Re: [tied] Re: Germanic *fánhan

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 7118
Date: 2001-04-17

Sure enough. But the Germanic Class VII preterites with <e:> can't be very old, otherwise we'd have an open-vowel reflex as in Classes IV and V (say, Old English beran, baer, bae:ron, boren 'bear', or metan, maet, mae:ton, meten 'mete', where <ae:> reflects Proto-Germanic *e:). In Class VII preterites, Old English generalises a "new" long vowel (<e:> or <e:o>), in both the singular and the plural, but the present-tense stem and the past participle are often long-vowelled as well (e.g. flo:wan, fle:ow, fle:owon, flo:wen 'flow').
The phonological mechanism you describe (*CeCV- > *CeV- > *Ce:-) is a little problematic. Reduplication is still visible in some archaic preterites like OE reord, reordon (inf. rae:dan 'advise'; the innovated preterites are re:d, re:don). It seems that reduplicated preterites developed regularly up to a certain point: *re-rae:d- > *rered-
> *rerd- > reord- and _then_ were replaced by new forms. The motivation is
clear: the phonetic reduction of unstressed non-initial syllables rendered the old reduplicated preterites morphologically opaque (unanalysable). As for the source of the innovation, it may have originated in patterns like *wald-, *we-wald- > weald-, we:old- 'control, wield', where contraction was easy to perform and irritating complications like Verner's Law did not get in the way, but its eventual spread across Class VII must have been analogical.
----- Original Message -----
From: MCLSSAA2@...
Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2001 5:31 PM
Subject: [tied] Re: Germanic *fánhan

--- In cybalist@......, "Piotr Gasiorowski" <gpiotr@......> wrote:
> ... the preterite plural pattern (fe:ng-), whatever its origin.

I can explain easily enough these "replace any vowel by long `e'" forms in Latin perfects and Germanic preterites. In a reduplicated form CeCV... the second occurrence of the consonant C disappears by dissimilation and the vowels contract. Latin "fe:cit" = "he made" < "fefaked", which is attested in a 7th century form from Praeneste and therefore likeliest in not standard Roman Latin but the Praenestine dialect of Latin.