[tied] Re: Metathesis - The armchair linguist's favourite tool

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 7986
Date: 2001-07-19

"Dorsal" = articulated with the dorsum (= the back part) of the
tongue. What I mean is that *h2 and *h3 were velar or uvular.
Needless to say, "laryngeal" is just a traditional term -- a
misnomer, if the word is interpreted technically as "pronounced in
the larynx".

Examples? OK, here are some typical cases:

{kreuh2-} 'bleed'
*krouh2-s 'blood (shed)' > *kruh2- > PSl. *kry, OIr crú
*kruh2-o:s > Lat. cruor
*kréuh2-es- > Gk. kreas, Skt. kravis.-
*krouh2-o- 'bloody' > PGmc. xrauwa > Eng. raw
*kreuh2-jo- [kreu.xjo-] > Skt. kravya-, Lith. krau~jas, OPr. krawian

*tréi-h2/*tri-éh2- '3' (neuter collective of *trei-) >
*sm-éi-h2/*sm-i-éh2- '1' (f. of *sem-) > *smíh2/*smijáh2-
(in these forms the laryngeal is certainly *-h2)

{peiX-} 'drink' (an *o-present, *e-grade very rare)
*peiX-C- > *piXC- > PSl. *pi-ti
*poiX-C- > *poXC- > Skt. pa:ti, Lat. po:culum, Gk. po:no:, po:ma,
pepo:ka, OPr. pu:ton
*poiX-V- > *poiXV- > PSl. *poj-i-ti 'give drink to', Skt. pa:yayati
*piX-C- > Skt. pi:ta-, Gk. pipi:sko:
*piX-V- > Gk. epion

{dHeih1-} 'suck(le)'
*dHeih1-C- > dHeh1C > Skt. adha:t, dha:ru-, Lat. fe:mina, fe:lare,
Gk. the:lus, tithe:ne:
*dHeih1-V- > Skt. dhayati, OHG ta:ju
*dHoih1-C- > Slavic de^t- 'child'
*dHoih1-V- > Goth. daddjan, PSl. *doj-i-ti 'milk (a cow)'
*dHih1-C- > Skt. dhi:ta-

Note that the diphthongal glide does not disappear at random (as
could be expected if it were a non-obligatory enlargement) but only
in predictable preconsonantal environments. The complementary
distribution of monophthongal and diphthongal forms suggests that the
glide was initially present in all root allomorphs. The
preconsonantal nil grade always shows compensatory lengthening
betraying the presence of a laryngeal. Since laryngeals are
fricatives, the root shape *CeiH- with a single crest of sonority is
better formed than *CeHi- (just as *peis- is an acceptable IE root
but *pesi- should be analysed as *pes-i-). In brief, there is a lot
of good circumstantial evidence for *CeiH-/*CeuH- roots behaving as

Diphthongs were occasionally smoothed before _other_ tautosyllabic
consonants as well:

*djeu-m > *dje:m
*gWou-m > *gWo:m

For a detailed justification, special problems and phonetic
scenarios, cf. _Indogermanische Forschungen_ 103 (1998), pp. 70-92.


----- Original Message -----
From: Sergejus Tarasovas
To: cybalist@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Thursday, July 19, 2001 6:17 PM
Subject: [tied] Re: Metathesis - The armchair linguist's favourite

> I'll have the cheek to ask for some examples or other information
> that could help one demonstrate the roots under question have
> contained diphthongs (in case this is not a mere speculation).
> And one more question. I've always thought that 'dorsal' means more
> or less 'with the tongue set horizontally in the lower part of the
> mouth, tip against the lower teeth'. This semantics, however,
> let me decode the phrase 'dorsal laryngeal'. What is wrong here?
> Sergei