Re: [tied] Re: IE thematic presents and the origin of their themati

From: glen gordon
Message: 40217
Date: 2005-09-21

> Off the top of my head, I could quote Gk. sko:ps
> 'scops owl, _Otus scops_' < *spo:k^-s vs.
> *spe:k^-s 'watcher, observer'.

Well, if the two vowel qualities can both exist for
the same verb stem, I hardly think that this
necessarily has anything to do with some _very_
hypothetical pre-IE lengthening alternation of
**e:: and *e:. Afterall the two forms you cite
above are both monosyllabic and to say that *o:
derives from **e:: is a good example of explaining
the obscure with more obscurity.

If we can agree that *spe:ks _and_ *spo:ks coexist,
it goes back to the idea that *e-grade and *o-grade
are distinct in the most ancient stages of pre-IE.

Whatever real-world semantic value one might ascribe
to a supposed 'active' *e-grade and a 'stative'
*o-grade in IE or in any pre-IE stages is a matter of
open debate, but I hardly think any of this ablaut
seen in these forms should convince anyone that *o:
is from **e:: unless one makes a very large leap of
faith and add pre-IE syllables that we have no
evidence for.

Rather, if *o: and *e: both can exist in these forms,
it speaks against Jens' analysis and favours mine.

= gLeN

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