Re: [TIED] Itchy and Scratchy Stops

From: Glen Gordon
Message: 2566
Date: 2000-05-28

Hmm, I would speculate that while there is only one Glen, there may be two
Piotr's, one that understands and the other that doesn't. Apparently, the
former is on vacation.

After a long and successful perversion of the true meaning behind my
> Do you wonder I feel confused?

Yes, I do wonder, especially after I was careful to date Nostratic at 15,000
BCE and to have said that the _loss_ of the labial ejective is to be dated
at around 12,000 BCE within the Eurasiatic subgroup. Didn't I also state
that there was possibly some words which show a Sumerian /b/ to Steppe *p
(Sumerian tab = IE *tep-), demonstrating perhaps that Sumerian retained the
*p? or *p: and implying that the change took place at a later stage of
Eurasiatic after Sumerian seperated? If not, you heard it now.

Piotr, using my previous quotes against me:
> The fortis stops would be derived from the glottalic stops and >so the
>arguement for the loss of *p? (and hence the lack of later *p:) >still
>holds. Your question is already answered.

No, no, no. Nostratic definitely HAD a labial ejective. I never claimed
otherwise. At some later stage, the labial took a walk (obviously). The
question is when this actually took place and how exactly. I went for an
estimate of 12,000 BCE.

I thought it should be better that the *p: was lost AFTER the
ejective-fortis shift (in late Eurasiatic), rather than the previous idea
which was that *p? disappeared before the ejective-fortis shift (but still
DEFINITELY NOT lost in Nostratic itself).

The reason for this is that Sumerian, as well as all other Eurasiatic
languages, do not seem to preserve ejectives (in stark contrast to
Kartvelian, NEC and NWC which have had them for millenia and millenia and
millenia, preserved nicely in at least some of their daughter languages).

Sumerian might have retained this labial stop in some form or another
though. One would then start thinking that it was a loss of *p:, rather than
a loss of *p? that occured, since Sumerian still lacks ejectives like the
rest of Eurasiatic.

But then...

>If the absence of *p: isn't explained by the earlier absence of *p', >what
>is it explained by? The typological argument evaporates: >languages with
>"fortis" consonants don't disfavour labials, and why >indeed should they?
>The assumed merger of *p: and *p becomes an ad hoc >solution.

I see.

I have been assimilated. Your arguement has been subsequently adapted into
my theory. Thus, Eurasiatic retained the _unchanged_ series of ejectives
and, as always, included the Nostratic labial ejective. Sumerian then split
at around 12,000 BCE, preserving *p? as later /b/ (due to the eventual
merger of ejectives with inaspirate stops). The loss of *p? occured
subsequently, followed by the ejective-fortis shift. At this point,
Eurasiatic began fragmenting into ElamoDravidian and Steppe, around 11,000
or 10,000 BCE.

As a result, the suspicious lack of *p: continued on for about six to eight
thousand years until the tense stops were finally converted to plain voiced
stops within Common IE.

Is better?

Oh, by the way, before I forget. This leaves some intriguing afterthoughts
about Altaic. If I'm right that voiceless stops were generally softened such
as *t > Altaic *s (explaining the second person), what of our *p?

If *p were softened to an *f or *h as is expected, we would end up with a
complete lack of *p since **p: would have filled this gap if only it
existed! There must have been a resistance to this change and therefore,
while Steppe *t > Altaic *s and Steppe *k (but not *kW) > Altaic *(h), I
suspect that Steppe *p remained untouched as Altaic *p.

I propose:

Steppe > Altaic
t k p s (h) -
t: k: - t k p
d g b d g b

Here, we can see that the gap of the labial tense stop was succesfully
transfered over to the fricative series. Just a thought.

- gLeN

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