Re: [tied] Morphology (3/20)

From: Glen Gordon
Message: 14490
Date: 2002-08-24

>*-men is not a problem,

It's a problem when 2pp *-ten doesn't become **-ter.
It's a problem when the non-indicative 3pp *-ont
doesn't become **-or or **-ort. It's a problem when
heteroclitic stems show *-r in the nominoaccusative
and *-n- (not **-nt-) in the weak cases.

Now, one can try to patch these things up with a
million-and-one of your side rules that no one on
this list is keeping track of, or one can follow the
principle of Occam's Razor and accept that *-n, not
*-nt, simply becomes *-r (except in the sole case of
*-mn) at some prehistoric point in time. This
avoids most of the paradoxes above, provides a simpler
solution, and allows us to deal with a much smaller
bag of problems. Sounds like logic to me.

>In the neuter nouns, all **n-stems become heteroclitic
>(-r / -n-), except those in *-m(e)n.

This is because these nouns all ended with the same
suffix *-r (*-en in Mid IE). The *-n here was final.
Not so in roots like *kwon- (MIE *kewane). The lack
or presence of a final vowel is confirmed by the
simple rule of penultimate accentuation that once
operated in IE. Lo and behold, the accentuation
between these heteroclitic stems and those of
*n-terminating stems like *kwon- are different.

>The preceding nasal /m/ prevented the development -n > -r.

Only *-mn avoids rhoticization. Since *m and *n are
seperated by a non-nasal vowel in *-men, *m can't
possibly prevent *n from becoming *r unless we come
up with a bizarre explanation.

>The ending *-mos is what underlies Slavic -mU, Latin -mus and Old Irish -m
>(with neutral quality).
>*-mes(i) is found in Tocharian A -m�s and Greek -mes.

But... haven't we already discussed the alternation
of *e and *o in cases like these? It appears to be
the result of lengthened schwa caused by sonorants in
the exact same way as the lengthening seen in English
/mug/ versus /muck/. Lengthened schwa evolved into
*o while plain schwa became *e. Thus *ekwesyo and not
**ekwosyo from early Late IE *ekw&sy&.

So, if this is so, we should obtain *-mes (as we find)
because *-s is not a sonorant. Thus *-mos is caused by
newer processes, whether analogical or phonological.

>>The athematic root aorists like *dox-t "gives"

As far as I'm aware, *doxt isn't marked for any tense.
What's your point? "Gives" or "gave", in IE, it's all
the same in the aorist.

>The problem is that there is no difference in
>accentuation between the forms of the present ~
>imperfect and the aorist in the basic athematic paradigm.

But I just said that! The endings of the athematic
duratives like *es-t "was" versus athematic aorists
like *dox-t were always the same (MIE *-em, *-es, *-e).
They are indistinguishable in form.

_Thematic_ aorists however are caused by special
aorist endings (MIE *-eme, *-ese, *-ehe, etc) and
end up carrying accent on the thematic vowel in Late
IE as a result of penultimate accentuation on
originally disyllabic suffixes.

>We have a difference of accentuation in the thematic
>forms, where the aorist stresses the thematic vowel,
>while the present and imperfect generally do not,
>but (as I said), this is not something which is
>exclusive to the aorist. In particular, the durative
>suffixes in the present/imperfect tense show the same
>pattern (-sk-�-). The difference in accentuation can
>therefore not be attributed to an aoristic suffix **-e.

The thematic vowel *-e- was once applied as the default
in the durative aspect when the verb lacked any modal
endings (eg: *bher-e-ti). Thematic verbs containing
modal endings are a late innovation originating from
the Late IE period only. This is confirmed by forms
like *bher-s-t showing how a modal suffix is used
to "replace" a thematic vowel which we would normally
find in the default durative present *bher-e-ti.

>Furthermore, your "MIE thematic present" paradigm[...]

Not the "present tense". It's the "durative aspect"
describing ongoing, nonpunctilinear actions which may
or may not be occuring in the present tense. MIE could
not have been a tensual language and even IE proper
still doesn't appear to have been very tensual although
marked tense was certainly beginning to catch on at
that point.

>[...]is in clear violation of the facts, which are
>that thematic paradigms always have columnar accent
>(either '-o-m ~ '-o-mes, or -�-m / -�-mes).

In case you haven't noticed, the accentuation of all
thematic stems, both verbs and nouns from *bher-e-
to *ekwo-, have been neutralized to the initial
syllable thanks to acrostatic regularization occuring
in early Late IE. I don't expect them to conform to
the original accent since it's clear to anyone who
notices this simple pattern that their accentuation
cannot be ancient.

The accentuation on the thematic vowel is an outcrop
of Mid IE's special aorist endings that I've already
outlined. Since IE was slowly evolving into a tensual
language (originally aspectual-modal), the aorist was
no longer describing verbs according to the type of
action but rather the _time_ of their action. It came
to carry a particular tensual connotation that ended
up allowing strictly aorist paradigms to bleed into the
once durative aspect (> "imperfect") and vice versa.
Hence the accented thematic "present" (originally a
purely aorist phenomenon).

- gLeN

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