[tied] Re: a-Epenthesis: This time its personal

From: elmeras2000
Message: 31220
Date: 2004-02-23

--- In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, enlil@... wrote:

> > You are in essence saying that IE has no old initial
> > clusters of any complexity, right?
> Whole-heartedly, yes. Why wouldn't I? So many others have
> come to this commonsense conclusion because zerograde
> alternations prove that at least some consonant clusters
> are caused by syncope. So if some are, is there reason to
> not think that all are? No. The simplest solution wins
> until proven otherwise: IE didn't have initial consonant
> clusters in the past.

That not the simplest solution. It is a well-known, if tenacious,
fallacy that *some* clusters have come about by loss of intervening
vowels. That is no reason to assume the same for all other clusters.
And if you take the consequence of that and only take earlier vowels
for granted where alternants show them, you get a much smoother
morphology and accentology. And then you can pack up the unmotivated
expanded phantom forms of Late Early What-Not.

> Since assuming some consonant clusters are inherited and
> others are not is a more complicated position, the onus
> is on those people to justify their viewpoint that
> there is a distinction between two types of consonant
> clusters. The mere "possibility" that there WERE
> consonant clusters in MIE is irrelevent until proven to
> be the case by concrete examples.

It is proved that way by the simple observation that, when the
accent moves from a root-vowel it never moves to a later position
within the root, but always out of the root. That means there was
only one vowel in the root. The paucity of credible Schwebeablaut
examples makes the same statement.

Wew can see the accent moving to the next theoretically possible
vowel in some paradigms, while in others it skips a position and
moves to the next one that really was there. That reveals
differences in the status of the clusters that should be grasped by
the "simplest solution". That says that we can know what we see, no