Re: [tied] The "Mother" Problem

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 36088
Date: 2005-01-31

On 05-01-31 00:33, elmeras2000 wrote:

> There is no serious evidence supporting IE barytonesis in 'mother'.
> So, if the vowel grade would make one assume that, any influence
> from 'father' on the accent would rather seem to have occurred
> before the dissolution of PIE than after it.

It seems impossible to date the shift with any accuracy, but I agree
that a very early date is likely. It's clear, at any rate, that the
stress-and-vocalism pattern of 'mother' is irregular and one has to
explain it with recourse to analogy (cf. the ModE folk-etymological
pronunciation of female as "fee-male").