Re: PIE meaning of the Germanic dental preterit

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 54192
Date: 2008-02-26

On 2008-02-26 20:53, alexandru_mg3 wrote:

> First, the quoted inscription is not "otherwise completely unknown"

I didn't mean the inscription, of course, but the form of the preterite
:). A far as I know, it's the only example of its kind, which of course
raises all sorts of questions.

> So -ai appears in three different places

I know only of 3sg. -idai on the Nøvling fibula (<bidawarijaztalgidai>).
I can check the others up in Antonsen (if they are real and based on
secure readings).

> III) Next regarding your (and Jens?) supposition:
> >What seems to occur in the dental preterite is the old reduplicated
> >imperfect of *dHeh1-, namely *dHi-dHéh1-t/*dHé-dH(h1)-n.t > Gmc.
> >*ðiðe:(ð)/*ðe:ðun(ð):
> Kortlandt objections are the following:
> "It has been proposed that the weak preterit represents the imperfect
> rather than the aorist of the verb `to do' (e.g., Bech 1963, Lühr
> 1984). This hypothesis explains neither the absence of reduplication
> in Gothic -da, nor the long vowel of 3rd pl. -dēdun, OHG. tātun."

Jasanoff's "perfect middle hypothesis" also requires a reduplicated
form, so in this respect it's neither superior nor inferior to the
"imperfect hypothesis". The absence of reduplication in the singular is
sufficiently explained via haplology. The lengthening of *e in *ðeðun
has been convincingly explained as analogical. When *ðeð- was no longer
treated as a reduplicated form, *ðeð-un became the only preterite with
short *e and a root-final obstruent. The vowel was therefore lengthened
on the analogy of Class V strong verbs. The "imperfect theory" accounts
at the same time for the form of the weak preterite _and_ the curious
preterite *ðiðe:/*ðe:ðun (OHG teta/ta:tun), which cannot be explained at
all in terms of perfect or aorist forms.