From: Piotr Gasiorowski
----- Original Message -----From: x99lynx@...Sent: Tuesday, September 10, 2002 10:47 AMSubject: [tied] What the Beaver Teaches Us about IE Analysis<<The initial *gW- was still pronounced as a labiovelar in early historical times but became /b/ in Classical Greek. In pre-Classical times the (Proto-)Greeks had, not <bibro:sko:>.>>
> Can you tell me precisely when the first Greek started using <bibro:sko> instead of *gWigWro:sko:. For all you know it was 1000 years before Homer. So this argument is empty. If you had "direct" evidence of when Greeks truly last used *gW-, you wouldn't need to put an asterisk by it.I put the asterisk there because that particular word is not attested early enough. Actually, the tranformation of labiovelars in Greek can be dated much more precisely than you suggest. /gW/ and /kW/ existed as phonemes distinct from /b/ and /p/ and never confused with them at the time of the Linear B inscriptions (mid to late 13th century BC). For example, Classical <basileus> was spelt <qa-si-re-u> /gWasileus/. The change took place between that time and Homer's, not a thousand years before him. The very end of the second century BC of the very beginning of the first.<<In Slavic, Baltic, Iranian and Celtic, PIE *bH > b in both positions; the further development of medial *-b- in Avestan is also regular.>>
> Of course, b > b and b_b > b_b are simplier explanation. Or to quote you, "You posit arbitrary irregularity where the assumption of regularity works better." On that basis we have to reject the unlikely bh > b in the case of the beaver.Steve, *bH > *b is not arbitrary irregularity but the _regular_ development of *bH in those groups. Actually, Balto-Slavic distinguished between medial *bH and *b in a subtle way: the preceding vowel was lengthened before unaspirated *b, but not before *bH. there is no such lengthening before the 'beaver' word.