Re: [tied] Re: the glottalic theory

From: Jens Elmegaard Rasmussen
Message: 16747
Date: 2002-11-14

Does this mean "Is he talking nonsense?" The word is not in the DLKZ^.
Sense or nonsense, Kortlandt's article does not deal with the standard
Danish stød, only with the socalled vestjysk stød which is a totally
different matter. The paper is a lecture Kortlandt gave in Copenhagen
about two years prior to its publication. In it he sticks to all the same
pillars of the glottalic theory against which I had spoken out already. I
have found no reason to change my mind on the matter then or since.

Kortlandt cannot be quoted for the view that the Danish stød is of PIE
descent. For the rest, it is another matter - to him, but not to me.

I do not believe Icelandic (etc.) preaspiration has anything to do with
glottalization. It may simply be anticipation of the voicelessness of the
following voiceless consonant changing the final part of the vowel into an
h. In Scottish Gaelic the same process even hits a different set of
consonants, since that language has no Germanic sound shift. Nor do I have
to believe that the vestjysk stød occurring before stops is a relic of IE
glottalization, it may simply be anticipation of the closure so that it
sets in while the preceding vowel is still being sounded. And I do not
need to accept the Latvian stød as a PIE of mediae, for it occurs also
before other consonants when an acute vowel has been unaccented
(pretonic); the lengthening may be ascribed to the extra sonority of the
mediae (which is markedly more pronounced than with mediae aspiratae in
languages that have the difference) and does not prove a glottalic feature
in PIE b/d/g^/g/gW. The same goes for the glottal stop of English words
like stop and that which may also simply anticipate the occlusion in the
vowel part. I find it superbly uneconomical to have the PIE stop system
survive with glottalics only in Armenian (where there is a Caucasian
Sprachbund to explain the glottalics), since that demands massive and
oddly identical sound shifts in the rest of the branches. Finally, I do
not considere the IE plosive system typologically impossible, for the
triad t-d-dh is very plainly accompanied by a fourth element /th/ which
makes the system identical with that of Sanskrit. It does not matter what
status the two letter with which I write /th/ have, for the whole business
of "phonological typology" is one of - phonetics! Look through the many
sound systems given by Ruhlen, they are all simply phonetic and not based
on any deeper analysis, so phonetic is the level the IE stops should be
assessed on, and they are found to be all right.

Therefore, I cannot accept the glottalic theory for PIE. However, I
believe I must accept it for some (recent or distant) prestage of the
protolanguage in which it caused the lack of roots with two mediae, which
is indeed best explained as a change of roots with two glottalics into
something more handy; and also the paucity of /b/ which is reported to be
in keeping with frequent experience if projected back to a stage in which
it was a glottalic p. But these blanks may have any age, and they would
remain even after any number of putative sound shifts may have changed the
specific phonetic values of the phonemes involved.


On Thu, 14 Nov 2002, Sergejus Tarasovas wrote:

> > From: Jens Elmegaard Rasmussen [mailto:jer@...]
> >
> > Guys, you can't mean this. The Danish stød rule is very
> > simple and of no consequence for IE.
> >...
> What do you think of Kortlandt's _General linguistics and Indo-European
> reconstruction_. Rask 2 (1995)
> (the WWW version at,
> pages 9-12)? Ar jis nusikalba?
> Sergei
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