Re: [tied] Old Bulgarian izU

From: Patrick C. Ryan
Message: 8257
Date: 2001-08-02

Dear Piotr and Cybalisters:
----- Original Message -----
From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Sent: Thursday, August 02, 2001 1:30 AM
Subject: Re: [tied] Old Bulgarian izU

It couldn't, because this *i vowel (as well as *i in *ir, *il, *in,
*im appearing as reflexes of PIE syllabic liquids and nasals) is a
late dialectal affair, completely independent of the question where
PIE *i's come from.

BTW, what exactly do you mean by "*i derived from *y"? Derived in
what sense? In terms of abstract synchronic analysis, or
historically? If the latter, do you envisage a pre-Proto-IE language
that has consonantal [j] but no vocalic [i]?

First, let me thank you for your opinions regarding iz.
As you may or may not know, Greenberg used this word as a "proof" for the existence of an independent *i for Proto-Indo-European, in effect arguing, that is was an archaic retention from a lexico-semantic pair *e/*i.
This independent status for *i (and *u) is also a feature of Bomhard's reconstructed vocalic system for PIE, in which there are three lexico-semantic vowels with allophones: *e/*i, *a/*6, *o/*u.
As for "*i derived from *y", I mean to suggest that PIE had no lexico-semantic *i that was not a syllabic form of *y.
By "lexico-semantic", I mean a phoneme that makes a lexical difference when in the position of any other phoneme. 
Regardless of what may or may not be the established usage, I prefer not to use pre-PIE as a designation for a period of PIE in my own writing. To me, what is "before" Proto-Indo-European (earliest IE), is not PIE, it is Nostratic.
I believe the language that was the parent of PIE had three lexico-semantic vowels in front, mid, and back positions. Whether they were pairs of relatively close and open allophones or not, the very earliest form in which they appear in PIE is as a single lexico-semantic "vowel", Lehmann's ^, syllabicity, which at a somewhat later date, was standardly differentiated into the *e/*o-Ablaut. I do not have a great problem with Bomhard's idea of a lexico-semantic "vowel" which had two principal phonetic realizations, *a and *6, from which *e/*o developed but I think the probablities are on the side of explaining *e/*o as a product of stress and intonation on one phonetic vowel.
So, PIE could have *CiC-' but not *'CiC- since *i only appeared in a zero-grade manifestation of a full-grade *'C^yC-
This means that any standard PIE reconstruction with *i can only continue a Nostratic form with *y since Nostratic *i, if it existed as an allophone of *e, would appear in PIE as *^ as would *e, *a, *6, *o, and *u.

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"Veit ec at ec hecc, vindgá meiði a netr allar nío,
geiri vndaþr . . . a þeim meiþi, er mangi veit,
hvers hann af rótom renn." (Hávamál 138)