Re: [tied] PIE Word Formation Q&A (1)

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 43995
Date: 2006-03-29

On 2006-03-29 17:31, Patrick Ryan wrote:

> It is incorrect to regard *wl.kWo-s as containing the suffix -*o- for
> the simple reason that *l. is not a PIE phoneme, it is only a
> stress-unaccented form or *l. A form like *wl.kW- (before any affix)
> would present a word with _no_ stress-accent, which is virtually an
> impossibility.

This impossibility may be virtual, but isn't real. The Czech word for
'wolf' is <vlk>, with a stressed syllabic /l/. However, where did I
claim that the base of *wl.kWos was underlyingly vowelless?? Didn't I
say instead that the addition of a suffix affected the vocalism of the
base? Adjective-forming *-ó- is in principle accented, but the accent is
often thrown back in nouns for reasons of CONtrast. How does it follow
from your words quoted above that the *-o- in *wl.kWos can't be a
suffix? It surely _is_ a suffix e.g. in thematic adjectives derived from
compounds with a consonantal stem as the second member -- the <dvi:pá->
type (*[dwi-h2p]-ó-).

> *wl.-kWo- is a very old compound of *wel-, 'wool (referring to
> sheep)'

The 'wool' word is actually *h2wl.h1-náh2. The initial *h2 is reflected
as Hitt. <h> in <hulana->. There is no trace of either laryngeal in any
of the numerous reflexes of the 'wolf' word.

> + *kWe/o, which will be a verbal element of some meaning
> relating to the preoccupation of wolves with flocks.

Woolly wolves? Wolves in lambs' clothing? :-)

> It is incorrect to assert that the thematic vowel was "replaced" by
> -*y.
> There is no relationship between them (thematic vowel and -*y). The
> ultimate stress-accentuation, resulting in a thematic vowel,
> originally indicated plurality. *-y was relational or derivational.

I can't see a shred of evidence for any such claim. Does *h1ek^wos mean
'horses'? One interesting property of the thematic vowel is that in
never disappears completely. If *h1ek^wo-s means 'horse' and *h1ek^wi-o-
means 'horse-related, equine' (RV as'vya-; cf. also Gk. hippi-kó-s, with
a different suffix), if *wl.kW-o-s means '(he-)wolf' and *wl.kW-i-h2
means 'she-wolf', and if, in general, thematic *-o/e- and *-i- occur at
the end of otherwise identical stems in complementary distribution, the
most natural conclusion is that they are allomorphs of each other.