Re: [tied] Neptune, Poseidon, Danu, etc.

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 7793
Date: 2001-07-04

As far as I can see, *o is predominant in old stressed positions while *e represents unstressed vocalism: *pó:t-s, *pód-m, *pód-es, but *ped-ós, *ped-éi, *ped-óm, etc. Later, when pre-PIE intensity-based stress gave way to some kind of pitch stress and all kinds of vocalism (including even syllabic consonants) became possible in stressed and unstressed positions, e-grade morphemes (with or without stress alternations) often served as "weak" counterparts of "strong" o-grades, e.g. in certain conjugations. In such cases *o/*e was functionally equivalent to the full/nil contrast. I don't think laryngeals had much to do with the development of qualitative ablaut; if anything, they introduced complications that went against its grain. Kurylowicz hypothesised that the o-grade arose first in morphemes containing sonorants (as a reinforced version of an allegedly dark-coloured reduced vowel that appeared in their unstressed allomorphs), but i don't find his argument convincing.
----- Original Message -----
From: Sergejus Tarasovas
Sent: Wednesday, July 04, 2001 1:40 PM
Subject: Re: [tied] Neptune, Poseidon, Danu, etc.

--- In cybalist@......, "Piotr Gasiorowski" <gpiotr@......> wrote:
> The -o-/-e- alternation originally reflected pre-PIE stress
contrasts, but by PIE times it had acquired morphological functions
of its own, quite independent of stress patterns. The form *dem-s
is "late" in the sense that it must have been formed after the period
of stress-based vowel reductions...

1. I have been understanding the matters like that: -o- emerged as
(first) a phonetic element to simplify cluster consonants resulted
from PPIE /*a/ (or whatever) reduction in some unstressed positions.
It was phonologized then, and this process was supported by the low-
tone-provoking laryngeal /h3/. Your statement seemes to contradict
with my understanding. Could you clarify your point of view?

2. Do you exclude the role of the laryngeals in -e-/-o- 'grammatical'
ablaut (not in -e-/-o- alternation in general)?