Re: [tied] Re: Unreality of One-Vowel Systems (was: Bader's article

From: enlil@...
Message: 32979
Date: 2004-05-30

> I insist on their right to be considered at least to the extent and
> in the sense that one such exists in Sanskrit.

Insisting for what purpose? Abstract monovocalism is a pointless game.
What does abstract monovocalism tell us about a language's prestages?
You continue to draw a blank to this question.

> In reconstructing ancestral forms of IE, we both depart from differing
> initial conclusions.

> No, I don't believe I have any.

Exactly. No foundation. You instead start with a bunch of loose
threads and weave them together to form a pretty garment that unravels
in no time. You need one to have a strong theory.

> Basically yes, but there is a qualitative side to this also. Some
> choices may be so pitiful as to be valueless.

Which is why we don't start with those choices when first constructing
a theory. We start with _sure_ choices, ones that are either absolute
(although that's unfortunately unlikely) or at the very least
overwhelmingly the most probable considering the other lesser options.

> If one theory can explain two forms out of a thousand, and another one
> three, and nobody has anything better yet, even the three-hits theory
> is not likely to be anywhere near the truth.

Perhaps not, but it's important to have a methodology as opposed to
using a wicca board or random coin toss. The three-hit theory would
be more favourable unless there are other considerations. At any rate,
this is again pointless jibberish because if we were ignorant about a
prestage of a language, we wouldn't even bother with these low-yield
conclusions! We'd start with the meat 'n potatoes and THEN work are
way to the dessert.

> You've made clear, in contrast, that the foundation of your views rely
> on your 'abstract analysis' of the IE vowel system.

> We both do abstract analysis of the interface of phonological and
> morphological alternations. Your analysis is not different from mine in
> kind, only in the implementation.

My analysis of the accent shifting as being underlyingly regular is a
inevitable conclusion, period. Your analysis of the vowel system is one
of many and is not a clear base conclusion. Why MONOvocalic, especially
when completely unattested? Why not DIvocalic or TRIvocalic (the more
common pattern)? You provide no clear answer. It looks like it's just
willy-nilly with you and you don't feel accountable to your theory.

>> However, your analysis, just like the same analysis on Sanskrit, is
>> not guaranteed to have any bearing on the vowel system of its prestage.
> That goes for yours as well.

I don't put any weight on such analyses. My analysis is different and
recognizes the _reality_ of the IE vowel system which shows alternation
between *e and *o no matter what type of word, whether it be verb,
adjective or noun. Therefore, we need two vowels at least to make sense
of the origin of this pattern.

> One cannot sensibly begin with a conclusion. You are construing a
> daevic world where all the good words have come to mean bad things.

Did you just learn 'daevic' today? I appreciate your poetic rhetoric.
Even though it's irrelevant to the debate, it's helping my vocabulary.

= gLeN