Re: [tied] Path [was: Re: Gypsies again]

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 41076
Date: 2005-10-06

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal wrote:

> It's an argument against any recent derivation of the nouns in this group
> from the verbal root.

Do you know of any Germanic strong verbs (let's say, for simplicity, in
the first three classes) that are back-derived from an o-grade noun? The
development strikes me as extremely unlikely, especially given the fact
that the normal processes of denominative derivation were fully
productive in pre- and Proto-Germanic. From *ponth2(o)- one would expect
a weak verb like *fanþji/a-, which could be coined at any time since
PIE. And that's indeed what we get, cf. OE fe:þan 'walk'. Something
parallel to Gk. pateo: is another possibility, but why a strong verb, of
all things?

> I see no reason to separate the Indo-Iranian forms from the others,
> especially since there is no trace of the verb *pent(h2)- there (or
> anywhere else besides Germanic). The Ablaut of the root is o ~ zero, as
> shown by Slav. poNtI vs. OPruss. pintis, Grk. póntos vs. pátos, and Skt.
> pántha:s vs. oblique path- (Avestan pantå: ~ paþ-). I think that rules out
> a thematic formation.

I don't separate the Indo-Iranian forms from the rest. I only regard the
o-vocalism in the cognates as due to secondary infixation, not to
derivation from an o-grade base. A "Rasmussen thematic" like *O-pnth2-o-
may be regarded as based on a root noun rather than directly on a verb
-- not that it makes any difference on the surface, but compare cases
like *tor(h1)-m-os or *por(h2)-n-ah2, clearly derived from abstracts in

Assuming that the meaning of *penth2o:s was 'passage, way, route', the
expected thematic adjective would have meant 'connected with passage',
and the substantivised *pónth2o-s could refer to any thing that afforded
or facilitated passage from one place to another, such as a bridge, a
beaten road, or a sea route.

Of course *pn.th2i- and *pn.th2o- can be regarded as related to the same
root noun without an infix.

> An interesting form is OPersian paþim. When Jens first pointed it
> out to me, I was highly surprised, but it all makes sense now. Since the
> root is heavy (having a long vowel > *o _and_ ending in -nt),

According to my understanding of the term, this root is "heavy" no
matter what the vowel is. BTW, I'm tempted to reconstruct *pe:nth2- as
the pre-PIE shape of the noun stem, since I'd expect a lenthened vowel
in a resulative root noun. But since it wouldn't have been affected by
the nominative lengthening, and an Osthoff-type shortening would
probably have repaired the syllabic overweight at an early stage, the
length doesn't seem to matter in the further developments and I'm
content with *penth2-.

> there could
> be no svarita lengthening in this word, so the expected paradigm is (taking
> **-ah2- to be a suffix):
> **pú:nt-ax-z
> **pú:nt-ax-m
> **pu:nt-áx-a:s,
> which regularly becomes:
> **pónt&:xs
> **pónt&xm
> **p&nt&xós,
> and after zero grade:
> **pónto:h2s
> **pónth2m.
> **pn.th2ós.

I'd reconstruct *pénto:h2s, *pénth2m. ~ analogical
*pénto:m, *pn.th2ós. Is it much of a difference, and does it
hinder our understanding of OPer. p(an)þim vs. Av. pan.ta,m, RV pántHa:m?

Finally, as argued by Joshua Katz, an original *e in the Indo-Iranian
word is evidenced by PIIr. loans in Finno-Ugric (Khanty p&nt and Komi
pad), but I know this stuff second-hand and cannot assess it on my own.