Re: [tied] The phonetic value of PIE *h3 and the 'drink' root.

From: Miguel Carrasquer
Message: 14209
Date: 2002-08-03

On Thu, 1 Aug 2002 02:24:12 +0200 (MET DST), Jens Elmegaard Rasmussen
<jer@...> wrote:

>1. Alternation ó / zero depending on accent. This is practically only seen
>in reduplicated verbal categories

There are some examples of ó/zero in the nouns as well (e.g.
*pónt(e)Hs, *pn.tHés).

>thus (1) perfect *kWé-kWór-e, 1pl
>*kWe-kWr.-mé, (2) intensive *wr.-wórt-mi, 3pl *wér-wr.t-n.ti, (3)
>causative aorist, athematic kind, 3sg *H1gi-H1gór-t > Ved. áji:gar
>'awakened', as opposed to the thematic kind (old middle?) *wé-wkW-e-t
>> Ved. ávocat 'spoke'.

The reduplicated aorist has o-grade? I see only evidence for
zero-grade (aji:gar can be from *aji:gr.).

>3. A related regularity has produced with /o:/ from stems with
>underlyingly long /e:/, as *pe:d- 'foot' => nom. *pó:d-s. All such cases
>are animate and contain the nominative marker (or its effects)

What about *wódr, *wédn(e)s?

>4. There is the "thematic vowel", i.e. vowels in stem-final position which
>regularly behave in a way of their own. Being independent of the accent,
>they have no zero-grade alternants, but show up as /o/ before voiced
>segments (and surprisingly also before the nominative marker which I then
>take to have been earlier voiced), and as /e/ before voiceless segments
>(and zero). The dependence upon the environment is generally acknowledged,
>but for reasons beyond my comprehension common opinion has apparently only
>got as far as "o before sonant", covering cases of following m, n(t), w, y
>and r, while disregarding *-od, *-odhi, *-obhi and *-o- + vowel, and of
>course the difference between 2sg *-es and *-os. The phonetic
>rationale is probably again one of tone: voiced sounds are spoken on a
>lower tone than voiceless segments.

Strictly speaking, voiceless sounds are toneless (tone is carried by
the vibration of the vocal chords). There are two kinds of
voicelessness: that of /?/ (vocal chords closed), and that of the
other voiceless (especially voiceless aspirated) consonants (vocal
chords too open to vibrate). A transition to /?/ may be anticipated a
rise in pitch of the preceding voiced segment (e.g. a vowel), while a
transition to a normal voiceless (aspirated) consonant may cause a
fall in pitch. A transition to silence can in principle occur in
either direction (although I have the impression that it tends to be
more towards -V?# (-> rising tone) than towards -Vh# (-> falling

>Why would we have IE *dhor-, *tog-, *bhor-, but
>*k^ubh-, *bhug-? I have investigated the matter at length and found that a
>given root-structure type consistently uses either the form with -o- or
>the form with zero in such formations, thus also *tomH1-áH2 (Gk. tomé:),
>*tois-áH2 (Lith, tiesà) like *g^onH1-éye- (OE cennan, Ved. janáyati) and
>*tois-éye- (Lith. taisýti).

I can see no difference in principle between a syllable structure -eys
and a structure -ewg (except for the voicing of teh final consonant).
Do you have an explanation?

> A second confirmation is the comparable loss of a laryngeal in the
>environment oC_C (perhaps only oR_C) in the position after the root, a
>rule that works only if the -o- is the one we're talking about: showpieces
>are Gk. pórne: 'harlot' and tólme: (mostly, but secondarily, tólma)
>'patience' from the roots *perH2- 'trade' and *telH2- 'endure, tolerate'.
>These are derived from verbal nouns in *-men-, which would be IE
>*pér&2-mn. and *tél&2-mn.; Greek has the compounded form with zero-grade
>apó-pra:ma 'subletting' (*-pr.H2-mn.) and the animate telamó:n 'carrying
>strap' which both demand these forms to have existed. From these lexemes,
>IE *pórnaH2, *tólmaH2 are derived just like *tog-áH2 from the root (root
>noun) *teg- 'cover'. The underlying forms are *perH2-men-é-H2 and
>*telH2-men-é-H2 plus the addition of the -O-. By the zero-grade ablaut
>this gives *pOrH2-mn-é-H2, *tOlH2-mn-é-H2, i.e. monosyllables in which,
>again, the *consonantal* -O- caused so much crowding that the laryngeals
>of the root segments were lost.
> A third support is offered by the same forms in the reduction of the
>suffixal *-mn- to *-n- (where labiality precedes somewhere in the word
>already) or *-m- (where there is no other labialized consonant), an event
>otherwise known only from cases where the suffix *-m(e)n- is itself in the
>zero-grade and is on top of this preceded by zero-grade segments only (as
>must have been the case in the old instrumental of man-stems in Sanskrit
>which are found to end in -ma: or -na: with only one nasal).
> A fourth support is also offered by these forms, viz. the accentuation
>of the -ó- in derivatives from heavy roots like these (CeRH-) as opposed
>to unaccented -o- in parallel derivatives from light roots (CeC-), as,
>e.g. Gk. kormós 'stump vs. tórmos 'hole' from kérma and trêma
>respectively. The underlying forms are here *kér-mn => *ker-men-ó-s and
>*terH1-men-ó-s plus the -O-, i.e., after ablaut, monosyllabic *kOrmnós and
>*tOrH1mnós. Again the -O- caused the laryngeal to vanish, but its earlier
>presence has triggered the -O- to be syllabified so early that the result
>was a vowel in this type when the initial accent rule operated, producing
>*tórmos, but still for a while monosyllabic *kOrmós which only became *kormós
>at a time when the initial accent rule has ceased to operate. I have
>collected some 75 examples of these derivatives, some forty or so from
>languages that can show the IE accent, and there is a complete match with
>unaccented -o- with light roots as against accented -ó- with heavy roots.
>Not all of these derivatives end in *-mo- or *-no-; some end in *-so-,
>*-wo- or *-to-. Examples are Lith. bal~sas 'voice' (with laryngeal loss as
>opposed to the root of bìlti 'start talking'), Skt. sárva-/Gk. hól(w)os
>'all' from the root of OIr. slán 'healthy', Lith. vietà, acc. vie~taN
>[acc.-class 2] = Germ. Weide (PGmc. *waitho:) from the root of Lith. výti

I think the evidence is sound, but there are a few things which are
puzzling. I can understand the laryngeal (and one of the two nasals)
being eliminated in a cluster like *pRrh2mn-, and I can understand
the syllabification of *R (or alternatively, the insertion of a
svarabhakti vowel [à la *pontHs -> *pontVHs?], or, alternatively, the
blocking of zero grade) in a super-heavy cluster like this, but it
seems strange that *both* would happen (as apparently is the case in
porn-). Perhaps, then, one of the two phenomena has a different
explanation than that of heavy clustering. Was there something about
*R itself that caused laryngeals to disappear? Did the retraction of
the stress have something to so with the loss of the laryngeal (or
viceversa: maybe there are some clues in the later development of
Balto-Slavic accentology?).

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal