Brian wrote some days ago about the superiority of the 'Laryngeal' Theory in
explaining the forms we find in PIE of *ag^- and *al-.

I explained what I thought was the structural difference between *ag^-,
'drive (goad)', and *ag^- (from *agy-), 'goat'; but here, I will look at the
*al- roots more closely.

I will analyze them according to the Vocalic Theory for whatever light this
may shed on their relationships with each other.

1. *al-, *ol-, 'on the _other_ side'; 2. *al-, 'grow'; 3. *al-, 'wander
aimlessly'; 4. *al-, 'burn'; 5. *al-, 'grind'; 6. *al-, 'white, gleaming'.

To begin with, from a strictly semantic point of view, I would group these
roots as follows:

A. 'other': 1. *al-, *ol-;

B. 'grow': 2. *al-;

C. 'grind': 5. *al-;

D. 'move erratically': 3. *al- (stagger); 4. *al- (flicker); 6. *al-

These totally semantically separate categories are a direct result of the
circumstance that PIE initial *a- is shortened from *a:- deriving from
pre-PIE *Ha(:)-, itself the result of Nostratic *?a, *ha, and *Ha (Nostratic
*H = voiceless pharyngal fricative, Arabic dotted h; contrasting with
pre-PIE *H, which is simply [h]).

Nostratic (and PIE) *la:- means 'move back and forth'; and *Ha, which
becomes pre-PIE *Ha(:) means 'water'; combined, this root, Nostratic *Hala:-
means to 'wander back and forth as light does on water in gentle motion, and
is the source of *al- listed under D.

C. also is built on this second element: *la:-, 'move back and forth'; but
the first element, pre-PIE *Ha(:) derives from Nostratic *?a, 'top'; so, to
'move back and forth on top of' = 'grind'.

B. has the same elements as C. but interpreted different: *Ha(:)la:-, 'move
back and forth _at_ the top' = 'gently sway at the top as _tall_ grass does
in a gentle breeze'.

A. is built on *la:- again but with the first element Nostratic *ha, 'be
across from': pre-PIE *Ha(:)la:-, 'move back and forth at a point across
from' = 'be (in motion) on the other side'.

It is annoying that none of these roots can be attested in the canonical
citation form: *Ha(:)l- / *Ha(:)lÉ™- / *Ha(:)la:- but that is the luck of the

I am frankly at a loss, Brian, to begin to understand how the standard
'Laryngeal' Theory could explain these similarities more cogently.

Perhaps you can tell me.