Re: [tied] Laryngeal theory as an unnatural

From: Glen Gordon
Message: 18212
Date: 2003-01-28

>gLeN, could you please be more polite to Miguel when he fails to see
>your point. When you become rude, he becomes pedantic, and useful
>discussion ceases.

There's a difference between failing to see my point (which I don't
have a problem with) and repeatedly either failing to understand what
I've just said or using complete irrelevancies like his **pk^wos based
solely on Armenian to drag the discussion down into senselessness.
The latter is intolerable and doesn't serve productive debate.

>How do you account for the vowelless root morphs in compounds?

As I said repeatedly over and over, the "strengthening" occurs in
**PARADIGMATIC** alternations! Are compounds extensions of declensional
paradigms in your mind? I don't see how roots found in compounds have
anything to do with their individual declensional paradigms. The fact
that we find *pd- in compounds has nothing to do with the declension
of *pod- where *pd- is just not found. We have genitive *pedos, not

So why does Miguel, and even you now, continue asking what is by now
such a stupid question? Am I being rude because people fail to read?
So be it. It's tiring to repeat things over and over. Compounds have
nothing to do with this. Read below.

>Are you suggesting that there was a synchronic rule converting e-grade
>morphs to zero grade in compounds? Is disbelief in such a rule why
>Miguel thinks the restoration of a vowel is later than PIE?

I can't speak for Miguel's views because I don't even understand the
basis for them, like his Pre-IE one-vowel system that continues to
defy reality.

As for your inquiry about a rule of "converting e-grade morphs to zero
grade in compounds", I will state yet again. I theorize that the opposite
happened and I call it "paradigmatic strengthening" of the unstressed
vowel of Mid IE.

The whole reason for zero-grading in the first place is due to loss of
most unstressed vowels in Mid IE occuring both medially and finally.
This loss, particularly of the final vowels, is the reason for the
switch from a regular penultimate accentuation to a "mobile" one and
it is also the reason for zero-grading seen in these compounds.
Zero-grading is the _normal_ result of the sound changes from Mid IE
to Late IE.

However, that being so, there were instances where the loss of
unstressed vowels was resisted. The paradigmatic strengthening rule is
the exception to the loss of unstressed vowels in Mid IE. Therefore, *e
in *pedos "of the foot" should be seen as the result of preservation of
the Mid IE unstressed schwa (written below as *e).

MIE *pet: > *pat: > *pad-s& > PIE *po:ts [nom]
MIE *pet:ase > *p&t:as > *pedas > PIE *pedos [gen]

in contrast to lack of strengthening in:

MIE *kewane > *kwan > *kwan-s& > PIE *kwo:ns [nom]
MIE *kewenase > *kunas > *kunas > PIE *kunos [gen]

There was no threat in the latter paradigm of the root becoming
asyllabic anywhere in the paradigm because the unstressed portion of
the weak cases, MIE *kewen-, naturally becomes syllabic *kun-. However,
in the paradigm of *pod-, the unstressed MIE weak case root *pet:- would
have normally become asyllabic **pd-. Since this would cause obscurity,
strengthening occured and the schwa was preserved, becoming *e in Late

The same law operates on countless other stems where asyllabification
of the root in weak cases would have normally occured, such as the
paradigm of *wodr "water" (gen *wedn-os) or that of *peku "herd" (gen

It doesn't occur in compounds because compounds don't deal with any
alternations like we see in declensional paradigms. Strengthening was a way
of preventing obscurity in the paradigm, not in individual roots found
in compounds.

I do sincerely hope that people have read this fully, pondered it deeply,
and that they finally understand now because I couldn't bear to repeat
myself once further.

- gLeN

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