In this article it will be argued that the Indo-European laryngeals *h 2 and *h 3, which recently have been identified as uvular fricatives, were in fact uvular stops in Proto-Indo-Anatolian. Also in the Proto-Anatolian and Proto-Luwic stages these sounds probably were stops, not fricatives.
Re-evaluating the evidence of the R̥gveda and Homer and its implications for PIE
The Proto-Indo-European (PIE) tense-aspect system has been reconstructed since the time of Delbrück (1897) as containing a fundamental opposition between two aspect-denoting stems: An Aorist stem, denoting perfective aspect, and a Present stem, denoting imperfective aspect. This reconstruction is, for practical reasons, based almost entirely on Greek and Vedic. Re-examining the Homeric and R̥gvedic data, I argue on semantic grounds against this century-old understanding of the tense-aspect system of PIE. In its place, I reconstruct the “Aorist” indicative as denoting perfect aspect (not perfective), and the “Imperfect” indicative as a simple past tense (not imperfective). Evidence for this reconstruction is based on the consistent usage in the R̥gveda of the Aorist in the meaning ‘have done X’ (with present reference) and the Imperfect in the meaning ‘did X’ (especially in narrative contexts)—a distribution which frequently has a precise match in Homer.
The history of the definite adjective in Baltic has been the object of a considerable tradition of research. Most studies approach the problem from an angle which emphasizes the prehistory of the construction and its deeper genealogical ties as well as structurally comparable constructions in neighboring languages.
The present paper, however, is primarily concerned with a thorough morphological description of these constructions in the Baltic languages exclusively, and the trajectory of historical developments within attested diachrony. It will be shown that Lithuanian, Latvian and Old Prussian are best addressed independently as they provide rather diverse challenges to an adequate morphological classification. Special prominence will be given to wordhood issues in Old Lithuanian.
This paper argues that the Greek desiderative formation in -σειε/ο- may be explained as continuing a form in *-s-eu̯-i̯e/o-, derived from the weak stem in *-eu̯- of u-stem adjectives built to non-reduplicated s-presents/desideratives of the type Ved. d(h)akṣu- ‘burning’ which is marginally preserved in Mycenaean e-wi-su° and probably Alphabetic Greek φαῦλος and αἴσυλα.
Cooper (2013: 11–12, 2015: 317–320) suggests that /m/ was less sonorous in PIE than /l/, /r/, and /n/. This article discusses the evidence proposed for this analysis and puts forward some further evidence, of differing degrees of strength, from Sanskrit, Oscan, Venetic, Celtic and Greek. It concludes that there is some evidence for a lower sonority of /m/ than /l/, /n/ and /r/ in Greek and Sanskrit, but that the evidence for other languages is inconclusive. There are a number of instances in which /m/ patterns with plosives rather than the other sonorants in a number of other contexts, whose relevance to questions of sonority, however, is not clear. Overall, it is plausible that /m/ may have had a lower sonority than the other sonorants in PIE, but this is not necessarily the explanation for all its odd behaviour relative to the other sonorants in PIE and its descendant languages.
Synchrony and diachrony
Anthony D. Yates and Sam Zukoff
In this paper we develop a synchronic and diachronic analysis of the phonology of partial reduplication in the Anatolian branch of Indo-European. We argue that the reduplicative patterns of Hittite and Luwian differ from Proto-Anatolian, which exhibited an asymmetric treatment of verbal stems with initial consonant clusters: full copying of sibilant-stop clusters, but partial copying of stop-sonorant clusters. We contend that the phonological constraint driving this asymmetry, No Poorly-Cued Repetitions (Zukoff 2017a), was demoted within the separate prehistories of Hittite and Luwian due to independent phonological changes eliminating the distinction between these cluster types. Furthermore, we show that the proposed set of diachronic constraint re-rankings in Hittite and Luwian can be explained under Maximally Informative Recursive Constraint Demotion, a minor reformulation of the Recursive Constraint Demotion algorithm (RCD; Tesar 1995, Tesar and Smolensky 1998, 2000) that favors the high ranking of maximally informative winner-preferring constraints.
Although the morphological components of the Vedic noun dāśvā́ṃs- are, from the Indo-European point of view, relatively transparent (root */dek̑-/ ‘perceive’, perfect participle suffix */-u̯ós-/), the exact derivation of the form is disputed, insofar as its history is bound up with an understanding of Proto-Indo-European “long-vowel preterites” (Schumacher 2005, Jasanoff 2012). This article argues that a shallow synchronic derivation of dāśvā́ṃs- in Vedic Sanskrit encounters problems in both morphology and phonology that have been overlooked by proponents of such a derivation (Jasanoff 2012, LIV 2: 110–111). The article then further proposes that a cognate of dāśvā́ṃs- is to be found in the isolated Homeric adjective, ἀδηκότες, previously without certain interpretation or etymology; here the gloss ‘inattentive, oblivious, unheeding’ is proposed. The etymological connection of dāśvā́ṃs- to Homeric (ἀ-)δηκότ(-ε/ας) thus supports the reconstruction of a Proto-(Nuclear)-Indo-European (PNIE) form *[dēk̑u̯ós-]; within the grammar of PNIE itself, such a form would be synchronically derived as a perfect participle /RED-dek̑-u̯ós-/, in which a “long-vowel” form surfaces in perfect stems whose zero-grade form is phonologically dispreferred and therefore repaired (cf. Schumacher 2005, Zukoff 2014, Sandell 2015a, Sandell 2015b: Ch. 8, Zukoff 2017a: Ch. 5, 7). The larger implication is at least some “long-vowel” preterites of PNIE can be explained as phonologically driven allomorphs of perfect weak stems.
A study on Homer
The pattern (Setting – Topic –) Focus. NB: The Verb always follows, which was proposed by H. Dik in order to describe AG’s left periphery, raises some issues. In particular, it presents a number of exceptions, which scholars (Matić and others) have variously attempted to resolve. In the present contribution, based on case studies drawn from Homer, the following pattern for the Homeric left periphery is proposed: (Setting – Topic – Focus). NB: Unmarked elements follow. This is not dramatically different from Dik’s pattern; rather, it is an extension of it.