Re: Germanic preterite optative

From: aquila_grande
Message: 45592
Date: 2006-07-30

First, in Vedic, the 'injunctive' (secondary ending, but without
augment) functions as a tenseless form. How did the past tense form
become tenseless? Are there parallels that do not involve
reconstructed languages?

I can answar with my opinion, that may or may not be generally axepted.

I think that in the earliest time, only the secondary endings existed.
However, these were of two kinds reflected in the hittite hi/mi-
conjugations and in the perfectum ending versus the rest of the
endings in other branches.

These endings were tenseless, and this state has propageted in the

Later the primary endings were created by adding an element to mark
present, and the originally endings got the function of marking the
past in most sircumstances. This creation occured before the IE
language broke up in branches.

In the field of aspect, i think thet Hittite was not so different from
the other branches than is mostly thought.

Hittite had a lot of derivational endings that were used to mark

The aspect endings of the other branches are essential of the same
kind, but they form a much more regulated or gramaticalized system.

Personally I think that Hittite also here shows the original state,
having a lot of aspectual endings at hand that could be used rather
freely according to need.