Re: *a/*a: ablaut

From: Patrick Ryan
Message: 52803
Date: 2008-02-12


Thank you for the very nice overview of the question.

Would it be accurate to say that the evidence is sufficient to warrant a
belief that

*wa:-g^-, *gla:-dh-u-, and *wa:-s- came into PIE with long vowels in place?

I presume you can point to analogous roots in *e: and *o:?


----- Original Message -----
From: "Piotr Gasiorowski" <gpiotr@...>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2008 6:07 AM
Subject: [tied] *a/*a: ablaut

> There are a number of PIE stems which present clear evidence for *a/*a:
> ablaut, and in which the presence of an internal laryngeal is unlikely
> or impossible. Roots with this ablaut typically distinguish the "strong"
> grade *a: and the "weak" grade *a (though their distribution may be
> disturbed by analogy) but have no zero grade. Let me discuss a
> characteristic example:
> *wa(:)g^- 'break (hit, smash, etc.), get broken' is listed as *weh2g(^)-
> in LIV, but the analysis of the vowel quality as due to laryngeal
> colouring is anything but satisfactory. A root like *//weh2g^// could be
> expected to produce zero-grade derivatives with *uh2g^- and some o-grade
> forms like perf. *we-woh2g^-e. No such forms are attested anywhere. We
> have the Gk. present (*w)ágnu:mi 'I break' and perf. éa:ge 'is broken' <
> *we-wá:g^-e, Skt. vájra- < *wág^-ro- 'thunderbolt' (a substantivised
> adjective). Forms like *wag^- should not exist at all, as there is no
> way they could be derived from any allomorph of *//weh2g^//. Such
> inconvenient forms, which LIV explains away, one by one, as "analogical
> innovations", are found in several branches, while the expected reflexes
> of *woh2g^- and *uh2g^- don't occur at all.
> Similar difficulties beset adjectives like Lat. glaber, Slavic *gladUkU
> 'smooth'. If the latter reflects *gHlah2dH-u-, where does the short /a/
> of <glaber> and OHG glat come from? The zero grade of *-lah2- would be
> *-l.h2-, which would have given Latin -la:- and Germanic -ul-. Then we
> have nouns like *wá:stu- 'dwelling, settlement' (Ved. vá:stu-, Toch.A
> was.t, B ost) ~ wástu- (Gk.(w)ástu); the variants look like relicts of
> an acrostatic paradigm with *a/*a: ablaut, and again a reconstruction
> like *wah2stu- can't account for the existence of forms with short *a,
> or the conspicuous absence of a zero-grade *uh2.
> Piotr
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