Sat, 25 Jan 2003 19:58:02 +0000, "Glen Gordon"
>In regards to the qual.ablaut seen in roots like *po:ts "foot" (gen *pedos),
>this appears to be due to preservation of earlier unstressed vowels caused
>by paradigmatic alternations of accent resulting in an unstressed schwa in
>the root in weak cases. The early Late IE forms would have been *pat(-s&)
>in the nominative and *p&d-as in the genitive. Thus we can see that *-&-
>only occurs in the root when the accent shifts. Rather than disappearing,
>*& was strengthened to *e in order to avoid obscurity in the paradigm.
>Afterall, if this hadn't taken place, we'd end up with **pdos with an
>asyllabic root **pd-, however things like this just don't happen in IE
Actually they do: zero-grade *pd- occurs in Skt. upa-bdá, Av. fra-bda,
a-bda, Grk. epí-bdai.
>This is the exception to the loss of unstressed vowels in
>Mid IE, all to avoid obscuring the paradigmatic pattern too much.
Your explanation would imply that all static nouns would have to
conform to the root shape CeC (where C is a stop). This is not true:
besides *pó:ds, *péds, we have many other static nouns such as *wódr,
*wédnos "water"; *dóm, *déms "house"; *g^onu(r), *g^énwos "knee",
etc., which could have given perfectly acceptable oblique stems
**udn-, *dm-, *g^nu-. Likewise, nouns with two stops in the root are
not necessarily static: *dhgh-ó:m, *dhghéms "earth", *péku(r), *pk^wós
A better solution is the one I borrowed from Jens: static nouns (and
static verbs) had an originally long vowel in the root. In the strong
forms, the vowel was accented and normally developed into *o [< **a:,
**u:] or *e: [< **i:]. When unaccented (in the oblique forms), long
*a: was shortened to *a at the same time that unaccented short *a was
reduced to schwa (and then zero), i.e. by the zero-grade law. The
result was an unaccented *e, which subsequently drew back the accent
onto itself from a following syllable, which was then itself reduced
if containing a short vowel (Rasmussen's initial accent rule).
**pá:d-z > **pó:ds > *póds > *pó:ds
**pá:d-m > **pó:dm > *pódm > *pódm.
**pa:d-ás > **pedés > *péd&s > *péds
**wá:dan > *wó:d&r > *wódr > *wódr.
**wa:dánâs > *wedéno:s > *wéd&nos > *wédnos
Miguel Carrasquer Vidal