Re: Check out Origin of Ancient Languages

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 16298
Date: 2002-10-16

--- In cybalist@..., "tgpedersen" <tgpedersen@...> wrote:

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?

Not yet, really. We tolerate this alternation in monosyllabic nouns
and in suffixal syllables. For example, Old Polish ps-ek (nom.) :
pies-k-a (gen.) 'doggie' (< *pIsUk-) has been levelled out as Modern
Polish pies-ek : pies-k-a. However, we still have:

giez : gza 'gadfly'
pies : psa 'dog'
mech : mchu 'moss'
dzien' : dnia 'day'
dech : tchu 'breath'
pien' : pnia 'trunk'
wesz : wszy 'louse'
krew : krwi 'blood'
chrzest : chrztu (< chrzstu) 'baptism'


However, analogy has affected some derivatives like <oddech :
oddechu> (not *odetchu < *otU-tUx-), since here the historically
expected alternation would be too complex. The same holds for
<bezdech : bezdechu> 'apnoea' (as a compound, not as a phrase). In
addition, we have levelling-out in one monosyllabic masculine,
<deszcz : deszczu> 'rain' < : < *dUz^dz^- (the old
gen. still exists but few Poles realise that it is related to
<deszcz> at all), and one or two similar cases from the early history
of Polish, where extreme phonetic complications led to paradigm
restructuring (cka [< dska] : desk 'board', now deska :