Sunday, November 28, 2010

Addendum and Corrigendum: the non-present stem of iterative-causatives

On pg. 439 in discussing the origin of the p.p.p. in -itus < *-etos of 2nd conjugation verbs I wrote:

At an early date, probably in western dialectal Proto-Indo-European, (fn. 55) the following analogy took place:
*kap-ye- : *kap-to- :: *moneye- : X, X = *mone-to-.
In other words, the suffix *-eye- was reanalyzed as stem in e- plus suffix *-ye-. In the formation of the verbal adjective in *-to- the suffix *-ye- was truncated.

In fn. 55 thereto I wrote: The same analysis and analogy is evidently reflected in the Germanic past participles of the first weak class, e.g. Goth. nasiÞs* ‘saved’ < *nosetos.

This is not quite sufficient and not entirely correct either.  First, it was not just the p.p.p. that the stem in e- is found but also in the perfect active in -  from *e-w-ai, e.g. monuī  < *mone-wai. Second, the Gothic evidence is inconclusive since i can of course reflect either *e or *i and in general the union vowel of p.p.p. copies the stem vowel of the present. As a matter of fact the isolated ON mettr 'full, satiated' from the verb *matija- 'to satiate' with i-umlaut points to a proto-form *matiđa- with an *i. So it seems that Germanic did not partake of this innovation. Third, Celtic did partake in this innovation.  This is clear from Old Irish W 2 a verbs (old iterative-causatives) which contrast raising in the present stem, e.g. do luigi < *-log-ī- < *-logeye-ti vs. no raising in the s-preterite, e.g. do loig 'forgave' < *-loge-st, and in the pret. pass. -logad < *-loge-to-, an old verbal adjective. Identical facts are seen in Middle Welsh where ī-presents with o-grade roots have pret. stems in -es. This seems to be a a significant but under-appreciated common innovation of Italo-Celtic. See Schulze-Thulin 2001:86-9 with earlier literature.

Schulze-Thulin, Britta, 2001. Studien zu den urindogermanischen o-stufigen Kausativa, Iterativa und Nasalpräsentien im Kymrischen. Innsbruck: Innsbrucker Beiträge zur Sprachwissenschaft.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Rasenna Blog

I want to call your attention to the new Rasenna Blog  just launched by my esteemed colleague and fellow Beech Stavite, Rex Wallace. The blog about Etruscan language and inscriptions promises to be fascinating.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Don't buy my book!

from here.  The Book Depository (I hope not located in Dallas) is selling my book for $152.15.  I don't know why you'd buy it from them and pay double what you could pay if you bought it from Beech Stave directly unless you just do whatever Amazon tells you to do.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Kevin Muse of the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee alerts me to this mistake on p. 68 3. b "For this statement..." should read "From this statement..."  Kevin has also compiled a page-consecutive file of the corrections and additions to OHCGL made thus far which I intend to post soon—only the serious ones are included, not the silly ones. This way you will be able to print it out and keep it with your hard copy.  Thanks, Kevin! 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Ligurrio etc.

On pg. 79 fn. 58 I cite the form ligūriō in connection with the development of medial *gh.  However, the best attested spelling for this verb and apparently for its close relatives scaturriō and scalpurriō is with two r's.  Not surprisingly none of these verbs or their derivatives are attested in inscriptions, but the oldest codex of Terence the 4th/5th century Codex Bembinus has geminate -rr- at lines 235 (ABLIGURRIERAT) and 936 (LIGURRIUNT) of the Eunuchus. I don't yet know what to make of these forms from the historical point of view.  Given my stated views on the littera rule, I'm not keen on deriving them from -ūriō.  The image of l. 235 above is scanned from Sesto Preste, 1970. Il codice di Terenzio vaticano latino 3226. Vatican City: Biblioteca apostolica vaticana.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A surprising mismatch

On pg. 467 I mention the word ōvum 'egg' which seems not to have been affected by whatever rule changed *oktōwos into octāvus.  This may have been due to the ō occurring in the initial, i.e. in the Proto-Italic stressed syllable, as I said in the book, or, as Alexis Manaster Ramer suggests to me, due to the absolute initial position of the ō. In any case AMR also calls my attention to the strange fact that the Romance languages reflect Proto-Romance open o (Ital. uovo, Sp. huevo, Fr. oeuf), which normally is the reflex of a Latin short o. There is no absolutely satisfactory explanation for this.  Meyer-Lübke suggested ōvum became ōum by regular loss of w before a back vowel and that became oum by pre-vocalic shortening.  The w was then restored from the genitive ōvī.  Rohlfs also starts from  ōum  but since the reflexes of long ō and short u would both have been a close o he suggest that the first of the two identical vowels was dissimilated to an open o.  This seems a bit more straightforward and has the parallel of Ital. tuo < *tuoo, cf. the plural tuoi, reflecting an open and not the expected  close o in the first syllable.  In any case the long vowel of Latin ōvum is very well established starting from Ennius' Ova parire solet genus pennis condecoratum.

A New Lemnian Inscription

Through the kindness of Professor Carlo de Simone I've learned of a significant new inscription in the "Tyrsenian" language of Lemnos.  The inscription from the site of Efestia is on a rectangular stone block once probably supporting a dedicated object. It reads

soromš : aslaš hktaonosi : heloke

The interpuncts actually have three points.  The form heloke is almost certainly a preterite 3rd sg. verb form and hktaonosi probably a pertinentive. soromš and aslaš are probably the subject phrase.

See de Simone, Carlo. 2009. La nuova iscrizione tirsenica di Efestia. In Aglaia Archontidou, Carlo de Simone, and Emanuele Greco (eds.) Gli scavi di Efestia e lanuova iscrizione ‘tirsenica’. Athens: Scuola Archeologica Italiana di Atene.