Re: e/o

From: tgpedersen@...
Message: 7963
Date: 2001-07-19

> As I understand it, there is agreement that at an early stage of
> the vowel /e/ arose in stressed syllables, and /o/ in unstressed
> (and then some more etc). This is a phonetic explanation. But then
> there is the -o- of the pret. sing. stem, part of the ablaut
> This -o- seems to be the conditioned by inflection. Confusion.
> The older the IE language, the more reduplication it has in verbal
> inflection. So I wondered, suppose reduplication was once
> then you would have forms like CéCoCC (assuming that the (pre?)
> reduplicated syllable was stressed). Yes?
> Sorry for the sloppy formulation.
> Torsten

--- In cybalist@..., "Piotr Gasiorowski" <gpiotr@...> wrote:
> Depends who you ask (Beekes or most other authors). I find this
phonetic explanation curious in view of the fact that in those cases
where stress-pattern contrasts are well preserved, *-o- is the
predominant vocalism of stressed syllables, while *-e- is usually
either "weak" or innovated at a late stage (the so-called secondary
full grade). I think that the vowel of the reduplication syllable is
*-e- precisely because that syllable was unaccented. Note that this *-
e- remains constant while stress alternates between the second and
the third syllable, e.g. in the perfect (NOT "preterite") conjugation:
> Ce-CóRC-V : Ce-CRC-V'
> If the stress had been originally on the first syllable, why are
there strong forms with *-o- and weak forms with the nil grade of the
> Most verb forms functioned as unstressed sentence clitics (even in
old Germanic verse verbs don't normally alliterate because of their
inherited metrical weakness), which accounts for the prevalence of *-
e-vocalism in non-denominal verbs, while *-o- is commonly found in
deverbal nouns and adjectives. Of course, morphological processes in
late common IE freed *-e/o- ablaut from its dependence on stress and
each vowel acquired new grammatical functions, but the older stages
remain partly visible.
> Piotr
Hm. As to your central argument:
Danish, being a Germanic language, stresses the first syllable of
native words. So Hélsinge (village), but: Helsingø´r, Helsingbórg
(two towns on opposite sides of the Sound).
Words ending in -iv with less than three syllables (those with three
or more stress the antepenultimate, as in English: dimínutiv) retain
the French stress on the last syllable (massív), except when part of
an opposing pair: áktiv, pássiv.
So how long would a C1éC1oC2- contrasted with C1éC2- last before
people realized the idea of saying C1eC1óC2- for better contrast (and
thereby inadvertently obviating the need for the (pre)reduplicated