Re: Grimm's Law is about to expire (Collinge 1985, p. 267, Thundy 1

From: mkelkar2003
Message: 47862
Date: 2007-03-15

--- In, "Richard Wordingham" <richard@...> wrote:
> --- In, "mkelkar2003" <swatimkelkar@> wrote:
> > The reason I (Thundy) am skeptical of many proto-Indo-European roots
> > based on Grimm's law is that most Indo-Europeanist apply Grimm's law
> > universally and claim that there is no exception to it. For the Old
> > English habban, dictionaries give *kap as the root and ignore the
> > Latin habere as cognate, because Grimm's Law does not allow for any
> > exception! Then we have the classic cases of Sanskrit pibati, of the
> > Greek pachus versus the Sanskrit bahu, and the Latin bibit versus the
> > Praenstine pipafo (Collinge 259-65). By postulating laryngeals we can
> > get around these problems, as scholars have done.
> We don't need any laryngeals to explain the consonants of Greek
> _pa:khus_ / _pe:khus_, Sanskrit _ba:hu_ and English _bough_. It looks
> like a straightforward case of Grassmann's Law to me.
> What might be helpful is to collect together the cases of inconsistent
> voicing between IE families. However, please leave out the examples
> that can be explained by Grassman's law -

See that is the problem here.'s_law

"The fact that deaspiration in Greek took place after the change of
Proto-Indo-European *bʰ, dʰ, gʰ to /pʰ, tʰ, kʰ/, and the fact that no
other Indo-European languages have Grassmann's law, show that
Grassmann's law developed independently in Greek and Sanskrit; it was
not inherited from PIE."

Why independently? I would just put Greek and Sanskrit in one family.


"I've spent the better part of the last two days (or so it seems)
either explaining to students how Grassman's Law can possible explain
exceptions to Grimm's law when it didn't even occur in Germanic or
trying to convince them that there is some reason that they should
learn what Grimm's Law, Verner's Law, Grassman's Law, and the Great
English Vowel Shift are. It isn't as easy as you might think.
Undergraduate students can be stubborn debaters, particularly when
testable material is at stake.

What I have told them, more listlessly than would be ideal, is that a
knowledge of these sound changes is part of the shared intellectual
tradition of historical linguistics and that they're also good
examples of particular kinds of sound changes. They didn't seem

And I am not convinced either. If one needs two more laws to explain
exceptions to an earlier law then its best to get rid of all three and
replace them with the ancient Indian tradition.

"A different analytical approach was taken by the ancient Indian
grammarians. In their view, the roots are taken to be underlying
/trikʰ/ and /tapʰ/. These roots persist unaltered in [trikʰ-es] and
[tapʰ-ein]. But if an /s/ follows, it triggers an "aspiration
throwback" (ATB), in which the aspiration migrates leftward, docking
onto the initial consonant ([tʰrik-s], [tʰap-sai])."

M. kelkar

they will swamp the data and
> serve no useful purpose.
> > even though Grimm's law is about to expire
> > (Collinge 267) with the radical revision of the proto-Indo-European
> > obstruent system by the glottalicists Gamkrelidze, Ivanov, Hopper and
> > Bromhard.
> The other Nostratic camp (e.g. Shevoroshkin) is currently
> reconstructing the PIE, Altaic and Nostratic stop system as having the
> phonations [th] (PIE *t), [t] (PIE *d) and [d] (PIE *dH). The old
> (Indocentric?) reconstruction has a lot of life left in it.
> As Peter Gray said, it is important to separate the two aspects of
> Grimm's law - the correspondence and the reconstruction. I think
> everyone realises that reconstructing the precise phonetic reality is
> , which is why I like to think of the 'traditional' reconstruction as
> an orthography.
> > Since every language comprises dialects, consistent voicing
> > of consonants is not necessarily an infallible criterion for
> > distinguishing dialects or language families—in American English, for
> > instance, the voicing of /s/ in words like greasy is at best a
> > variable dialectical or ideolectal feature.
> This is not a particularly good example. The variation in _greasy_
> simply results from the tension between regular sound change (yielding
> /z/) and analogy (restoring /s/ from _grease_). Compare _lousy_,
> whose semantic distancing from _louse_ helps preserve the /z/ in the
> adjective. He'd've done better to pick on Romance examples like the
> English cognates _gaol_ and _cage_ - a threefold development from
> Latin _cavea_! (The first form is a diminutive.)
> Richard.