On Sun, 29 Sep 2002, Miguel Carrasquer wrote:

> In connection with this, a question: why is the acc.pl. in Lithuanian
> subject to
> Saussure's law?  Where does the acute intonation come from... the
> a:-stems?

It was restored: o-stems had IE *-o:ns, so a-stems got *-a:ns, both having
acute, in Lith. as well as in Greek. The IE acc.pl af *aH2-stems appears
to have had no nasal, cf. Sanskrit -a:s, Goth. -o:s and even Latvian -as
for both nom.pl and acc.pl. This must reflect some peculiar development of
the underlying *-eH2-m-s, perhaps akin to the treatment of -V:ms as in
Sanskrit ma:s 'meat' (stem ma:ms-) and the m-stem nom.sg seen in Skt.
ks.a:s (Av. zå) 'earth' and Av. ziiå 'winter'. The phenomenon goes under
the name of Stang's Law, but Stang actually did not express any strong
faith in the idea (Kurylowicz Festschrift of 1965). The merger or
near-merger of the nom.pl and the acc.pl in the a-stems had the funny
effect in Slavic that the restored accusative moved into the nom.pl, and
from there also into the homophonous (or near-homophonous) gen.sg, which
also both became -y with a-stems and -(j)eN with ja-stems.