> > "The place of Germanic in the IE family seems a little bit insecure."
> Wonderfully ambiguous! There's no doubt about its membership, but
> what it is most clearly related to is far from clear.
That is where the G & I revised theory may help; In clearning up the
position of Germanic in the IEL tree.
"Their (G&I) reconstructed PIE consonants established a closer
connection of Germanic, Armenian and the Hittite daughter languages
with Sanskrit. Thus they reversed Grimm's Law, which states that these
languages underwent a systematic sound shift, while Sanskrit preserved
the primeval system of sounds.
Illustrating their point of view with the "g" to "k" shift in
Germanic, they conclude that "the Germanic languages are more archaic
than Sanskrit and Greek" (ibid.). This conclusion would seem to be at
odds with the authors' compulsion to seek the original homeland in the
archaeologically and linguistically least plausible area just south
of the Caucasus (Fig. 18.5, ibid. p. 112 unnumbered figure).
Nonetheless, they place Germanic at the end of a sweeping, circuitous
route that leads Indo-Europeans the long way around the Caspian Sea
and then back into (southeastern?) Europe"
As far as I can tell, the revised early branching of Germanic along
with Hittite helps G & I pull their homeland to the south of generally
accepted Southern Russia.
Here I have found a stunning indictment of Grimm's law from a
linguistics professor, but not an IEL professor, Herb Stalhke
"Among other arguments in favor of the glottalic hypothesis is
Grassmann's Law of
Dissimilation of Aspirates in Greek and Sanskrit. This startling and
discovery has been a problem since Grassmann first published it in the
mid-19th c. Why would two languages that otherwise show little
common development show so subtle and striking a similarity? Using the
glottalic hyposthesis, Gamkrelidze and Ivanov show that Grassmann's Law,
rather than being an innovation in Gk and Skt, is actually derivable from
consistent PIE root structure constraints that work much more broadly
Finally, G&I demonstrate extensively that the derivation of daughter
consonant systems, not just that of Gmc, is much simpler and more
a glottalic PIE reconstruction is assumed. This is particularly
for Germanic, where the widely accepted Grimm's Law, based on the
traditional consonant reconstruction, results in a set of changes that are
very unusual and impossible to unify. Grimm thought he had them unified,
not only with each other but also with later High German changes.
his unification was the illusory result of a phonetic misunderstanding,
namely, that voiced aspirates and voiceless fricatives belong to the same
phonetic class, his aspiratae. There have been numerous attempts to write
rules for GL or to break the process up into a series of changes, as in
Pyles and Algeo, but there is precious little comparative evidence in PIE
for any of these schemes."
"This set of
changes suggest that Germanic is a conservative branch of IE, not the
innovative branch it's generally been thought to have been. G&I take this
argument further, demonstrating that PIE was, in fact, not the highly
inflected language that has been reconstructed from Lithuanian, Sanskrit,
Greek and Latin. Rather, at an earlier stage it had a more Germanic
inflectional system, the richer systems developing later. "
"When I've (Stahlkhe) explained to some of my literary
colleagues why GL has to go, they were stunned. As one put it, "This
one part of linguistics that I actually understood, and now you tell
it couldn't have been that way."
My conclusion then is the following: Even though the glottalic theory
makes Germanic more archaic than Sanskrit it is ultimately going to
help the Asian members of the family.
> I cannot see any relevance. Grimm's law is usually dated to about
> 2000 years ago.