Re: [tied] Re: Syncope

From: enlil@...
Message: 31731
Date: 2004-04-06

>> Quantitative ablaut is regular quantitative ablaut as
>> we normally define it in IE... but only when we're
>> talking about IE itself. Not every stage before it!
> I am trying to get you to inform me about your use of terms,
> not how you don't use them.

Quantitative ablaut in IE itself involves *e:/*e or *o:/*o
or *e/NULL or *o/NULL (I can't think of an example for the
last one offhand but just to be safe I include it). It's just
a length contrast as opposed to Qualitative ablaut where a
change in quality occurs, yes? Quantitative ablaut is simply
a change of vocalic "quantity".

In eLIE (c.5000 BC or so), "Quantitative ablaut" still means
"length contrast" as it does in all stages of IE that I use
the term, but the appearance of this lengthening or shortening
is different. We see the following:

*V:/*V -- *pa:ds/*pádm "foot"
*V/*& -- *bHarás/*bHár&s "burdensome/burden"
*e/NULL -- *est/*?sent "is/are"

So we see both reductions (V: => V or V => *&) and the
zeroing that started with Syncope. All of this is under
the umbrella known as "Quantitative Ablaut" but it clearly
differs a little from later IE. It's a headtrip when
trying to understand *V/*& because, as we went over,
*& becomes either *e or *o. So in effect, the process
of, say, *e/*& (a QUANTITATIVE ablaut process) becomes a
process of QUALITATIVE ablaut in IE (*e/*o). This is
probably some of the reasons why this simple idea
in the end confuses you. It's because of the complexities
between one stage and the next.

The journey is seldom a straight road.

In MIE, there is no zeroing at all, only reduction. So
Quantitative Ablaut in MIE involves:

*a/*& -- *bHarása/*bHárasa "burdensome/burden"
(unstressed *a = [&])
*e/*I -- *es/*eséna "is/are"
(unstressed *e = [I])

Long vowels are automatic allophones of short counterparts
in monosyllables so the only process of Quant.Abl. involves
uncomplicated reductions of unstressed vowels.

>> New morphemes had no choice but to acquire accentual
>> allomorphy because that was the rule for ALL forms
>> even during postSyncope stages.
> Surely you don't know that.

Neither do you know that O-fix is real. It's a theory
like any other and we could say "surely you don't know
that" for any theory that's proposed. This is _my_ rule to
explain things but this is a continued matter of debate
whether the theory works or not.

> Well, this is a new message; your preceding posting have
> given me the impression that suffixed formations were to
> be considered of a post-ablaut age in their totality.

There is no "new message". You've just come around finally.

> Well, the message is not all that deep. The question was:
> Are there tri-consonant clusters in pre-ablaut IE? If
> *wért-men (prestage of PIE *wér-mn.) is rotten because it
> may have been formed only at a later date by analogy,
> then surely one of its many models would qualify.

Is it *wertmn or *wertmen? With QAR, I'm now allowed to say
*wertmn < MIE *werta-man without conflict.

There had to have been suffixes with more than one consonant
in MIE. Yes, there was the genitive *-asa (*-sa before *i and
*u) but one could also string suffixes together (as was
still done in Tyrrhenian, nb. double-genitive). This is
where *-mn would have come from, a synthesis of an
element *m (however we should etymologize it) and *-r/*-n,
an inanimate suffix used in ancient words like *wodr.

> Did the many root that end in clusters just wait
> till Syncope was complete to begin forming suffixed
> derivatives like the lighter roots?

Roots didn't end in clusters until after Syncope. So
theoretically MIE *werta- > eLIE *wert-. Asyllabic
suffixes like 3ps *-t resulted because Suffix Resistance
didn't save these much-used suffixes from Syncope. So
while we would have a 3ps in MIE *wertata, it results
in eLIE *wert&t (*& being the thematic vowel surviving
Syncope). Phonotactics prevented -CCC during Syncope.
There was no "waiting", it just wasn't allowed.

> You don't know that. It's a mere possibility, a remote
> one at that. Another is that speakers gave up that
> nonsense because they did not care about it. Many
> speakers of other languages occasionally have other
> things on their mind.

You're joking. This is an automatic process so there was
nothing weighing heavy on an early IE speaker's mind
concerning ablaut. It was as automatic as vowel harmony
is to a Turkish speaker. You have nothing to object here.

>> So a word that didn't follow this rule
>> would be like having an English word with a glottal
>> stop in it.
> No, it could also just be the way a young layer of words
> acted in PIE.

Exactly! That's what I'm saying. The most recent IE layer
allowed words without ablaut. Since you say "A case in
point could be the neuter s-stems which hardly show any
ablaut at all," it would appear that you are coming
around nicely and agreeing with me. I knew that espresso
would help. Coffee solves all problems :)

= gLeN