Re: [tied] Satem shift

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 8028
Date: 2001-07-21

I would not expect shared phonological innovations of a non-trivial kind connecting Greek with the Satem group, because I don't believe these languages form a valid genetic grouping. There are, however, similarities pointing to an old Sprachbund relationship involving Greek (+ Phrygian), Indo-Iranian, Armenian and (at least in some respects) the ancestor of Albanian. To name a few: the use of the augment *e with the preterite, prohibitive *me:, shared lexical items and poetic formulas.
----- Original Message -----
From: rao.3@...
Sent: Saturday, July 21, 2001 1:43 PM
Subject: Re: [tied] Satem shift

--- In cybalist@......, "Piotr Gasiorowski" <gpiotr@......> wrote:
>(despite the numerous affinities between Greek and Indo-Iranian
> and Armenian

One hears this often, but what exactly are these affinities that
are not shared archaisms? [Phonologically, reflexes of short
vocalic nasals comes to mind. Morphological affinities often
claimed look shaky when investigated closely. Eg, a system of
moods for each of present, aorist and perfect, posited for Vedic
has no syntactic basis. Distributionally too, it looks fishy: There
are few sigmatic imperatives, and what there are are transfer stems;
sigmatic optatives are few, limited to the middle (root optatives
are much more common in active) and where relevant contain the
extra s of the precative; sigmatic subjunctives are more common
but in Greek gave rise to the future. It looks like Indic simply
replaced the root stem used in moods in PIE (as per general
opinion) by the present stem, with a short period of experimentation
that went nowhere).]