Re: [tied] Slavic endings

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 45664
Date: 2006-08-09

On 2006-08-08 22:47, Andrew Jarrette wrote:

> This has probably been referred to many, many times on cybalist, but I
> am seeking a definitive answer (and the search function on cybalist
> gives me trouble because it's hard to isolate this subject matter, I've
> tried already).

Slavic Auslaut processes and the question of their phonological
regularity remain a controversial and hotly debated issue. I'm afraid
nobody, on Cybalist or anywhere, can give you a definitive answer. I'll
try and do my best, hoping that those with more knowledge about the
current progress in the field will join the thread. Some of our resident
experts are probably on vacation, but they'll perhaps catch up with the
discussion later on.

> 1. What is the origin of Common Slavic *-U the nom./acc. sg. of masc.
> o-stems? I think I once read that it comes from the accusative *-om
> which became *-U due to nasalization. But then what about the neuters
> with *-om (next question)?

The development of final *-os into *-u(s) > *-U seems to be a regular
change, not an analogical development. We have the same treatment of the
1pl. ending in verbs (*-mU can hardly come from anything else than
*-mos). The problem of final *-o in *-es-stem neuters like *slovo, *nebo
(*k^lewos, *nebHos) can be solved in two ways. Either we are dealing
with the analogical spread of *-o from thematic neuters (see below) or
_stem-final_ *-os- was treated differently from _desinential_ *-o-s.
Such differentiation, though rather uncommon, is not impossible, cf. the
different treatment of final etymological -s in English depending on
whether it is found in an inflectional ending (in which case it has
undergone voicing to /z/) or not (cf. once < OE a:nes, with the /s/
remaining vooiceless because at the time of the desinantial voicing the
adverb was no longer interpreted as the genitive of 'one').

> 2. What is the origin of Common Slavic *-o the nom./acc. sg. of neuter
> o-stems? I believe I've read that it is held to have come from *-od
> which is an importation from the pronouns -- correct? But why do neuter
> s-stems also have *-o in their nom./acc. sg., while retaining *-es- in
> other cases and numbers?

I can only give you my considered opinion: I think the theory assuming
the analogical impact of pronominal *-o < PIE *-od (with a very early
loss of the final stop) is essentially correct. For this or whatever
other reason, pre-Slavic neuters lost the final consonant of the
nom./ Some of them seem to have retained the original ending at
the expense of being shifted to the masculine gender, the showcase
example being *darU 'gift', cf. PIE *dóh3-ro-m (Gk. dô:ron). There are
also possible cases of masculines in *-U continuing *-es-stem neuters,
eg. *vidU 'sight, appearance', cf. Gk. eîdos < *weid-os/-es-, which
suggests that the *-o in *slovo etc. is also secondary.

So much for starters. Sorry, I have to run now -- I'm on vacation too
and my wife and children would like to get some of my attention as well
:) -- but I'll return to your questions as soon as I can.