Re: sum

From: tgpedersen
Message: 38303
Date: 2005-06-03

--- In, "elmeras2000" <jer@...> wrote:
> --- In, "tgpedersen" <tgpedersen@...>
> wrote:
> >
> > sum
> > es
> > est
> >
> > sumus
> > estis
> > sunt
> >
> > Jens mentioned a rule for the thematic vowel: -o- before voiced
> > sound, nothing before unvoiced. This verb follows the rule: -o-
> > before voiced sound, -e- before unvoiced.
> > But remember the rules of sandhi in Latin:
> > 'Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori'
> > is pronounced
> > 'Dulce-t decoru~-st pro patria mori'
> >
> > which changes the paradigm into
> >
> > sum
> > 's
> > 'st
> >
> > sumus
> > 'stis
> > sunt
> I am not sure what you are trying to say here. My rule applying to
> the thematic vowel in PIE says "o before voiced, e before
> The present of the verb "to be" is not thematic in PIE. The Latin
> paradigm is not very easily explained, but the mould into which it
> was pressed is plainly the socalled "semi-thematic" paradigm seen
> fero fers fert ferimus fertis ferunt which is an old thematic
> present (thus also volo from a root-aorist subjunctive). In this
> variant the thematic vowel is only retained where it was *-o-, but
> lost where it was *-e-. Since [o] is a sound of greater amplitude
> that [e] this is in fact a natural place to draw the line if
> phonology reduces the form of a verb. Szemerényi insisted on this
> explanation in his 1964 book on Syncope in Greek and Indo-
> in my opinion rightly. For Latin the reduction had the effect of
> creating a bridge to some athematic presents which were
retained "as
> is" in the 2/3sg and 2pl, but given thematic form in the 1sg and
> 1/3pl (edo e:s e:st edimus e:stis edunt; eo i:s i:t [i:mus
> analogical] i:tis eunt). For "be", this apparently had the effect
> that *H1smós *H1sénti were changed to *somos *sonti > sumus, sunt.
> On the pattern of edo edunt, *h1ésmi 'I am' was then adjusted to
> sunt. A full and uninhibited adjustment would have produced *so:,
> but the tenacity of the verb "to be" saved the ending *-mi > -m,
> the resulting form was *so(:)m > sum (Oscan súm). I do not think
> can know whether the full-grade root vocalism of Umbr. esu and
> Picene esum is an archaism or due to later levelling.

The operative word here is 'bridge', obviously you see the behavior
of the thematic vowel and the behavior of Latin 'sum' etc as two
unrelated phenomena. If so, it's odd they seem to behave according
to the same phonological rule. Which is what I was trying to say.
You stated that the behavior of the thematic vowel was not matched
by other ablauting vowels. I just pointed out one.

Further, who would want to press a verb for 'be' into a new and
complicated mould, such as that of the semi-thematic paradigm? What
purpose would be served by that? Schmalstieg, if I understand him
correctly, thinks the semi-thematic paradigm (*bhro: *bhers *bhert
*bhromos *bhertis *bhront) was the original one and the thematic one
a generalisation of it.