Re: [tied] Re: the glottalic theory

From: Jens Elmegaard Rasmussen
Message: 16757
Date: 2002-11-15

On Thu, 14 Nov 2002, Sergejus Tarasovas wrote:

> --- In cybalist@..., Jens Elmegaard Rasmussen <jer@...> wrote:
> > Does this mean "Is he talking nonsense?" The word is not in the
> DLKZ^.
> Yes, _nusikalbe:ti_ is a (non-recommended by school teachers) synonym
> for _nusis^neke:ti_, but the flavour of both words is more "kind"
> than that of 'to talk nonsense', I guess.
> > 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.
> ...
> > Kortlandt cannot be quoted for the view that the Danish stød is of
> > descent.
> Thank you for the clarification. I realized that vestjysk stød is a
> dialectal phenomenon, but I didn't know it differs from the standard
> one ontologically.
> I know that you also disagree with Kortland on the possible origin of
> Balto-Slavic acute: he states PIE long grade without a help from
> laryngeals and mediae can result in a circumflex only and you state
> it can (and should) yield an acute. But are there any non-commonplace
> points in Kortlandt's _Slavic Accentuation_
> ( and _From Proto-Indo-
> European to Slavic_ (
> you do agree with?

I credit him with the Old Prussian accent shift law, which is a first-rate
discovery. Against common opinion Kortlandt showed in the seventies that
double writing of consonants in the large catechism can be used as signals
that the accent was immediately following, for the simple reason that if
the word had both doubling and accent marking, they always appeared in
this order. The spelling rule enabled him to formulate a further law of
accent shift from a non-acute short syllable to the next. This gives Old
Prussian a close counterpart of Dybo's law for Slavic and Saussure's law
for Lithuanian.

I also agree that antevocalic /i/ lost the ability to carry the accent in
Baltic, and that the retracted accent resulted in a circumflex (Kortlandt
says "metatony", but that is only true if the segment was not circumflex
already). This however is an older law as he also says.

By and large we agree on the validity of a large number of laws.
Nieminen, Saussure and Leskien work fine for Lithuanian; Dybo and Stang
work fine for Slavic. Meillet's law of circumflex in barytone parts of
mobile paradigms in Slavic is accepted by us both, although we explain it
very differently. For the totality of Balto-Slavic we both accept
polarization of mobility (Pedersen's law), Winter's law of lengthening
before old mediae non aspiratae (if with diverging restrictions), and
Hirt's law of retraction onto a preceding syllable that was closed by a
laryngeal. We also agree that Illic^-Svityc^ was right in letting oxytone
vowel stems become mobile in Balto-Slavic, in my view one of the most
brilliant discoveries in IE lingustics of all times.

Our disagreement over the regular fate of lengthened grade applies to very
few words, since there are often several possibilities. I insist on
sticking to a core of examples that cannot be analogical, while in my
estimation Kortlandt takes the liberty to adduce many pieces of
inconclusive evidence. That in effect is the strongest obstacle to a free
exchange of ideas.

My agreements with Kortlandt are much more detailed than those with
Klingenschmitt who actually was my teacher for over two years in the
mid-seventies in Erlangen. In Klingenschmitt's Balto-Slavic accentology,
there is no correlation with IE oxytones and BSl. mobilia, for to him
oxytones stay columnally oxytone. Therefore he has no Dybo's law either,
nor for that matter Winter's or Hirt's law. Klingenschmitt uses Saussure's
law for Slavic also, agreein only with the rest of us on the validity of
Stang's law to create neoacute. The disagreements leads to differences in
reconstruction of PIE, thus e.g. Vedic dha:na:ï- and Lith. duïona (1)
are derived by Klingenschmitt from IE accentual doublets. My objection
that it strains credulity that a different accentual doublet is always
chosen whenever other IE languages point to a sequence -VHCV'- is
countered by reference to the single example gyïvas (3) which has retained
the accent position of *gWiH3wo'-s. *My* objection to that is in turn that
"living" is a strange word with irregular development in so many languages
that it cannot be used as serious evidence. Some languages have lost the
laryngeal (Celtic) or assimilated it to the initial (Germanic), and if
BSl. has replaced it by simple length by dissimilation it is not evidence
against Hirt's law.

I perhaps differ the most from both of my distinguished opponents by
having doubts and refusing to form a fixed opinion on points where the
facts offer insufficient grounds for doing so. It is my impression that
the importance of this point is slowly - very slowly - gaining some