Re: Check out Origin of Ancient Languages

From: tgpedersen
Message: 16292
Date: 2002-10-16

--- In cybalist@..., Piotr Gasiorowski <piotr.gasiorowski@...>
>> From: tgpedersen
> > That's not nice. They make the assumption all branches stayed
put, model doesn't work, they assume one of the branches changed
neighbors, model works. If that's a "face-saver", what is then the
proper of correcting one's erroneous assumptions?
> Well, does it work? It only seems to work if they ignore Germanic
and Albanian. The effects of "changing one's neighbours" are not
discussed at all. It is taken for granted that such an explanation
would work. Placing Germanic within the Satem core to save the model
looks like a medicine that is more harmful than the disease it's
supposed to cure.

I'd love to comment on what you're saying here, if I knew what you
were saying. Doesn't work? They don't ignore Germanic (or Albanian),
they move it around. As for the effects of "changing one's
neighbours" they are taken for granted because the _mechanisms_ at
work behind having otherwise-speaking neighbours are not discussed at
all. And if the kentum/satem thing arises from generalising c^e-/ko-
/k- (without loss of generality) paradigms to either /c^/ (> /c/
> /s/) or /k/ (WLG), that distinction is not a fundamental IE
dividing line, but the distinction could arise in any later branch.

> > Nice, if the Grimm shift took place in the invading Bastarnean-
speaking army around 0 CE under the impression of similar
developments (before consonant) in the language of their Iranian-
speaking leaders.
> I must say that this is the most eccentric explanation of Grimm's
Law I've ever seen.

Oh stop it. I'm a sucker for flattery.

The spirantisation of voiceless stops before consonants took place
already in Proto-Iranian, and if the leaders of your Bastarnae were
indeed Scytho-Sarmatian Iranians, why didn't they enforce any other
phonetic Iranisms in their army? E.g. intervocalic *-xt-, *-ft-
should have become voiced (-Gd-, -vd-) well before the year zero in
all of East Iranian including Sarmatian. And why did they make their
subjects devoice plain voiced stops as part of Grimm's Law? There's
nothing like that in Iranian.

They didn't have to enforce anything. People imitate their leaders
and overshoot. As for intervocalic voicing, that sound as a good
starting point for Verner.
But, BTW, there's something I'd like to ask you about, since I
couldn't find it myself. I know "cattle, property" is pasยดรบ- in
Sanskrit, fs^u- in Avestan (at least in compounds). The latter
obviously has zero grade in the stem. Question is: does it have other
than zero grade in some cases (since that would give us *pas^u-)? If
it doesn't, Iranian must have generalised zero grade in that
paradigm. I know it's possible for a language to live with such stem
alternations. Leafing through a Danish-Polish dictionary I
found /dech/ "breath", /bez tchu/ "out of breath/. Question: are
there forms of "bad Polish" in which a generalised form like */bez
dechu/ would occur?

> Piotr