[tied] Re: Eggs from birds and swift horses

From: elmeras2000
Message: 31203
Date: 2004-02-21

--- In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, "P&G" <petegray@...> wrote:
> > I won't exclude there are other avenues, but hardly this one. We
> > talking about the creation of a preterite of the subjunctive
> Subjunctives do not have preterites.

If they decide to form preterites they do. The Latin imperfect
subjunctive and the pluperfect subjunctive are the subjunctives used
in preterital contexts. I remember having been over this once before
on the list, when I was taken to task for describing the function
this way. I checked up on it, and while it is of course not the
whole story it is a basic element of the truth.

> By definition in IE languages they
> lose any time reference. They do retain their aspectual reference.

Any language can change the definition you impose upon them.

> I agree that an original short vowel *-em *-es *-et is much less
likely than
> an original long vowel stem *se:-. But I still think some other
> analogical source is better than your suggestion of analogy from a
form that
> is not attested, which includes the reconstruction of a
grammatical marker
> not found anywhere in the language!

It would be analogy from a form that must have existed. By excluding
influence from the augment you are in essence saying that you do not
believe Latin is an Indo-European language.

> >it cannot matter much what vowel length the subjunctive non-
> > has, since its stem is plainly not involved.
> I think the stem is irrelevant for analogy. Analogical pressure
does not
> have to be from forms with the same stem. Since a subjunctive -
em -e:s -et
> etc already exists, it sits in contrast with every other
subjunctive, and
> can supply anaological pressure. Any other subjunctive would be
> pressure from the three sources of analogy I mentioned:
> (a) no other verb form has short -es (except the present of the
verb to
> be)
> (b) all other subjunctives have a long vowel before the -s.
> (c) no other paradigm has a vowel change -em -is -et.
> But really we should be looking for a better source of an original
> *-se:
> >And the 1sg and the 3pl
> > which are invoked as models for a short -e- would have had *-om
> > *-ont if the idea is that the ipf.sbj. was the s-aor.sbj. with
> > secondary endings.
> Was it?

You tell me; I was paraphrasing your suggestiong to make sure we do
not lose each other in the discussion. You talk about analogical
lengthening of a short *-e-, so if I introduce shortness in *-se:-,
I get *-se- which is the morpheme of the s-aorist subjunctive. That
is not half bad for a preterite subjunctive, but won't *you* have
it? If not, what *are* you suggesting?

> The s-aorist subjunctives (really optatives) seem to have given
> the Old Latin forms faxim, axim, ausim, negassim, habessit,
ambissit. etc.
> Besides, an s-aorist should lengthen the vowel stem, but we have a
> vowel retained in darem < *da-se-m.

No, the non-indicative forms of the s-aorist have normal grade.

> Rather the imperfect and pluperfect
> subjunctives must be seen as a new development within Latin.

That's what I did, but still respecting Latin's IE descent.

> Besides, the
> aorist is an inappropriate aspectual element in an imperfect,
which shows
> incompletion, continuity, or re-iteration.

Hey, I am specifically not equating the s-aorist subjunctive with
the imperfect subjunctive, but it looked as if you were. I only use
the subjunctive value of the s-aorist subjunctive, which could well
be motivated because it is the only subjunctive type that has a
robust marking. If the s-aor. sbj. was a subjunctive at one time
without preterital meaning, a preterital counterpart could have been
made by copying the interplay seen in the verb to be. Note that the
ipf./ppf. sbj. is pan-Italic, so the verbal system in which it arose
cannot be too well known anyway.

> It belongs better where we find
> it, with the completed anterior tense. That the imperfect
subjunctive is
> felt within the language to be made up of infinitive + -em, -e:s -
et is
> shown by the fact that even irregular infinitives show this

Does that "analysis" make any sense: Why would "infinitive with
personal endings that and secondary vowel lengthening" come to be
used as "imperfect subjunctive"?? That is even further off any mark
we try to hit. And, by the way, how well does the infinitive-based
analysis work for Oscan and Umbrian?

I see that so often: If I propose something in which a critic can
find room for reservation the whole thing is replaced by something
that does makes no sense at all. It is as if we are not trying to
improve upon explanations, but to make them poorer still.