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Appendix II: Proto-Indo-European Phonology

II.1. Dorsals: The Palatovelar Question

1. Direct comparison in early IE studies, informed by the Centum-Satem isogloss, yielded the reconstruction of three rows of dorsal consonants in Late Proto-Indo-European by Bezzenberger (1890), a theory which became classic after Brugmann (Grundriss, 1879) included it in its 2nd Edition. The palatovelars *kj, *gj, and *gjh were supposedly [k]- or [g]-like sounds which underwent a characteristic phonetic change in the satemized languages – three original “velar rows” had then become two in all Indo-European dialects attested.

NOTE. It is disputed whether Albanian shows remains of two or three series (cf. Ölberg 1976, Kortlandt 1980, Pänzer 1982), although the fact that only the worst known (and neither isolated nor remote) IE dialect could be the only one to show some remains of the oldest phonetic system is indeed very unlikely.

After that original belief, then, The centum group of languages merged the palatovelars *kj, *gj, and *gjh with the plain velars *k, *g, and *gh, while the satem group of languages merged the labiovelars *kw, *gw, and *gwh with the plain velars *k,* g, and *gh.

NOTE. Such hypothesis would then support an evolution [kj] [k] of Centum dialects before e and i, what is clearly against the general tendence of velars to move forward its articulation and palatalize in these environments.

2. The existence of the palatovelars as phonemes separate from the plain velars and labiovelars has been disputed. In most circumstances they appear to be allophones resulting from the neutralization of the other two series in particular phonetic circumstances. Their dialectal articulation was probably constrained, either to an especial phonetic environment (as Romance evolution of Latin [k] before [e] and [i]), either to the analogy of alternating phonetic forms. However, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly what the circumstances of the allophony are, although it is generally accepted that neutralization occurred after s and u, and often before r or a; also apparently  before m and n in some Baltic dialects

NOTE. The original allophonic distinction was disturbed when the labiovelars were merged with the plain velars. This produced a new phonemic distinction between palatal and plain velars, with an unpredictable alternation between palatal and plain in related forms of some roots (those from original plain velars) but not others (those from original labiovelars). Subsequent analogical processes generalized either the plain or palatal consonant in all forms of a particular root. Those roots where the plain consonant was generalized are those traditionally reconstructed as having “plain velars” in the parent language, in contrast to “palatovelars”.

Many PIE linguists still believe that all three series were distinct in Late Proto-Indo-European, although newest research show that the palatovelar series were a later phonetic development of certain Satem dialects, later extended to others; this belief was originally articuled by Antoine Meillet in 1893, and was followed by linguists like Hirt (1899, 1927), Lehmann (1952), Georgiev (1966), Bernabé (1971), Steensland (1973), Miller (1976), Allen (1978), Kortlandt (1980), Shields (1981), Adrados (1995), etc.

NOTE. There is, however, a minority who consider the labiovelars a secondary development from the pure velars, and reconstruct only velars and palatovelars (Kuryłowicz), already criticized by Bernabé, Steensland, Miller and Allen. Still less acceptance had the proposal to reconstruct only a labiovelar and a palatal series (Magnusson).

There is residual evidence of various sorts in the Satem languages of a former distinction between velar and labiovelar consonants:

·      In Sanskrit and Balto-Slavic, in some environments, resonant consonants (denoted by R) become iR after plain velars but uR after labiovelars.

·      In Armenian, some linguists assert that kw is distinguishable from k before front vowels.

·      In Albanian, some linguists assert that kw and gw are distinguishable from k and g before front vowels.

NOTE. This evidence shows that the labiovelar series was distinct from the plain velar series in Late PIE, and cannot have been a secondary development in the Centum languages. However, it says nothing about the palatovelar vs. plain velar series. When this debate initially arose, the concept of a phoneme and its historical emergence was not clearly understood, however, and as a result it was often claimed (and sometimes still is claimed) that evidence of three-way velar distinction in the history of a particular IE language indicates that this distinction must be reconstructed for the parent language. This is theoretically unsound, as it overlooks the possibility of a secondary origin for a distinction.

3. The original (logical) trend to distinguish between series of “satemizable” dorsals, called ‘palatovelars’, and “non-satemizable” dorsals, the ‘pure velars’, was the easiest explanation found by neogrammarians, who apparently opened a different case for each irregularity they found. Such an initial answer should be considered erroneous today, at least as a starting-point to obtain a better explanation for this “phonological puzzle” (Bernabé).

NOTE. “Palatals” and Velars appear mostly in complementary distributions, what supports their explanation as allophones of the same phonemes. Meillet (1937) establishes the contexts in which there are only velars: before a, r, and after s, u, while Georgiev (1966) states that the palatalization of velars should have been produced before e, i, j, and before liquid or nasal or w + e, i, offering statistical data supporting his conclusions. The presence of palatalized velar before o is then produced because of analogy with roots in which (due to the apophonic alternance) the velar phoneme is found before e and o, so the alternance *kje/*ko would be leveled as *kje/*kjo.

Arguments in favor of only two series of velars include:

  A) The plain velar series is statistically rarer than the other two, is entirely absent from affixes, and appears most often in certain phonological environments (described above).

B) Alternations between plain velars and palatals are common in a number of roots across different “Satem” languages, where the same root appears with a palatal in some languages but a plain velar in others. This is consistent with the analogical generalization of one or another consonant in an originally alternating paradigm, but difficult to explain otherwise:

·   *ak/ok-, sharp, cf.  Lith. akúotas, O.C.S. ostru, O.Ind. asrís, Arm. aseln, but Lith. asrùs.

·  *akmon-, stone, cf.  Lith. akmuõ, O.C.S. kamy, O.Ind. áśma, but Lith. âsmens.

·  *keu-, shine, cf. Lith. kiáune, Russ. kuna, O.Ind. Svas, Arm. sukh.

·   *bhleg-, shine, cf. O.Ind.  bhárgas, Lith. balgans, O.C.S. blagu, but Ltv. blâzt.

·   *gherdh-, enclose, O.Ind. grhá, Av. gərəda, Lith. gardas, O.C.S. gradu, Lith. zardas, Ltv. zârdas.

·   *swekros, father-in-law, cf. O.Sla. svekry, O.Ind. śvaśru.

   B) The existence of different pairs (“satemized” and “not-satemized”) in the same language, as e.g.:

·   *selg-, throw, cf. O.Ind. sjáti, sargas

·   *kau/keu-, shout, cf. Lith. kaukti, O.C.S. kujati, Russ. sova (as Gk. kauax); O.Ind. kauti, suka-.

·   *kleu-, hear, Lith. klausýti, slove, O.C.S. slovo;  O.Ind. karnas, sruti,  srósati, śrnóti, sravas.

·   *leuk-, O.Ind. rokás, ruśant-.

NOTE. The old argument proposed by Brugmann (and later copied by many dictionaries) about “Centum loans” is not tenable today. For more on this, see Szemerény (1978), Mayrhofer (1952), Bernabé (1971).

  C)  Non-coincidence in periods and number of satemization stages;

·         Old Indian shows two stages,

1.       PIE *k O.Ind. s, and

2.      PIE *kwe, *kwi O.Ind. ke, ki, & PIE *ske, *ski > O.Ind. c (cf. cim, candra, etc.).

·         In Slavic, however, three stages are found,

1.       PIE *ks,

2.      PIE *kwe, *kwič  (čto, čelobek), and

3.      PIE *kwoikoike gives ts (as Sla. tsená).

  D) In most attested languages which present aspirated as result of the so-called “palatals”, the palatalization of other phonemes is also attested (e.g. palatalization of labiovelars before e, i, etc.), what may indicate that there is an old trend to palatalize all possible sounds, of which the palatalization of velars is the oldest attested result.

  E) The existence of ‘Centum dialects’ in so-called Southern dialects, as Greek and some Paleo-Balkan dialects, and the  presence of Tocharian, a ‘Centum dialect’, in Central Asia, being probably a northern IE dialect.

NOTE. The traditional explanation of a three-way dorsal split requires that all Centum languages share a common innovation that eliminated the palatovelar series. Unlike for the Satem languages, however, there is no evidence of any areal connection among the Centum languages, and in fact there is evidence against such a connection -- the Centum languages are geographically noncontiguous. Furthermore, if such an areal innovation happened, we would expect to see some dialect differences in its implementation (cf. the above differences between Balto-Slavic and Indo-Iranian), and residual evidence of a distinct palatalized series (such evidence for a distinct labiovelar series does exist in the Satem languages; see below). In fact, however, neither type of evidence exists, suggesting that there was never a palatovelar series in the Centum languages.

4. It is generally believed that Satemization could have started as a late dialectal ‘wave’ (although not necessarily), which eventually affected almost all PIE dialectal groups. The origin is probably to be found in velars followed by e, i, even though alternating forms like *gen/gon caused natural analogycal corrections within each dialect, which obscures still more the original situation. Thus, non-satemized forms in so-called Satem languages are actually non-satemized remains of the original situation, just as Spanish has feliz and not *heliz, or fácil and not hácil, or French uses facile and nature, and not *fêle or *nûre as one should expect from its phonetic evolution. Some irregularities are indeed explained as borrowings from non-satemized dialects.

5. Those who support the model of the threefold distinction in PIE cite evidence from Albanian (Pedersen) and Armenian (Pisani) that they treated plain velars differently from the labiovelars in at least some circumstances, as well as the fact that Luwian apparently had distinct reflexes of all three series: *kj > z (probably [ts]); *k > k; *kw > ku (possibly still [kw]) (Craig Melchert).

NOTE 1. Also, one of the most difficult problems which subsist in the interpretation of the satemization as a phonetic wave is that, even though in most cases the variation *kj/k may be attributed either to a phonetic environment or to the analogy of alternating apophonic forms, there are some cases in which neither one nor the other may be applied. Compare for example *okj(u), eight, which presents k before an occlusive in a form which shows no change (to suppose a syncope of an older *okjitō, as does Szemerényi, is an explanation ad hoc). Other examples in which the palatalization cannot be explained by the next phoneme nor by analogy are *swekru-, husband’s mother, *akmōn, stone, *peku, cattle. Such (still) unexplained exceptions, however, are not sufficient to consider the existence of a third row of ‘later palatalized’ velars (Bernabé, Cheng & Wang), although there are still scholars who come back to the support of the three velar rows’ hypothesis (viz. Tischler 1990).

NOTE 2. Supporters of the palatovelars cite evidence from the Anatolian language Luwian, which supposedly attests a three-way velar distinction *kjz (probably [ts]); *kk; *kwku (probably [kw]), defended by Melchert (1987). So, the strongest argument in favor of the traditional three-way system is that the the distinction supposedly derived from Luwian findings must be reconstructed for the parent language. However, the underlying evidence “hinges upon especially difficult or vague or otherwise dubious etymologies” (see Sihler 1995); and, even if those findings are supported by other evidence in the future, it is obvious that Luwian might also have been in contact with satemization trends of other (Late) PIE dialects, that it might have developed it’s own satemization trend, and that maybe the whole system was remade within the Anatolian branch.

6. A system of two gutturals, Velars and Labiovelars, is a linguistic anomaly, isolated in the PIE occlusive subsystem – there are no parallel oppositions bw-b, pw-p, tw-t, dw-d, etc. Only one feature, their pronunciation with an accompanying rounding of the lips, helps distinguish them from each other. Labiovelars turn velars before -u, and there are some neutralization positions which help identify labiovelars and velars; also, in some contexts (e.g. before -i, -e) velars tend to move forward its articulation and eventually palatalize. Both trends led eventually to Centum and Satem dialectalization.

II.2. Phonetic Reconstruction

II.2.1. Proto-Indo-European Sound Laws

A few sound-laws can be reconstructed, that may have been effective already in Late PIE dialects, by internal reconstruction.

·  Sievers’ Law (Edgerton’s Law, Lindeman’s option)

·  Hirt’s Law

·  Grassman’s Law

·  Bartholomae’s Law

A. Sievers’ Law

Sievers’ Law in Indo-European linguistics accounts for the pronunciation of a consonant cluster with a glide before a vowel as it was affected by the phonetics of the preceding syllable. Specifically it refers to the alternation between *ij and *j, and possibly *uw and *u, in Indo-European languages. For instance, Proto-Indo-European *kor-jo-s became Gothic harjisarmy”, but PIE *kerdh-jo-s became Proto-Germanic *herdijas, Gothic hairdeis [hɛrdĩs] “shepherd”. It differs from an ablaut in that the alternation is context-sensitive: PIE *ij followed a heavy syllable (a syllable with a diphthong, a long vowel, or ending in more than one consonant), but *j would follow a light syllable (i.e. a short vowel followed by a single consonant). This was first noticed by Germanic philologist Eduard Sievers, and his aim was to account for certain phenomena in the Germanic languages. He originally only discussed *j in medial position. He also noted, almost as an aside, that something similar seemed to be going on in the earliest Sanskrit texts (thus in the Rigveda dāivya-heavenly” actually had three syllables in scansion (dāiviya-) but say satya-true” was scanned as written). After him, scholars would find similar alternations in Greek and Latin, and alternation between *uw and *u, though the evidence is poor for all of these. Through time, evidence was announced regarding similar alternations of syllabicity in the nasal and liquid semivowels, though the evidence is extremely poor for these, despite the fact that such alternations in the non-glide semivowels would have left permanent, indeed irreversible, traces.

The most ambitious extension of Sievers’ Law was proposed by Franklin Edgerton in a pair of articles in the journal Language in 1934 and 1943. He argued that not only was the syllabicity of prevocalic semivowels by context applicable to all six Indo-European semivowels, it was applicable in all positions in the word. Thus a form like *djēus, “sky” would have been pronounced thus only when it happened to follow a word ending with a short vowel. Everywhere else it would have had two syllables, *dijēus.

The evidence for alternation presented by Edgerton was of two sorts. He cited several hundred passages from the oldest Indic text, the Rigveda, which he claimed should be rescanned to reveal hitherto unnoticed expressions of the syllable structure called for by his theory. But most forms show no such direct expressions; for them, Edgerton noted sharply skewed distributions that he interpreted as evidence for a lost alternation between syllabic and nonsyllabic semivowels. Thus say śirashead” (from *śros) has no monosyllabic partner *śras (from *śros), but Edgerton noted that it occurred 100% of the time in the environments where his theory called for the syllabification of the *r. Appealing to the “formulaic” nature of oral poetry, especially in tricky and demanding literary forms like sacred Vedic versification, he reasoned that this was direct evidence for the previous existence of an alternant *śras, on the assumption that when (for whatever reason) this *śras and other forms like it came to be shunned, the typical collocations in which they would have (correctly) occurred inevitably became obsolete pari passu with the loss of the form itself. And he was able to present a sizeable body of evidence in the form of these skewed distributions in both the 1934 and 1943 articles.

In 1965 Fredrik Otto Lindeman published an article proposing a significant modification of Edgerton’s theory. Disregarding Edgerton’s evidence (on the grounds that he was not prepared to judge the niceties of Rigvedic scansion) he took instead as the data to be analyzed the scansions in Grassmann’s Wörterbuch zum Rig-Veda. From these he concluded that Edgerton had been right, but only up to a point: the alternations he postulated did indeed apply to all semivowels; but in word-initial position, the alternation was limited to forms like *djēus/dijēussky”, as cited above—that is, words where the “short” form was monosyllabic.

B. Hirt’s Law

Hirt’s law, named after Hermann Hirt who postulated it originally in 1895, is a Balto-Slavic sound law which states in its modern form that the inherited Proto-Indo-European stress would retract to non-ablauting pretonic vowel or a syllabic sonorant if it was followed by a consonantal (non-syllabic) laryngeal that closed the preceding syllable.

Compare:

·   PIE: *dhūmós “smoke” (compare Sanskrit dhūmá and Ancient Greek thumós) Lithuanian dū́mai, Latvian dũmi, Croatian/Serbian dȉm.

·   PIE *gwrīw “neck; mane” (compare Sanskrit grīv) Latvian grĩva, Croatian/Serbian grȉva.

·   PIE *pl̥nósfull” (compare Sanskrit pūrá) Lithuanian pìlnas, Latvian pil̃ns, Serbian pȕn.

Hirt’s law did not operate if the laryngeal preceded a vowel, or if the laryngeal followed the second component of a diphthong. Therefore, Hirt's law must be older than then the loss of laryngeals in prevocalic position (in glottalic theory formulation: to the merger of glottalic feature of PIE voiced stops who dissolved into laryngeal and buccal part with the reflexes of the original PIE laryngeals), because the stress was not retracted in e.g. PIH *tenhwós (Ancient Greek tanaós, Sanskrit tanú) “thin Latvian tiêvs, and also older than the loss of syllabic sonorants in Balto-Slavic, as can be seen from the abovementioned reflexes of PIH *pl̥h1nós, and also in e.g. PIH *dl̥h1ghóslong” (compare Sanskrit dīrghá, Ancient Greek dolikhós) Lithuanian ìlgas, Latvian il̃gs, Croatian/Serbian dȕg.

It follows from the above that Hirt's law must have preceded Winter's law, but was necessarily posterior to Balto-Slavic oxytonesis (shift of stress from inner syllable to the end of the word in accent paradigms with end-stressed forms), because oxytonesis-originating accent was preserved in non-laryngeal declension paradigms; e.g. the retraction occurs in mobile PIH *eh2-stems so thus have dative plural of Slovene goràm and Chakavian goràmi (< PBSl. *-āmús), locative plural of Slovene and Chakavian goràh (< PBSl. *-ā), but in thematic (o-stem) paradigm dative plural of Slovene možȇm (< PBSl. *-mús), locative plural of Slovene možéh and Chakavian vlāsíh (< PBSl. *-oysú). The retraction of accent from the ending to the vowel immediately preceding the stem-ending laryngeal (as in PBSl. reflex of PIH *gwrH-) is obvious. There is also a strong evidence that the same was valid for Old Prussian (in East Baltic dative and locative plural accents were generalized in non-laryngeal inflections).

From the Proto-Indo-European perspective, the importance of Hirt’s law lies in the strong correspondence it provides between the Balto-Slavic and Vedic/Ancient Greek accentuation (which more or less intactly reflects the original Late PIE state), and somewhat less importantly, provides a reliable criterion to distinguish the original sequence of PIH *eH from lengthened grade *ē, as it unambiguously points to the presence of a laryngeal in the stem.

C. Grassmann’s Law

Grassmann’s law, named after its discoverer Hermann Grassmann, is a dissimilatory phonological process in Ancient Greek and Sanskrit which states that if an aspirated consonant is followed by another aspirated consonant in the next syllable, the first one loses the aspiration. The descriptive (synchronic) version was described for Sanskrit by Panini.

Here are some examples in Greek of the effects of Grassmann’s Law:

·  [thu-oː] θύω ‘I kill an animal’

·  [e-tu-theː] τυθη ‘it was killed’

·  [thrik-s] θρίξ ‘hair’

·  [trikh-es] τριχές ‘hairs’

·  [thap-sai] θάψαι ‘to bury (aorist)

·  [thapt-ein] θάπτειν ‘to bury (present)’

·  [taph-os] τάφος ‘a grave’

·  [taph-e] ταφή ‘burial’

In the reduplication which forms the perfect tense in both Greek and Sanskrit, if the initial consonant is aspirated, the prepended consonant is unaspirated by Grassmann’s Law. For instance [phu-oː] φύω ‘I grow’ : [pe-phuː-ka] πεφυκα ‘I have grown’.

Diaspirate roots

Cases like [thrik-s] ~ [trikh-es] and [thap-sai] ~ [taph-ein] illustrates the phenomenon of diaspirate roots, for which two different analyses have been given.

In one account, the “underlying diaspirate” theory, the underlying roots are taken to be /thrikh/ and /thaph/. When an /s/ (or word edge, or various other sounds) immediately follows, then the second aspiration is lost, and the first aspirate therefore survives ([thrik-s], [thap-sai]). If a vowel follows the second aspirate, it survives unaltered, and therefore the first aspiration is lost by Grassmann’s Law ([trikh-es], [taph-ein]).

A different analytical approach was taken by the ancient Indian grammarians. In their view, the roots are taken to be underlying /trikh/ and /taph/. These roots persist unaltered in [trikh-es] and [taph-ein]. But if an /s/ follows, it triggers an “aspiration throwback” (ATB), in which the aspiration migrates leftward, docking onto the initial consonant ([thrik-s], [thap-sai]).

Interestingly, in his initial formulation of the law Grassmann briefly referred to ATB to explain these seemingly aberrant forms. However, the consensus among contemporary historical linguists is that the former explanation (underlying representation) is the correct one.

In the later course of Sanskrit, (and under the influence of the grammarians) ATB was applied to original monoaspirates through an analogical process. Thus, from the verb root gah ‘to plunge’, the desiderative stem jighakha- is formed. This is by analogy with the forms bubhutsati (a desiderative form) and bhut (a nominal form, both from the root budh ‘to be awake’, originally PIE *bhudh-).

D. Bartholomae’s Law

Bartholomae’s law is an early Indo-European sound law affecting the Indo-Iranian family, though thanks to the falling together of plain voiced and voiced aspirated stops in Iranian, its impact on the phonological history of that subgroup is unclear.

It states that in a cluster of two or more obstruents (s or a stop (plosive)), any one of which is a voiced aspirate anywhere in the sequence, the whole cluster becomes voiced and aspirated. Thus to the PIE root *bheudh learn, become aware of” the participle *bhudh-to- “enlightened” loses the aspiration of the first stop (Grassmann’s Law) and with the application of Bartholomae’s Law and regular vowel changes gives Sanskrit buddha- “enlightened”.

A written form such as -ddh- (a literal rendition of the devanāgarī representation) presents problems of interpretation. The choice is between a long voiced stop with a specific release feature symbolized in transliteration by -h-, or else a long stop (or stop cluster) with a different phonational state, “murmur”, whereby the breathy release is an artifact of the phonational state. The latter interpretation is rather favored by such phenomena as the Rigvedic form gdhahe swallowed” which is morphologically a middle aorist (more exactly ‘injunctive’) to the root ghas- “swallow”, as follows: ghs-t-a > *gzdha whence gdha by the regular loss of a sibilant between stops in Indic. While the idea of voicing affecting the whole cluster with the release feature conventionally called aspiration penetrating all the way to the end of the sequence is not entirely unthinkable, the alternative—the spread of a phonational state (but murmur rather than voice) through the whole sequence—involves one less step and therefore via Occam’s Razor counts as the better interpretation.

Bartholomae’s Law intersects with another Indic development, namely what looks like the deaspiration of aspirated stops in clusters with s: descriptively, Proto-Indo-European *leigh-siyou lick” becomes *leiksi, whence Sanskrit leki. However, Grassmann’s Law, whereby an aspirated stop becomes non-aspirated before another aspirated stop (as in the example of buddha-, above), suggests something else. In late Vedic and later forms of Sanskrit, all forms behave as though aspiration was simply lost in clusters with s, so such forms to the root dugh- “give milk” (etymologically *dhugh-) show the expected devoicing and deaspiration in, say, the desiderative formation du-dhuk-ati (with the root-initial dh- intact, that is, undissimilated). But the earliest passages of the Rigveda show something different: desiderative dudukati, aor. dukata (for later dhukata) and so on. Thus it is apparent that what went into Grassmann’s Law were forms like *dhugzhata, dhudhugzha- and so on, with aspiration in the sibilant clusters intact. The deaspiration and devoicing of the sibilant clusters were later and entirely separate phenomena – and connected with yet another suite of specifically Indic sound laws, namely a ‘rule conspiracy’ to eliminate all voiced (and murmured) sibilants. Indeed, even the example ‘swallowed’ given above contradicts the usual interpretation of devoicing and deaspiration: by such a sequence, *ghs-to would have given, first, *ksto (if the process was already Indo-European) or *ksta (if Indo-Iranian in date), whence Sanskrit *kta, not gdha.

E. Brugmann’s Law

Brugmann’s law, named for Karl Brugmann, states that Proto-Indo-European *o (the ablaut alternant of *e) in non-final syllables became *ā in open syllables (syllables ending in a single consonant followed by a vowel) in Indo-Iranian. Everywhere else the outcome was *a, the same as the reflexes of PIE *e and *a. The rule seems not to apply to “non-apophonic *o”, that is, *o that has no alternant, as in *poti-, “master, lord” (thus Sanskrit pati-, not *pāti, there being no such root as *pet- “rule, dominate”). Similarly the form traditionally reconstructed as *owis, “sheep” (Sanskrit avi-), which is a good candidate for re-reconstructing as PIH *h3ewi- with an o-coloring laryngeal rather than an ablauting o-grade.

The theory accounts for a number of otherwise very puzzling facts. Sanskrit has pitaras, mātaras, bhrātaras for “fathers, mothers, brothers” but svasāras for “sisters”, a fact neatly explained by the traditional reconstruction of the stems as *-ter- for “father, mother, brother” but *swesor- for “sister” (cf. Latin pater, māter, frāter but soror; note, though, that in all four cases the Latin vowel in the final syllable was originally long). Similarly, the great majority of n-stem nouns in Indic have a long stem-vowel, such as brāhmaasBrahmins”, śvānas dogs” from *kwones, correlating with information from other Indo-European languages that these were actually on-stems. But there is one noun, ukan- “ox”, which in the Rigveda shows forms like ukǎas, “oxen”. These were later replaced by “regular” formations (ukāas and so on, some as early as the Rigveda itself), but the notion that this might be an *en-stem is supported by the unique morphology of the Germanic forms, e.g. Old English oxa nom.singular “ox”, exen plural—the Old English plural stem (e.g., the nominative) continuing Proto-Germanic *uχsiniz < *uχseniz, with two layers of umlaut. As in Indic, this is the only certain Old English n-stem that points to *en-vocalism rather than *on-vocalism.

Perhaps the most startling confirmation comes from the inflection of the perfect tense, wherein a Sanskrit root like sad- “sit” has sasada for “I sat” and sasāda for “he, she, it sat”. It was tempting to see this as some kind of ‘therapeutic’ reaction to the falling-together of the endings *-aI” and *-ehe/she/it” as -a, but it was troubling that the distinction was found exclusively in roots that ended with a single consonant. That is, dadarśasaw” is both first and third person singular, even though a form like *dadārśa is perfectly acceptable in terms of Sanskrit syllable structure. This mystery was solved when the ending of the perfect in the first person singular was reanalyzed as PIH *-h2e, that is, beginning with an a-coloring laryngeal: that is, at the time Brugmann’s Law was operative, a form of the type *se-sod-he in the first person did not have an open root syllable. A problem (minor) for this interpretation is that roots that pretty plainly must have ended in a consonant cluster including a laryngeal, such as jan- < *genh1- “beget”, and which therefore should have had a short vowel throughout (like darś- “see” < *dork-), nevertheless show the same patterning as sad-: jajana 1sg., jajāna 3sg. Whether this is a catastrophic failure of the theory is a matter of taste, but after all, those who think the pattern seen in roots like sad- have a morphological, not a phonological, origin, have their own headaches, such as the total failure of this “morphological” development to include roots ending in two consonants. And such an argument would in any case cut the ground out from under the neat distributions seen in the kinship terms, the special behavior of “ox”, and so on.

Perhaps the most worrisome data are adverbs like Sankrit prati, Greek pros (< *proti) (meaning “motion from or to a place or location at a place”, depending on the case of the noun it governs) and some other forms, all of which appear to have ablauting vowels. They also all have a voiceless stop after the vowel, which may or may not be significant. And for all its charms, Brugmann’s Law has few supporters nowadays – even Brugmann himself eventually gave up on it, and Jerzy Kuryłowicz, the author of the brilliant insight into the sasada/sasāda matter, eventually abandoned his analysis in favor of an untenable appeal to the agency of marked vs unmarked morphological categories. Untenable because, for example, it's a commonplace of structural analysis that 3rd person singular forms are about as “unmarked” as a verb form can be, but in Indic it is the one that “gets” the long vowel, which by the rules of the game is the marked member of the long/short opposition.

F. Winter’s Law

Winter’s law, named after Werner Winter who postulated it in 1978, is a sound law operating on Balto-Slavic short vowels *e, *o, *a, *i and *u, according to which they lengthen in front of unaspirated voiced stops in closed syllable, and that syllable gains rising, acute accent. Compare:

·      PIE *sed- “to sit” (that also gave Latin sedeō, Sanskrit sīdati, Ancient Greek hézomai and English sit) Proto-Balto-Slavic *sēd-tey Lith. ́sti, O.C.S. sěsti (with regular Balto-Slavic *dtst change; O.C.S. and Common Slavic yat (ě) is a regular reflex of PIE/PBSl. long *ē).

·      PIE *ābl- “apple” (that also gave English apple) Proto-Balto-Slavic *ābl- standard Lithuanian obuols (accusative óbuolį) and also dialectal forms of óbuolas and Samogitian óbulas, O.C.S. ablъko, modern Croatian jȁbuka, Slovene jábolko etc.

Winter's law is important for several reasons. Most importantly, it indirectly shows the difference between the reflexes of PIE *b, *d, *g, *gw in Balto-Slavic (in front of which Winter's law operates in closed syllable), and PIE *bh, *dh, *gh, *gwh (before which there is no effect of Winter's law). This shows that in relative chronology Winter's law operated before PIE aspirated stops *bh, *dh, *gh, merged with PIE plain voiced stops *b, *d, *g in Balto-Slavic.

Secondary, Winter’s law also indirectly shows the difference between the reflexes of PIE *a and PIE *o which otherwise merged to *a in Balto-Slavic. When these vowels lengthen in accordance with Winter’s law, one can see that old *a has lengthened into Balto-Slavic *ā (which later gave Lithuanian o, Latvian ā, O.C.S. a), and old *o has lengthened into Balto-Slavic *ō (which later gave Lithuanian and Latvian uo, but still O.C.S. a). In later development that represented Common Slavic innovation, the reflexes of Balto-Slavic *ā and *ō were merged, as one can see that they both result in O.C.S. a. This also shows that Winter’s law operated prior to the common Balto-Slavic change *o*a.

The original formulation of Winter’s law stated that the vowels regularly lengthened in front of PIE voiced stops in all environments. As much as there were numerous examples that supported this formulation, there were also many counterexamples, such as OCS stogъ “stack” < PIE *stógos, O.C.S. voda “water” < PIE *wodr (collective noun formed from PIE *wódr̥). Adjustment of Winter’s law, with the conclusion that it operates only on closed syllables, was proposed by Matasović in 1994 and which, unlike most of the other prior proposals, successfully explains away most counterexamples, although it's still not generally accepted. Matasović's revision of Winter's law has been used in the Lexikon der indogermanischen Verben. Other variations of blocking mechanism for Winter’s law have been proposed by Kortlandt, Shintani, Rasmussen, Dybo and Holst but have not gained wide acceptance. Today Winter's law is taken for granted by all specialists in Balto-Slavic historical linguistics, though the exact details of the restrictions of law remain in dispute.

 

 

II.2.2. Consonants

NOTES: 1 After vowels. 2 Before a plosive (p, t, k). 3 Before an unstressed vowel (Verner’s Law). 4 After a (Proto-Germanic) fricative (s, f). 5 Before a (PIE) front vowel (i, e). 6 Before or after a (PIE) u. 7 Before or after a (PIE) o, u. 8 Between vowels. 9 Before a resonant. 10 Before secondary (post-PIE) front-vowels. 11 After r, u, k, i (RUKI). 12 Before a stressed vowel. 13 At the end of a word. 14 After u, r or before r, l. 15 After n.

PIE

Skr.

Av.

OCS

Lith.

Arm.

Toch.

Hitt.

Gk.

Lat.

O.Ir

Gmc.

*p

p [p]

p [p]

p [p]

p [p]

h [h]; w [w] 1

p [p]

p [p]

p [p]

p [p]

Ø; ch [x] 2

*f; 3; *p 4

*t

t [t]

t [t]

t [t]

t [t]

[tʰ]

t [t]; c [c] 5

t; z 5

t [t]

t [t]

t [t]; th [θ] 8

; 3; *t 4

*k̂

ś [ɕ]

s [s]

s [s]

š [ʃ]

s [s]

k; ś [ɕ] 9

k [k]

k [k]

k [k]

c [k]; ch [x] 8

*x; 3; k 4

*k

k [k]; c [c] 5

k [k]; c [ʧ] 5

k [k]; č [ʧ] 5; c [ʦ] 10

k [k]

[kʰ]

*kʷ

ku [kʷ]

p; t 5; k 6

qu [kʷ]; c [k] 7

c [k]; ch [x] 8

*xʷ; *ɣʷ, *w 3; 4

*b

b [b]

b [b]

b [b]

b [b]

p [p]

p [p]

p [p]

b [b]

b [b]

b [b]

*p

*d

d [d]

d [d]

d [d]

d [d]

t [t]

ʦ [ʦ]; ś [ɕ] 5

t [t]

d [d]

d [d]

d [d]; dh [ð] 8

*t

j [ɟ]

z [z]

z [z]

ž [ʒ]

c [ʦ]

k [k]; ś [ɕ] 9

k [k]

g [g]

g [g]

g [g]; gh [ɣ] 8

*k

*g

g [g]; j [ɟ] 5

g [g]; j [ʤ] 5

g [g]; ž [ʒ] 5; dz [ʣ] 10

g [g]

k [k]

*gʷ

ku [kʷ]

b [b]; d [d] 5; g [g] 6

u [w]; gu [gʷ] 15

b [b]; m, bh [w] 8

*kʷ

*bʰ

bh [bʱ]

b [b]

b [b]

b [b]

b [b]; w [w] 8

p [p]

p [p]

ph [pʰ]

f [f]; b 8

b [b]; m, bh [m, w]8

*dʰ

dh [dʱ]

d [d]

d [d]

d [d]

d [d]

t [t]; c [c] 5

t [t]

th [tʰ]

f [f]; d 8; b [b] 14

d [d]; dh [ð] 8

*ĝʰ

h [ɦ]

z [z]

z [z]

ž [ʒ]

j [ʣ]; z [z] 8

k [k]; ś [ɕ] 5

k [k]

ch [kʰ]

h [h]; h [h]/ g [g] 9

g [g]; gh [ɣ] 5

*gʰ

gh [gʱ]; h [ɦ] 5

g [g]; ǰ [ʤ] 5

g [g]; ž [ʒ] 5; dz [ʣ]] 10

g [g]

g [g]; ǰ [ʤ] 5

*gʷʰ

ku [kʷ]

ph [pʰ]; th [tʰ] 5; ch [kʰ] 6

f [f]; g [g] / u [w] 8; gu [gʷ] 15

g [g]

*ɣʷ

*s

s [s]; [ʂ] 11

h [h, x]; s [s] 2; š [ʃ] 11

s [s]; x [x] 11

s [s]; š [ʃ] 11

h [h]; s [s] 2; [-] 8

s [s]; [ʂ]

š [s]

h [h]; s [s] 2; [-] 8

s [s]; r [r] 8

s [s]

*s; *z 3

*m

m [m]

m [m]

m [m]; ˛ [˜] 13

m [m]; n [n] 13

m [m]; n [n] 13

m [m]; Ø 13

m [m]; n [n] 13

m [m]; n [n] 13

m [m]

b [b]; m, bh [m, w] 8; n [n] 13

*m; Ø 13

*n

n [n]

n [n]

n [n]

n [n]

n [n]

n [n]; ñ [ɲ]

n [n]

n [n]

n [n]

n [n]

*n

*l

r [r] (dial. l [l])

r [r]

l [l]

l [l]

l [l], ɫ [ɫ > ɣ]

l [l]

l [l]

l [l]

l [l]

l [l]

*l

*r

r [r]

r [r]

r [r]

r [r]

r [ɹ]

r [r]

r [r]

r [r]

r [r]

r [r]

*r

*i̯

y [j]

y [j]

j [j]

j [j]

Ø

y [j]

y [j]

z [?zd/ʣ > z] / h [h]; Ø 8

i [j]; Ø 8

Ø

*j

*u̯

v [ʋ]

v [w]

v [v]

v [ʋ]

g [g] / w [w]

w [w]

w [w]

w > h / Ø [w > h / -]

u [w > v]

f [f]; Ø / w [w] 8

*w

 

II.1.3. Vowels and syllabic consonants

 

PIE

PIH

Skr.

Av.

OCS

Lith.

Arm.

Toch.

Hitt.

Gk.

Lat.

O.Ir

Gmc.

*e

*e

a

a

e

e

e

ä

e, i

e

e

e

i; ai [ɛ]2

*h1e

*a

(*a 3)

o

a

a

ā

ha, a

a

a

a

a

*h2e

*o

*h3e

o, a

a, e

a

o

o

o

*o

a, ā 4

a, ā 4

*h1

i

i, Ø

Ø

Ø

a, Ø

ā

a

e

a

a

a, Ø

*h2

h

a

*h3

o

*-

*h1

Ø

Ø

e (a?)

Ø

a

e (o)

Ø

Ø

Ø

*h2

a

ha

a

*h3

a

a, ha

o

ā

ā

ě

ė

i

a/e?; ā? 8

e, i

ē

ē

ī

ē

*eh1

(*ā 3)

a

o

a

a (A); o (B)

a, ah

ā > ē

ā

ā

ā

*eh2

uo

u

a/ā?; ū? 8

a

ō

ō

ā; ū 8

*eh3

*i

*i

i

i

ь

i

i

ä

i

i

i

i

i

*ih1

ī

ī

i

y [i:]

i

ī

ī

ī

ei [i:]

*ih2

i or (j)a? 7

ī or (j)ā? 7

*ih3

ī or (j)ō? 7

*ei

*ei

ē

ōi, 4

ei, ie 5

i

e

ei

ī

īa, ē 6

*h₁ei

*oi

*oi

ě

ai, ie5

e

oi

ū

oe

ai

*h3ei

*ai

(*ai 3)

ay

ai

ae

ae

*h2ei

*ēi

*ēi

āi; ā 8

āi; ā(i) 8

i

āi > ēi

ī?

ai

*ōi

*ōi (*oei)

y; u 8

ai; ui 8

ai

āi > ēi

ō

u 8

*āi

*eh2ei

ě

āi > ēi

ae

ai

*u

*u

u

u

ъ

u

u

ä

u

u

u

u; o 1

u; au [ɔ] 2

*uh1

ū

ū

y

ū

u

ū

ū

ū

ū

*uh2

u or (w)a? 7

ū or (w)ā? 7

*uh3

ū or (w)ō? 7

*eu

*eu

ō

ə̄u, ao 4

ju

iau

oy

u

u

eu

ū

ūa; ō 9

iu

*h1eu

*ou

*ou

u

au

ou; o, au

ou

au

*h3eu

*au

(*au3)

aw

au

au

*h2eu

*ēu

*ēu

āu

āu

u

iau

ū?

au

*ōu

*ōu

ō

*m̥

*m̥

a

a

ę

im̃; um̃14

am

äm

am

a

em

em am

um

*m̥̅

*mH

ā

ā

ìm;ùm 14

ama

mē,mā,mō

*m̥m

 

am

am

ьm/ъm

im;um 14

am

am

em

am

*n̥

*n̥

a

a

ę

; 14

an

än

an

a