Re: [tied] Thoughts on the existence of *H1

From: Glen Gordon
Message: 9451
Date: 2001-09-13

I can see this is going to be a complex chess game concerning
*H1 ;) Certainly, I still agree that *H2 and *H3 represent
*x and *xW respectively and are indeed distinct consonantal
phonemes of the laryngeal variety (More precisely: *[h.] and *[h.W])
But I am still having trouble with *H1...

>> *C&r&C- (-CrH1C-) > *-Cr&:C- > *-Cra:C-
>Okay, but why is *r syllabic in the first place? In *-CrC-
>it's the interconsonantal position that makes it syllabic,
>but if *H1 is really a vowel, *r is prevocalic and should be
>non-syllabic. Something like *-eCr&Ce- should be syllabified
>like this:

Of course it should, but stop and think for a moment... How did we
get from my interpretation of *-(e.)C&r&C(.e)- to your outcome
*-(e.)Cr&.C(e)-?? Here you are only going down one of _two_
possible paths for our *-eCrH1Ce-. Throw away the old
"syllabification" views you picked up from Brugmann et al :)
Let's further illustrate:

*-e.[C&r&].Ce- (*-e.[CrH1].Ce-) may become:

1) *-e.[C&:r].Ce- (*-e.[Cr:].Ce-)
2) *-e.[Cr&:].Ce- (*-e.[Cra:].Ce-)

I think we agree that syllabic *r must surely be *[&r] and is ergo
of a VC-form. So *CrC means *[C&rC], a CVCC-syllable, **not CVC**.
Pretend syllabic liquids never existed.

Let's also look at instances of *CrC, *Cr'H1C and *CerH1C...

In *-CrC- (*-C&rC-), there is no syllabic *r but rather it is
a mundane CVCC-combination, no different from a "full" syllable like
*-CerC-. If *[&] (*H1) follows *[&r] (syllabic *r), nothing has
changed the syllabic structure of the word. A confusing sequence
of IE symbols like *CrH1C (*C&r&C) simply has the structure *CVCVC.
Since *r is ALWAYS consonantal and since both instances of *& are
unstressed, the sequence will tend to simplify itself in one of
two directions, either *C&(:)rC or *Cr&(:)C, depending on which
syllable is eventually given the most strength. That's all.

We might also imagine cases of accented *Cr'H1C (*C&'r&C) which
were produced by the newly founded acrostatic accent in Late IE,
causing previously unstressed initial zero-syllables (syllables with
schwa) to be stressed. Stressed schwa should be more resistant
to erosion than non-stressed schwa and hence we find the later form
*Cr:'C (*C&:'rC). Of course, this outcome makes it appear that
*H1 is consonantal simply because we don't find an accented
initial *CH1-, and even if we did, it would be disguised as something
else in the current orthography!

So what if we find *-CerH1C-? This should be a trivial case as
well. Here we have *CVCVC as always, but since *H1 equals the
unmarked vowel *[&] in this case, "full" vowels like *e or *o take
precedence over the schwa. Hence here, we should most often find
*-CerH1C- > *-Ce:rC-.

Basically, *H1 acts as a consonant because it is usually the unmarked
all-purpose unstressed schwa. Schwas are the lowest of the low,
so to speak, in Late IndoEuropean.

Now for the attack... If *H1 were truely either *[?] or *[h], should
we not find cases where *H1 has affected a preceding stop? If it
were *[h] we should find sequences like *dH1 becoming *dh,
nicht wahr? If a glottal stop, we should find correlations with
Kartvelian ejectives in loans that demonstrate such a thing. If the
latter were true, it would facilitate the development of ejectives
in IE just like its neighbours, yet we simply don't see such a thing
aside from highly tentatively in Armenian.

>Finally, it is hard to doubt the consonantal character of
>the other laryngeals, especially *h2. How would you explain
>the strange phonological conspiracy that makes *h2 and *h1
>to have the same effect in virtually all environments, if
>*h2 is a consonant but *h1 is a vowel?

Answer: *H2 is a consonant alright and therefore cannot have
stress. *H1 is in effect an unmarked, unstressed vowel, therefore
behaving remarkably like a consonant. When *H1 is stressed, it
would hardly be written as such in current IE orthography because
the old-standing, partly IndoSemitic, biases concerning the
character of *H1 would prevent such a thing.

Strangely, it may very well be an amazing coincidence ;)

I hope I'm making sense...

gLeNny gEe
...wEbDeVEr gOne bEsErK!

email: glengordon01@...

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