Re: ka and k^a [was: [tied] *kW- "?"]

From: Grzegorz Jagodzinski
Message: 40542
Date: 2005-09-24

Rob wrote:
> --- In, "Grzegorz Jagodzinski"
> <grzegorj2000@...> wrote:
>>> He's right about these instances of *a, yes, but
>>> I think he might be going too far in some cases
>>> like *was-. I don't think it truly was **wHs- at
>>> the very last stage of IE. Vocalization of laryngeals
>>> in these positions would have occured early on.
>> Why? Notice that *H used to yield a vowel (E, call it "schwa" or
>> what you like) easily, anyway more easily than *r or *l. And wlC-
>> yielded wl.C-, not *ulC-, didn't it? So, why wHC- mightn't have
>> yielded wEC-?
> There is at least one other language that I know of (Biblical Hebrew)
> that had phonetic schwas (indeed, the word "schwa" comes from Hebrew)
> articulated next to laryngeals. Furthermore, Biblical Hebrew had
> three different "colors" of schwas: a-colored, e-colored, and o-
> colored.

Ooops, for to be more correct, not exactly. Hebrew has four, not three
schwas, and to tell the truth - only one schwa :-). They are:

1) the plain schwa (or: the true schwa, the only vowel with this name in
Hebrew) which is rarely articulated next to glottalics (not "laryngeals"
because Hebrew (and Semitic) glottalic can be both leryngeal or pharyngeal),
like in s^Ewa:(h) 'schwa" or in s^a:wE? 'nothing, nonentity', or kEna¿an
'Kanaan', or yEhu:d_i:t_ 'Hebrew' etc.

2) h.a?t.e:p_ seg_o^l = "e-schwa" like in ?e?k_o:l 'eat' (imperative)

3) h.a?t.e:p_ pat_a:h. = "a-schwa" like in ha?lo:? 'isn't it?' or in ?a?ni:

4) h.a?t.e:p_ qa:mas. = "o-schwa" like in h.o?li: 'sickness'

(in Aleppo manuscript yet another h.a?t.e:p_ was found, a kind of short
"i" - h.a?t.e:p_ h.i:re^q)

So, these coloured sounds are hatefs, not schwas.

> At least one descendant of IE, Greek, had the same thing.
> My take on the matter is that "syllabic laryngeals" were never really
> syllabic, but had a schwa(-like) vowel coarticulated with them when
> they were in zero-grade position. For example, *pxté:r 'father' was
> likely pronounced [p@...:r]. In every IE language, this schwa merged
> with some other vowel phoneme -- /a/ in most descendants, /i/ in Indo-
> Iranian, and /e/, /a/, or /o/ in Greek, depending on the laryngeal
> involved.

And this merging was before or after loss of laryngeals? Of course that
schwa is just a model, less or more comfortable. There is even a theory that
there was only one schwa, and Greek e/a/o difference is secondary, i.e.
former /a/ was replaced by /e/ /o/ if in related forms were /e:/ /o:/
respectively. If yes, /p@.../ would be more correct.

But this is meaningless here. What is important, that *wHC- must have
yielded *w@... (or *w@... if Greek e/a/o secondary) and not *uxC- in any

> Concerning wHC-, then, there is nothing to prohibit such a sequence
> in IE. However, the Greek word _(w)ástu_ 'town' and Vedic
> _vástu_ '[ibid.]' both show a form with two zero-grade syllables.
> That's why I think it was unlikely to have been of native IE origin.

"ai. dehnstufig va?stu- n. `Stätte, Haus', jünger va?stu- n. `Ding, Sache' "
"lat. Vesta `Göttin des häuslichen Hordes'",
"got. wisan (1. Sg. Prät. was) `sein, bleiben'",
"hitt. huis- `leben, am Leben bleiben', huisa- `Spiegel'"

(Pokorny, under ues-1)

It looks like if Skr. va:stu (long a:) was earlier... (< * weHstu ?). And
Hitt. hui- < *wHe-?

Grzegorz J.

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