Re: [tied] Old English "a-spylian"

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 17479
Date: 2003-01-09

----- Original Message -----
From: <alexmoeller@...>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 8:11 PM
Subject: Re: [tied] Old English "a-spylian"

>> Post-Classical perlavo: (attested) means 'wash thoroughly', so *experlavo: would have meant 'wash out thoroughly'.

> and this form shouldnt give a romanian "spala" since there is no loos of the cluster "rl" in words like "urla", "tsurloi", etc. You should have had an "esperla", with much indulgence an "sperla" and not "spala"

<spãla>, to be precise. The assimilation of originally medial *e to the *a of the next syllable and its pretonic reduction to <ã> seem normal to me (experts please correct me if I'm being naive), as does the simplification of *ex- (cf. *expantica:re > spânteca). Etymological -rl- _at a prefix-root boundary_ was assimilated to -ll- already in Latin (note the absence of Romanian rhotacism here!). We can therefore assume *expellavo: 'rinse'.

> Do you mean that there is the very big problem the "u" in germanic
and "ã" in romanian & albanian ?

Orthographic <ë> in Albanian, actually (of course it's roughly the same vowel). Yes, it is a "big problem", since *u did not undergo such a change in these languages, and etymology is no longer supposed to be a science in which vowels can be ignored.

> And which other formal difficulties?

No rhotacism in Romanian, for one thing. Also, the structure of Alb. shpëlaj (especially in view of <laj> 'wash') strongly supports the analysis of the verb as a complex Latin prefixation. As far as I can see, the normal development of PIE *sp- is Alb. p-.