The potentially non-stative nature of *es-?

From: Glen Gordon
Message: 7196
Date: 2001-04-23

>Depends on the level of description: underlying (abstract) /ed+t(i)/ =
>surface (phonetic) [etst(i)]; and, presumably, *etst(i) >derives from
>earlier **ett(i).

Alright. But I really like *etti and *ett better :)

>There is no reconstructable perfect corresponding to *est(i). The meaning
>"has arisen" is typically expressed by the perfect forms of *bHeuh2- "grow;
>occur". The two roots have jointly produced suppletive paradigms in several

Yes, but... that's not what I'm getting at. Is not *e:s- the root
for "to sit"? I presume that it would automatically have been conjugated in
our blessed IE mediopassive because of the
reflexiveness of the action, no? Something like *e:sxoi for 1ps,

At any rate, let's be honest here. A verb form such as *e:s- is
exactly what the expected perfect of *es- should be based on the
perfect of *ed- (*e:d-). Logically, there should have been a
previous stage of IE where *es- was more regular than it appears
in Common IE. Logically, there should have been a stage where
*bheux- was _not_ bound to *es-. If we assume for a moment that
*e:s-, apparently meaning "to sit", was at one time the perfect
form of *es- than we might suspect an earlier meaning of *es-
rather than "to be". It may have once meant "to remain" and thus
in the perfect, it would mean "to stop in one spot, to stay".

The idea of a verb like "to remain" later being given the meaning
of "to be" is not without examples in English where one can say
"He remains unmarried", which is equivalent to, "He _is
still_ unmarried". Obviously, we can see that in this case, the
subject doesn't actually remain in one location but rather that
he remains in a certain abstract _state_ of unmarriedness.

Furthermore, we all know that while *bheux- CAN double for "to be"
in some aspects, its main meaning seems to be "to grow" or "to
appear". If *bheux- is not the original "to be", than we might
suspect *es- is a fraud as well. There are many languages where
"to be" is simply unneeded in simple equational sentences like
"John (is a) fireman" - this is contrary to Common IE but perhaps
not in earlier forms of the language.

So in summary, I would suspect it possible that the following
semantic development occured:

*est "to remain" --> "to be yet" --> *est "to be"
**e:sxa "to stop" --> *e:sxoi "to sit"


- gLeN

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