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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:07 pm 
Avisaru
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Etherman wrote:
But I'm feeling the urge.
I know.

Etherman wrote:
Of course I'm not making the mistake of trying to fit Afro-Asiatic and Dravidian into the system (which, at best, are sisters to Nostratic) [...]

But this also means that you're working on a reconstruction for a different entity, and both entities are called "Nostratic" due only to a long-lasting confusion.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:09 pm 
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Etherman wrote:
Anyway, the inventory is overloaded because they are forced to add extra consonants to explain PAA and PD correspondences and because of their lax semantic criteria completely unrelated words are assumed to be cognate.
Their reconstructed phonologies also violate many universals of phonetic markedness.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:13 pm 
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TaylorS wrote:
Basilius, quit putting words in my mouth. I was criticizing Illich-Svitych, Dolgopolsky, and Starostin's crappy reconstructions and comparative method screw-ups, not the fact they came from the Former USSR. Get a grip.

Exactly the objection I was to make. It may not be fair to stereotype all Russian-school Nostraticists in the basis of a few people, but when you say "Russian Nostraticists", you can be expected to be referring to the main proponents of that movement, viz. Illich-Svitych, Dolgopolsky, and the Starostins.

Just like when I talk about Dutch Modernist painters, and De Stijl, the assumption can be that I am referring to the kind of work typified by Piet Mondrian or Theo van Doesburg, not that their being Dutch was somehow important.

To make that assumption smells dangerously of racism or ethnicism, or something.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:17 pm 
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Out of interest, Basileus, had TaylorS referred to "the Moscow School of Nostraticists" rather than "Russian Nostraticists" would you have gotten quite so histrionic?

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:53 pm 
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'Nother laryngeal question-I know that h1e, h2e, and h3e became /e a o/, and eh1, eh2, and eh3 became /e: a: o:/, but what about when they interacted with *o?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:57 pm 
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Daquarious P. McFizzle wrote:
'Nother laryngeal question-I know that h1e, h2e, and h3e became /e a o/, and eh1, eh2, and eh3 became /e: a: o:/, but what about when they interacted with *o?


Supposedly, they don't; *oH > ō in basically all languages. The only exception I've ever heard is that in Greek, *h2 can color *o to *a.

Also, and correct me if I'm confused in this account, *h2 is not preserved as a consonant before *o in Hittite. Sometimes.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:13 am 
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Basilius wrote:
But this also means that you're working on a reconstruction for a different entity, and both entities are called "Nostratic" due only to a long-lasting confusion.


I prefer to call it Proto-Siberian, but if I do that most people have no idea what I'm talking about.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:35 am 
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TheGoatMan wrote:
Also, and correct me if I'm confused in this account, *h2 is not preserved as a consonant before *o in Hittite. Sometimes.


My information might be out of date, but last I heard there was still debate about it. Kortland, at least in 2001, subscribed to the theory that *h2 and *h3 were retained before *e but were lost before *o. In an article I have by him he critiques Kimball's theory that *h2 was retained before *o.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:54 am 
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Etherman wrote:
My information might be out of date, but last I heard there was still debate about it. Kortland, at least in 2001, subscribed to the theory that *h2 and *h3 were retained before *e but were lost before *o. In an article I have by him he critiques Kimball's theory that *h2 was retained before *o.

This is probably exactly what I read. I know it is pretty contentious, and probably part of the reason people propose *h4 and *h5 in the first place.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:39 am 
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TheGoatMan wrote:
Etherman wrote:
My information might be out of date, but last I heard there was still debate about it. Kortland, at least in 2001, subscribed to the theory that *h2 and *h3 were retained before *e but were lost before *o. In an article I have by him he critiques Kimball's theory that *h2 was retained before *o.

This is probably exactly what I read. I know it is pretty contentious, and probably part of the reason people propose *h4 and *h5 in the first place.


I'm by no means a PIE expert, but from what I've seen, I suspect *h4 and *h5 (and maybe others) are probably artifacts of the comparative method; anything else would make PIE undeniably weird. Oftentimes the comparative method give us solid results and shows us things that are hidden/unknown but are later confirmed (such as Bloomfield's using it to reconstruct PA xk and çk as distinct clusters from sk/hk and θk), but sometimes it leads us astray. There are no hard and fast rules for deciding when to attribute something to faultiness of the method, unfortunately; but honed instinct tells me that *h4 and *h5 are such a case.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:17 am 
Smeric
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vohpenonomae wrote:
TheGoatMan wrote:
Etherman wrote:
My information might be out of date, but last I heard there was still debate about it. Kortland, at least in 2001, subscribed to the theory that *h2 and *h3 were retained before *e but were lost before *o. In an article I have by him he critiques Kimball's theory that *h2 was retained before *o.

This is probably exactly what I read. I know it is pretty contentious, and probably part of the reason people propose *h4 and *h5 in the first place.


I'm by no means a PIE expert, but from what I've seen, I suspect *h4 and *h5 (and maybe others) are probably artifacts of the comparative method; anything else would make PIE undeniably weird. Oftentimes the comparative method give us solid results and shows us things that are hidden/unknown but are later confirmed (such as Bloomfield's using it to reconstruct PA xk and çk as distinct clusters from sk/hk and θk), but sometimes it leads us astray. There are no hard and fast rules for deciding when to attribute something to faultiness of the method, unfortunately; but honed instinct tells me that *h4 and *h5 are such a case.
The research by William Labov on sound change in English shows that sound changes start in a handful of words and then spreads by analogy. Irregularities in sound changes can happen if the change "shuts off" before analogy is complete. They can also happen if a dialect "imports" a pronunciation of a word from another dialect and then drops the native one (somethings that seems to have been common in Middle English).


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:48 am 
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Dewrad wrote:
Out of interest, Basileus, had TaylorS referred to "the Moscow School of Nostraticists" rather than "Russian Nostraticists" would you have gotten quite so histrionic?

I suspect this was intended to sound sarcastic, but - yes, you seem to be pointing in the right direction.

My reaction would be essentially of the same type as to "one of those ridiculous Neogrammarian reconstructions": clearly a sign of arrogant ignorance (strongly reducing the chances for pleasant and/or productive conversation), but the association with racism wouldn't pop up.

You can imagine, "Russian Nostraticists" (unlike "the Moscow School", as e. g. in phonology) isn't something one hears often while in Russia; contacting with a mindset which eagerly generates and applies such labels is... ehm... morally refreshing.

And, for symmetry, what would be your reaction to "those ridiculous reconstructions by German Indo-Europeanists"?

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:08 am 
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Basilius wrote:
Dewrad wrote:
Out of interest, Basileus, had TaylorS referred to "the Moscow School of Nostraticists" rather than "Russian Nostraticists" would you have gotten quite so histrionic?

I suspect this was intended to sound sarcastic, but - yes, you seem to be pointing in the right direction.
While "histrionic" was indeed intended to be snarky (your response was, let's face it, far from measured), the question is genuine. After all, the Vienna Circle isn't known as the "Austrian Circle", and referring to a major institution is somewhat more neutral than referring to a nationality.

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And, for symmetry, what would be your reaction to "those ridiculous reconstructions by German Indo-Europeanists"?
Personally? I wouldn't be to phased by it. Were I German, I might be more defensive, I suppose.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:27 am 
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I think we are missing out on the bigger picture here: reconstructions of the Moscow-school Nostraticists, as far as I can tell, are pretty ridiculous, though I admit I am basing this mostly on the work of the Starostins.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:55 am 
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Dewrad wrote:
[...] your response was, let's face it, far from measured [...]
I don't think so. Suppose I am planning to publish something related to Nostratic studies. What, I'm already stigmatized as a "Russian Nostraticist"? How witty.

TheGoatMan wrote:
I think we are missing out on the bigger picture here: reconstructions of the Moscow-school Nostraticists, as far as I can tell, are pretty ridiculous, though I admit I am basing this mostly on the work of the Starostins.

Are you speaking of any specific reconstructions proposed for Proto-Nostratic by either of the Starostins? References would be helpful.

Also, I don't think any of the proposed reconstructions for Nostratic can be ridiculed (e. g. from a typological viewpoint) with greater ease than an average PIE reconstruction. Two voiced series vs. one voiceless? Sonants which are neither vowels nor consonants (without a real evidence that e. g. *w and *u were indeed in complementary distribution at any specific moment)? Just one sibilant in an inventory of 20+ consonants? Syllabic laryngeals? All that combined??? (I know that most of these oddities can be gotten rid of in one way or another; my point is, the mainstream IE scholarship didn't bother much until very recently, and reconstructions featuring most of the above at once aren't normally called "ridiculous".)

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:16 pm 
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Basilius wrote:
Dewrad wrote:
[...] your response was, let's face it, far from measured [...]
I don't think so. Suppose I am planning to publish something related to Nostratic studies. What, I'm already stigmatized as a "Russian Nostraticist"? How witty.


Please reread the entire thread. Twice. I understand the offending "Russian Nostraticists" (or perhaps better "the Russian Nostraticists") as referring specifically to a paricular set of linguists, most prominent among them the aforementioned Vladislav Illich-Svitych and Aharon Dolgopolsky. My assumption is that this is how it was intended to be read, not "lol Russian linguists r stoopid and dont no hao to rekonstrukt langwijez"

And as for the Starostins, I'll have to much through my collection of papers and get back to you.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:42 pm 
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TheGoatMan wrote:
Please reread the entire thread. Twice.

I did. And I don't think I'm mistaken about the mindset I've mentioned above. At any rate, I've seen no evidence to the contrary.

TheGoatMan wrote:
And as for the Starostins, I'll have to much through my collection of papers and get back to you.

If you do, I suggest that you start a separate thread for that (and, maybe, drop a PM for me). This subject has little to do with PIE laryngeals and (I hope) can be discussed without throwing faeces into each other (or, actually, the Starostins).

The point being that if the topic doesn't meet my second criterion, it's not worth a separate thread.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:08 pm 
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Basilius wrote:
TheGoatMan wrote:
Please reread the entire thread. Twice.

I did. And I don't think I'm mistaken about the mindset I've mentioned above. At any rate, I've seen no evidence to the contrary.


The "offending parties" were TaylorS and myself and we've both explained what our mindsets were.TheGoatMan gets it (and everyone else for that matter), why don't you?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:21 pm 
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Etherman wrote:
Basilius wrote:
TheGoatMan wrote:
Please reread the entire thread. Twice.

I did. And I don't think I'm mistaken about the mindset I've mentioned above. At any rate, I've seen no evidence to the contrary.


The "offending parties" were TaylorS and myself and we've both explained what our mindsets were.TheGoatMan gets it (and everyone else for that matter), why don't you?

Must be Anglophone chauvinism.

In any case, there seems only marginal reason to propose laryngeals beyond the original three.

More interesting is the case of Grk hippos, which I have seen suggested is actually the product of two word-initial laryngeals, such that Greek would have a rule
HH > hi / #_C
I personally find the Uvular hypothesis quite plausible in that /k q qʷ/ is a more common inventory than /k kʷ q/ globally, and the the former is itself very common among the (West) Caucasian languages.

This also jibes with the idea that *e = /a/ and *o = /ə/, where /a/ had front allophones [æ ⁓ ɛ] or whatever, except not so much near Uvulars, especially *h2 = /χ/.

I'm not sure whose idea that is, or how viable it is ultimately, but it seems to make more sense as a complete narrative than the traditional picture does.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 5:21 pm 
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I've always been enamored of the idea that PIE /o/ was not actually a rounded vowel. It doesn't seem to behave like one, after all. Apparently /o/ sometimes appeared as an unstressed variant of /e/, unrelated to ablaut changes. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwetwores_rule ). And it seems to merge with /a/ in a lot of the branches. So perhaps /a ə/ is the original system, and /e o/ is a later variation (though perhaps even then, the /o/ was really more like [Q] or even [A]).

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 5:50 pm 
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TheGoatMan wrote:
In any case, there seems only marginal reason to propose laryngeals beyond the original three.

More interesting is the case of Grk hippos, which I have seen suggested is actually the product of two word-initial laryngeals, such that Greek would have a rule
HH > hi / #_C


Are there any other words with this supposed *HH? Seems to me that the Greek h could be explained with s-mobile. Explaining the i and pp is more difficult.

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I personally find the Uvular hypothesis quite plausible in that /k q qʷ/ is a more common inventory than /k kʷ q/ globally, and the the former is itself very common among the (West) Caucasian languages.


A good case can be made that the palatal velars were an allophone of the plain velars. The reason the the palatals are more common is simply because *e was the most common vowel (*e triggers the palatalization).

Quote:
This also jibes with the idea that *e = /a/ and *o = /ə/, where /a/ had front allophones [æ ⁓ ɛ] or whatever, except not so much near Uvulars, especially *h2 = /χ/.


I have a different take on it. I assume that most Nostratic vowels became schwa in Pre-PIE. This schwa then developed into *e or *o depending on stress and the voicing or labialization of the following consonant in PIE. I assume that PIE also had an original *a but it did not take part in ablaut (except maybe in some oddball cases due to analogy) because ablaut was originally a phonetic process not a morphological one.

Quote:
I'm not sure whose idea that is, or how viable it is ultimately, but it seems to make more sense as a complete narrative than the traditional picture does.


Glen Gordon has proposed a version of the Uvular Hypothesis with labio-velars instead labio-uvulars. PhoeniX suggests the possibility labio-uvulars.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:49 pm 
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I think the Labio-Velars were Velar for diachronic reasons. IMO the uvulars developed when the middle vowel of a vertical 3-vowel system merged with /a/.

My thinking on the evolution of the Pre-PIE vowel system is thus:

Proto-Europic
/i u @ a/

Labialized consonant formation
/1 @ a/

Phonemization of uvulars
/ka/ > /qa/
/k@/ > /ka/
/1/ > /@/

PIE before pharyngeal elision
/@ a/


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:35 am 
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Etherman wrote:
Typologically any language with aspirated stops has /h/. So this implies that PIE had /h/ as one of its phonemes. My bet is that it was *h1.


That only follos if PIE actually had aspirates. It seems plausible it's a later development from original mediae, and in the branches that clearly have or had them, there either also develops a /h/ (Greek, IA), or the aspirates swiftly become something else (Italic, Iranian).

(As for what the traditional mediae were then, my money's on voiced preglottalized.)

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.

One reason I ask is that there are posited loanwords in Uralic that reflect initial laryngeals as *k, but these are, interestingly enuff, not supposedly from PIE (too limited in distribution for that; some exist only in Finnish), but some separate and otherwise unattested arcaic northwestern branch. Yet it seems to me initial laryngeals were lost alreddy at the exo-Anatolian stage, so that sounds quite fishy.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:22 am 
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Tropylium wrote:
Etherman wrote:
Typologically any language with aspirated stops has /h/. So this implies that PIE had /h/ as one of its phonemes. My bet is that it was *h1.


That only follos if PIE actually had aspirates. It seems plausible it's a later development from original mediae, and in the branches that clearly have or had them, there either also develops a /h/ (Greek, IA), or the aspirates swiftly become something else (Italic, Iranian).


Are you speaking of the standard model's voiced aspirates, or of the Brugmannian voiceless aspirates? The former certainly were a distinct set of stops in PIE, whatever their articulation (not necessarily breathy-voiced, which is found actually only in Indic); the latter have successfully been explained away, mostly by means of laryngeals.

Tropylium wrote:
(As for what the traditional mediae were then, my money's on voiced preglottalized.)


Perhaps.

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.

The loss of laryngeals probably happened at a stage when the branches had already begun to differentiate, but were still close enough together that such innovation could spread from one branch to another (i.e, IE was a differentiated dialect continuum at that stage, in which the later branches were already visible but still to a large degree mutually intelligible). This could have happened about 2500-2000 BC.

Tropylium wrote:
One reason I ask is that there are posited loanwords in Uralic that reflect initial laryngeals as *k, but these are, interestingly enuff, not supposedly from PIE (too limited in distribution for that; some exist only in Finnish), but some separate and otherwise unattested arcaic northwestern branch. Yet it seems to me initial laryngeals were lost alreddy at the exo-Anatolian stage, so that sounds quite fishy.


These loanwords are a difficult matter. There seem to have been borrowings at various stages - from PIE to Proto-Uralic, from Indo-Iranian to Finno-Permic, etc. - and some of the "loanwords" may actually be cognates inherited from Proto-Indo-Uralic, Nostratic or whatever (provided, of course, such a relationship was real).

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:39 am 
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WeepingElf wrote:
Tropylium wrote:
Etherman wrote:
Typologically any language with aspirated stops has /h/. So this implies that PIE had /h/ as one of its phonemes. My bet is that it was *h1.


That only follos if PIE actually had aspirates. It seems plausible it's a later development from original mediae, and in the branches that clearly have or had them, there either also develops a /h/ (Greek, IA), or the aspirates swiftly become something else (Italic, Iranian).


Are you speaking of the standard model's voiced aspirates, or of the Brugmannian voiceless aspirates?

The former, as I presume Etherman was.

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.

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