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Alessandro Del Tomba


The aim of the present article is to trace the origin and the evolution of the Tocharian A ending -äṃ, which is the plural marker of a closed class of nouns, whose Tocharian B counterparts are ranged under other inflectional classes. The results of this investigation are twofold: (1) not only is Tocharian A shown to have generally preserved the Proto-Indo-European situation better than Tocharian B, (2) but it is also argued that some members of this closed class are relevant from an Indo-European comparative perspective, since they have refunctionalised the n-form of the PIE *r/n-stems as a plural marker.

Anthony D. Yates


This paper presents a systematic reassessment of Sturtevant’s Law (Sturtevant 1932), which governs the differing outcomes of Proto-Indo-European voiced and voiceless obstruents in Hittite (Anatolian). I argue that Sturtevant’s Law was a conditioned pre-Hittite sound change whereby (i) contrastively voiceless word-medial obstruents regularly underwent gemination (cf. Melchert 1994), but gemination was blocked for stops in pre-stop position; and (ii) the inherited [±voice] contrast was then lost, replaced by the [±long] opposition observed in Hittite (cf. Blevins 2004). I provide empirical and typological support for this novel restriction, which is shown not only to account straightforwardly for data that is problematic under previous analyses, but also to be phonetically motivated, a natural consequence of the poorly cued durational contrast between voiceless and voiced stops in pre-stop environments. I develop an optimality-theoretic analysis of this gemination pattern in pre-Hittite, and discuss how this grammar gave rise to synchronic Hittite via “transphonologization” (Hyman 1976, 2013). Finally, it is argued that this analysis supports deriving the Hittite stop system from the Proto-Indo-European system as traditionally reconstructed with an opposition between voiceless, voiced, and breathy voiced stops (contra Kloekhorst 2016, Jäntti 2017).

Tijmen Pronk


There are around sixty Indo-European roots that are (sometimes) reconstructed with a vowel *a in the scholarly literature that otherwise fully embraces the laryngeal theory. This number is extremely low compared to the number of morphemes in which the vowels that are traditionally reconstructed as *e and *o are found. This marginal status of the vowel *a is typologically odd and has led some scholars to deny the existence of a vowel *a in Proto-Indo-European or in a precursor of Proto-Indo-European. This paper discusses the comparative evidence for the reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European *a. It concludes that there is insufficient evidence for the reconstruction of *a for any stage of the proto-language.

Jay H. Jasanoff


Central to the problem of the Hittite verbal system is the status of the ḫi-conjugation 3 sg. pret. in -š and its relationship to other sigmatic morphemes—the partly overlapping 2–3 sg. ending -šta, the 2 pl. endings -šten(i) and -šdumat, and the synchronically unanalyzable *-s- of ganeš- ‘find, recognize’ and other s-extended verbal roots. The account of these endings given in Jasanoff 2003 is reviewed and, where necessary, revised.

Parzival auf dem Zauberberg?

Spuren Wolframs von Eschenbach in Thomas Manns Roman

Kathrin Friedrich


Medieval German literature had a deeper impact on Thomas Mann than is typically assumed. The comparison between Wolfram’s von Eschenbach Parzival and Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain illustrates this influence. Nearly 700 years separate both novels, nevertheless, they show amazing parallels. Especially as their narrators are very much alike. Both appear exposed in their stories, utilise Wolfram’s Bogengleichnis, and are unreliable. In addition, they both reflect on their narrations as literary constructs. While Wolfram’s narrator defends his protagonist Parzival for his misdeeds Mann does not bother to do so for Hans Castorp. The heroes and other characters are comparable, but develop differently. Parzival gains knowledge and his identity, whereas Hans Castorp loses both. Parzival fails his first encounter with the grail. Castorp, in contrast, wins a deep insight into life in his Schneetraum; but forgets it immediately. Castorp is as foolish as Parzival when he begins his journey. He is, however, not a grail-quester although Howard Nemerov concludes this in his 1939 dissertation. Yet, the Magic Mountain seems strongly influenced by Parzival. But while the characters in Parzival seek to help the central protagonist, egoism is predominant in the Magic Mountain, the hero stagnates and fails to successfully finish the hero’s journey.

Albrecht Classen


One of our central challenges as medievalists consists of how to respond to the question regarding the relevance of medieval literature and other documents. This article suggests that we can easily draw from medieval heroic literature where ideal and also negative examples of successful/failed leadership are provided. The MHG Nibelungenlied, at least in the first part, illustrates dramatically the consequences of a weak, indecisive, impulsive, and manipulable ruler, whose actions ultimately trigger a whole sequence of hatred, violence, and slaughter. The Old Spanish El Poema de Mío Cid sets out almost at the same point, with the protagonist being exiled because of malignment, but in the course of events, he demonstrates convincingly what makes a true, honorable, admirable, and worthy leader. These two epic poems can serve powerfully as illustrations of failed and successful leadership, and can thus offer significant instructions for modern concerns in politics, business, administration, the church, schools, and universities.

John M. Jeep


This article researches alliterating word-pairs in Wolframs ‘Parzival’. First, all examples from the text are collected and analyzed to elucidate their occurrence in the Old and Middle High German context. It becomes clear which word-pairs have been inherited from Old and (Early) Middle High German, and which were possibly the making of Wolfram himself. In doing so, the inventory of alliterating word-pairs in the early language phases of German is expanded with a few more specimens. We also gain a deeper understanding of their role in the Middle High German courtly novel.