Re: [tied] *pa(x)u- "small" and "fire"?

From: Glen Gordon
Message: 17440
Date: 2003-01-06

>If you are talking about the schwebeablaut alternation CVCC / CCVC in PIE
>in general, then isn't it rather more widespread than just those

All qualitative ablaut originates from the loss of unstressed vowels in
Mid IE, causing zero-grading as well as oscillations in accent which were
originally regular. An example of this loss would be *kwo:ns/*kunos from
earlier *kewane/*kewenase (with regular penultimate stress).

The oscillation I'm refering to however is more specific. It is the
apparent movement of the vowel within the verb root itself causing
two different guna-grades for a single stem. We have *gHrebH- _and_
*gHerbH-, for example. We have *pleh- but we also have *pelh-. What caused

I'm stating for the record that this oscillation is caused by differing
accentuation for conjugated verbs as compared to bare deverbal nouns.
So, in Mid IE before the loss of unstressed vowels, one would originally
have *gereb-e "he scratches/grabs for" (> *gHrebH-e-ti). The basic action
noun correlating to this conjugation would be *gareb "a grab" (becoming

Following this idea, only verbs that were originally *CVCVC- in shape
should have produced these oscillations. Verbs of the original form
*CVCCV- would not be able to yield this result. So one may reconstruct
Mid IE *peleh- "to flow" (> *pelh-/*pleh-), *terex- "to cross"
(*terx-/*trax-) and *gereb- "to grab" (> *gHerbH-/*gHrebH-).

I also propose that verbs with the extensions *-eu- and *-ei- originate
from adjectives in *-u- and *-i- being made into verbs, suggesting that
switching word categories was once less cumbersome than we later find
in reconstructed IE.

- gLeN

Protect your PC - get VirusScan Online