Tropylium wrote:WeepingElf wrote:Tropylium wrote:BTW, for a minor thredjack, how much of the laryngeals' fate is pre-PIE and how much post-PIE? Similarly, how much of it would be common post-exo-Anatolian? I never see this explained clearly, with an implication that it's all branch-specific, but yet changes like h2e h2a, or eh1 e: appear to be shared by everything.
The three laryngeals certainly were still there after the break-off of Anatolian, as the details of their loss are different in the various branches; and they could not have merged into one either, as they yield different vowels in syllabic position in Greek.
No, that only proves that "syllabic laryngeals", whatever those were, couldn't have merged yet, and cross-linguistical evidence considered, them having been actual syllabic voiceless spirants seems almost impossible. I'm tempted to think of those three as phonetically something like [ɪ ə ʊ], and if so, there should've been no reason for them to merge simultaneously with their consonantal counterparts.
And what you alluded to is exactly what I'm asking here: to what extent are the details of their loss different, and what prevents the non-different parts then from being inherited common innovations? I think it's oversimplifying the situation to just state "*eh2 a:" as if that were a single step. Phonetically, this would appear to have gone thru at least three or so stages: *eh2 ah2 ah a:. This kind of a detailed view allows both for, say, to retain a separate laryngeal phoneme until PBS and PII (perhaps elsewhere too, but those are the two I've explictly seen to require laryngeal retention), while still avoiding having to postulate the previous steps as shared but nonherited.
Indeed, the non-syllabic laryngeals, after colouring adjacent vowels (which went the same way in all branches and thus probably predates break-up), behave all the same in non-Anatolian IE languages, so they may indeed have merged into */h/ before the break-up of non-Anatolian IE. Yet, phenomena such as the Vedic and Avestan "laryngeal hiatus" (where certain long vowels behave metrically as if they were two vowels with a consonant between), and some peculiarities of accentuation in Balto-Slavic hint at the existence of laryngeals (though not necessarily three distinct ones) at a stage when the branches had already begun to diverge. Only for the syllabic laryngeals we really have to posit distinctness after break-up, though the Greek "prothetic vowels" (vowels which reflect initial pre-consonantal laryngeals - *h1 as /e/, *h2 as /a/ and *h3 as /o/ - which are lost in most other languages) may pose a problem here.