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

From: elmerasdk
Message: 14271
Date: 2002-08-08

--- In cybalist@..., "Glen Gordon" <glengordon01@...> wrote:
> Jens:
> >I see no reason at all for the root's having -o- in
> >*pónt-o:H2-s, *pn.t-H2-ós other than the mere fact
> >that a root must have *some* vowel timbre, and why >would /o/ be
> So... why is *o so odd in this form, other than that
> it doesn't conform to your unbending mathematical
> theory? I see the sweat on your brow as you continue
> at great pains to deny the archaicy of the *o-grade
> with layer after layer of unintuitive sound changes.

I am saying pretty much the opposite of what you are rebuking me for.
I am actually accepting /o/ as an independent element in PIE
morphophonemics. Sure, it is *very often* derivable by rule out of a
vowel whose unmarked manifestation is /e/ or /e:/, but apparently not
always. In my analysis, the root /pont-/ has an /o/ for the same
reason it had /p/, /n/ and /t/, i.e., simply to tell it apart from
other lexematic units. If I am wrong, as I may well be, and its /o/
*is* ultimately to be derived from /e/, it is by some rule not yet
known to me.

> Concerning *wodr:
> >I left that out too to avoid provoking the wolves.
> >[...] If the weak cases have -e-, we have to
> >depart from long -e:-; to get that to have o-timbre
> >can be handled by lengthening, and, hurrah, the old
> >collective marker *-H2
> >lengthens.
> So much complexity, all simply to avoid accepting
> that *o was a true vowel in Pre-IE, different from
> *e (and its laryngealized form *a)! Rather than be
> straight forward with MIE *wat:en/*wet:enase, you
> feel the need to employ any linguistic oddities
> like "extra-long vowels" to reduce PreIE to *e but
> this makes as much sense as hammering a square peg
> into a circular hole.

I am not causing any complexity at all, for I am only using rules
that are demanded anyway, because they have been found to work on
other material which is more transparent.

> >The presence of the collective marker is confirmed
> >quite strongly by Skt. ásthi 'bone', which has -o-
> >in most languages, but also shows -a- (Welsh as 'rib',
asgwrn 'bone'), and
> >so, again, must be based
> >on *-e:- [...]
> Rubbish. The "bone" word has *o in most languages,
> as you say, so accept it and move on! The form in *x-
> (a uvular) has a variant form in uvular *q- (which is
> the original form, perhaps even a loan. Note: Akkadian
> qasit.u "bow"). The form with the uvular stop shows
> that the vowel could not have been *e since *k, *g
> and *gh only became uvular next to Mid IE *a (> *o).
> The very source of the *k^/*k contrast lies in the
> opposition of *e and *o that you attempt to theorize
> away without much success.

"Most", again, is not all. It is not sound scholarly behaviour to
simply disregard part of the evidence. We apparently agree that the
vocalism of 'bone' is underlyingly the same as that of 'water'.

> >That is why I chose to treat /s/ as a phonological
> >category of its own, a strategy that proved quite
> >justified by the facts I found.
> So... do you mean that the difference between *Ceis-
> and *Ceug- involves syllable boundaries? What exactly
> are you saying here? What phonological category are
> you speaking of? How does this relate to the perceived
> difference in the root forms above?

I wouldn't like to formulate a haughty opinion about syllable
boundaries. The entire concept appears to be subjective. Syllables
are units of sonority waves, and just as you can often easily make
out how many waves there are in a segment of water, it makes little
sense to fight over the question where one wave ends and the next one
begins. I therefore try to avoid using the term completely.

> >The syllabification of the retained -R-'s [...]
> >Now, in *pRrh2mnéH2, [...]
> >In a comparable derivative from a light root, as
> >*kRr-m(n)-é-z, [...]
> Okay, I'm trying to be patient but this really looks
> like ridiculous pseudo-linguistics at this point.
> Again, I fail to see why the causitive must be very
> ancient. This is the fatal assumption I see here that
> causes this wild and fruitless speculation about a
> phoneme **R that happens to have no definable
> qualities whatsoever.

It has many. It was, as far back as analysis goes, a consonant of a
highly sonorous nature, prone to be syllabified as (some vowel that
changed to) /o/, but originally not itself rounded (seeing that it
does not influence the choice between m and n as the reduction of
mn). Its extreme proneness to metathesis and the observable special
clash with /r/ makes it likely to be an r-sound of some kind. From a
typological view the obvious candidate is /R/ if it is to be
different from the elements we know already. But yes, this is the
very same kind of "ridiculous pseudo-linguistics" as Saussure's
analysis which introduced laryngeals. The method used is the same in
both cases, but, unlike Saussure's contemporaries, mine ought to know
that it works and is valid. Like Saussure, who said nothing about the
phonetics of his new elements (except wrongly considering them
vowels), I say very little about mine.

Of course there is no guarantee a priori that the causative is old
enough for such analyses to be applicable. But wrong analyses do not
work with such consistency, so a posteriori we are forced to accept
that the causative is indeed that old.