Hamp and his dog

From: Glen Gordon
Message: 2288
Date: 2000-04-30

> It's really *k'uon- (n. sg. *k'(u)wo:n). I suppose you've heard of >Eric
>Hamp's analysis of 'dog' as *pk'u-o:n 'livestock herder'.

Yuck... Actually, it would mean literally "livestock-er", no? Wouldn't we
more likely expect *pek'u-o:n, if this were so? First, how do we validly get
from *pek'u-o:n to *pk'u-o:n despite natural resistance of obscured
zero-grade forms elsewhere, and then how do we validly get from *pk'u-o:n to
*k'uo:n without making up an instance of *pk- > *k- for convenience sake
(Afterall, at least we find *dhgh- in *dhghom- substantiated by forms in
Hittite, Sanskrit and Greek). I haven't really heard a convincing case for
**pk- yet where the consonant cluster is _actually attested_. Am I wrong?

Secondly, the matter of whether *o is particularly ancient is up for debate.
The *e/*o ablaut can only be so old and often linked to accentuation (cf.
genitive *-es/*-os, coincidentally with varying accent). There is some
motivation for *o to have been labialized by *w in *k'won- from earlier
*k'wen-. Food for thought.

- gLeN

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