Re: *a/*a: ablaut

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 52850
Date: 2008-02-12

On 2008-02-12 18:49, fournet.arnaud wrote:

> What about words like sacer-dos
> where dhoH1 "doer" is primary -o-

What do you understand by "primary -o-"? Even if <sacerdo:s> contained
*dHoh1-, the fundamental form of the corresponding verb would still be
*dHeh1-. But the analysis is unlikely, as the compositional form of
'doer/maker' in Latin is -fex. <sacerdo:s> is more plausibly
*sakro-doh3-t-s 'the giver of the sacred'.

> or phôs "light" < *bhoH2-
> monosyllabic word with nothing to influence
> the vowel.

Well, it belongs to a class of monosyllabic root nouns with *o in the
strong cases. Synchronically in PIE, it's morphology that determines the
choice of the vowel in this case (whatever the historical explanation).
The point is that the *o of, say, *po:d-s, acc. *pod-m., pl. *pod-es is
morphophonologically related to *e in gen. *ped(o)s or in derivatives
like *ped-o-m 'standing-place'. It isn't an independent vowel.

> or pot-(ere) "to be able"

There is no "potere" in Latin, only <possum> (< potis sum) and <potior>
(<poti:ri:>). It's true that the *o of *potis looks apophonically
stable, but such examples are vanishingly rare and it's possible that
the absence of *pet- is an accidental attestation gap due to the early
generalisation of strong vocalism.