Re: Stacking up on standard works

From: Brian M. Scott
Message: 69078
Date: 2012-03-27

At 5:54:59 AM on Thursday, March 22, 2012, Tavi wrote:

> --- In, "Brian M. Scott"
> <bm.brian@...> wrote:

>>> The problem is De Vaan's systematically tries to derive
>>> everything from the reconstructed "PIE" using "regular"
>>> sound correspondences, regardless of other
>>> considerations.

>> Broadly speaking, that's a feature, not a bug. In
>> particular, when such a derivation is possible without
>> unreasonable contortions, it necessarily has primacy.
>> This isn't to say that it can't be displaced if a better
>> derivation is found, but the bar for any alternative is
>> pretty high.

> I politely disagree. IMHO this approach is like trying to
> collect apples from a tree regardless of it being an
> apple-tree or not (of course, if you choose the wrong tree
> you won't collect apples at all).

Which pretty much tells me that either you completely
ignored the qualifications in what I wrote, or you don't
understand how such reconstructions are actually done. The
point is that if you find something that looks very like an
apple in reasonable range of an appletree, the default
assumption is that it is an apple and did fall from that

> That is, you can't simply use "PIE" at will to derive a
> Latin word without considering 1) the productivity of the
> "root" *wed- 'water' in Latin and 2) the words 'glass' and
> 'woad' in other IE languages.

You certainly can, if a defensible derivation is available.
Indeed, you *must*. *Then* one can argue about how
convincing the derivation actually is, and part of that
argument way well take (1) and (2) into account.

If by 'at will' you mean 'regardless of whether the
derivation is defensible', your comment is irrelevant both
to the general point that I was making and to this
particular example. This particular derivation may well be
wrong, but it is certainly defensible.

And I'm getting really fed up with your silly scare quotes.
I don't give a damn about your private terminology: 'PIE'
has a well-accepted and well-understood meaning, and you can
damned well acknowledge that fact and use the term properly
instead of pretending that everyone is out of step except

> De Vaan's etymology is also *anachronic*, because water is
> transparent but ancient glass was blueish like the blue
> dye extracted from woad.

This is just silly, especially coming from someone with your
penchant for tenuous semantic connections. It appears that
you have a somewhat limited acquaintance with water in its
natural state.

> The combination of bad work and laziness give awful
> results.

I know that you're not capable of reliably recognizing bad
work, and I strongly suspect that 'laziness' is just an
insulting code word for 'willingness to take seriously views
that broadly fall within the mainstream of IE studies'.