Re: Of cows and living

From: Jens Elmegård Rasmussen
Message: 43352
Date: 2006-02-10

--- In, Piotr Gasiorowski <gpiotr@...>
> I've been thinking about the odd form of the verb 'to live' in
> *gWíh3w-e/o-. It is usually thought to have been influenced by (or
> on) the adjective *gWih3wó-, but the relationship is strangely
> (why not a regular stative *gWih3we-h1-je/o-?), and if it is some
> archaic (and otherwise unknown) kind of present stem derived
> from the adjective without any suffixes, I still don't understand
> accent shift in the verb. I wouldn't expect any such thing, least
of all
> when the shift is to a nil-grade root syllable (cf. the <tudáti>
> The accent shift, however, would be understandable in a
> thematic present of the type represented by *sí-sd-e/o- or
> *stí-sth2-e/o-, where we have accent retraction in originally
> trisyllabic stems (from something like **se-sed-é-). If so,
> would make sense as *gWí-h3w-e/o-, with *h3 < *g(W) by simple
> dissimilation. The adjective would then be deverbal rather than
> other way round, and its accent on the thematic vowel is normal.
At the
> moment I prefer to leave open the question whether PGmc. *kwikwa-
is an
> archaism or an accidental "evolutionary reversal". Suffice it to
> that the obscuration of the structure of *gWig(W)w-e/o- > *gWih3w-
> resulted its reanalysis and the backformation of the "neo-root"
> *gWih3(w)-, with its own retinue of derivatives.
> If the original root was of the form *gWeu-, then in turn
the 'cow, head
> of cattle' word, *gWo:u-s, can be analysed as a corresponding root
> (for the 'livestock' semantics, cf. *bHuh2-tlo- >
*bydlo 'existence,
> residence' --> 'cattle' in Slavic).

This is truly ingenious, and there must be something correct in it.
The unexpected regularity of the present stem *gWí-h3w-e/o- is
enough to win me over. I wonder how the other root forms came about;
perhaps the dissimilation was older than the ablaut. This calls for
a complete reopening of the case.