Re: [tied] *H1wes-

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 7949
Date: 2001-07-18

Can't see it in Greek, can't see it in Armenian, can't see
it in Hittite, so where the heck is it? One could invent ad
hoc rules that make preconsonantal *h1- invisible even in
those languages if the consonant is *w (namely, *h1w- > *w-
everywhere), but this is falsified by Greek (Homeric) eerse:
'dew' for reconstructed *h1wers- (Skt. vars.a- 'rain'). Even
without such counterexamples an "absolute neutralisation" of
this kind posited without solid motivation would violate the
methodological principle of parsimony (a segment that leaves
no reflexes in any known language and is not required by
structural considerations is superfluous and should be
delicately excised with Occam's razor). One cannot argue in
this case that "absence of proof is not proof of absence",
since what we're after is the _least_ fanciful (that is, the
simplest) reconstruction that accounts for the observable


----- Original Message -----
From: "Glen Gordon" <glengordon01@...>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, July 18, 2001 5:23 PM
Subject: Re: [tied] *H1wes-

> Piotr:
> >I was just going to use this argument. No matter if PU
*weti (R├ędei's
> >reconstruction) is a very early loan or an "Indo-Uralic"
word, it
> >seems to rule out *h1-
> Yes, but then I gots to thinkin'. If I were my own worst
enemy, I might
> mention to myself that Uralic could have lost all
laryngeals and then
> I'd employ the common excuse: "It's there, but you just
can't see it".
> Then again, "lack of proof" isn't a replacement for
"proof", is it.
> - gLeN