Re: [tied] Morphology (10/20)

From: Glen Gordon
Message: 14852
Date: 2002-08-31

>10. The middle

Oh boy...

>The endings of the middle are closely related to those of the stative.
>Historically, they must at one time have been the same, i.e.:

We agree!

>Now if the middle were in origin a conjugation with incorporated indirect
>object (dative), and if we assume that *-m is, as elsewhere, a 1st person
>ending, and that *-r (< **-n ?) is a second person marker, the distribution
>these forms would make perfect sense, [...]

That's interesting but... Does the middle system reflect what you're saying?
It doesn't seem to. While you feel the need to reconstruct a 9x9 "grid"
of personal endings, what language reflects this grid at all?? We can see
is immediately misguided. However, you must be correct that the middle
are mostly related to the perfect endings.

While I can't be sure what the origin of *-r really is (More to think
I'm intrigued by the 1pp in *-wesdho (or *-mesdho). Clearly it is composed
the perfect 1pp *-wes, plus an element *-dho. The latter is an ancient form
*dhi "within, amongst". In MIE, the 1pp middle ending would have been
meaning "amongst ourselves" and was indeed built on the stative (> perfect)

Likewise, the originally null 2pp stative was given this reflexive element
*-dhe for the middle 2pp. Later the 2pp object *yus or *yusme- was also
suffixed to the ending, producing composite endings, either *-dhus or
Now *-dhus would have a tendency to change to *-dhwes out of influence with
*-wesdho and even *-dhwe (because of the lack of *-s in durative 2pp *-te
in comparison to the 1pp in *-mes).

I suppose I should be clear on what the MIE stative endings were that the
middle endings were built on. This is now what I'm contemplating:

MIE Stative
sing. pl.
1 *-xe *-wes
2 *-te NULL
3 *-e *-e

Please note that I feel that the 3p was *-e in BOTH the singular and plural.
The ending in *-er is derived from *-en (which was brought over from the
original *t-less 3pp aorist ending at a time when the deictic *-t was just
beginning to be adopted in the durative.)

The middle would have been built on the stative because of the fact that
the middle is, in a way, a state brought about by a reflexive action. I
when you "shave yourself", what you're actually doing is bringing yourself
a state of being shaved. It's a reflexive stative. So, the following endings
would have resulted during the Mid IE stage (and please note the complete
lack of an unsubstantiated 9x9 grid a la Miguel):

sing. pl.
1 *-xe-xe (?) *-wes-dhe
2 *-te-te (?) *-dhe
3 *-e-re (?) *-e-re (?)

As you can see, I'm pretty sure that the endings are built on the stative
endings and I'm clear as to what the 1pp and 2pp were. I'm unclear about
the origin of the mediopassive *-r and I'm unsure therefore as to what the
endings for the other persons were exactly. More to think about...

- gLeN

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