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zompist bboard • View topic - The Great Proto-Indo-European Thread

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THIS IS AN ARCHIVE ONLY - see Ephemera
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:05 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:21 pm 
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Except "*bʰrēt-" isn't a root. breath < *brēþiz is a derivative of *brēaną "to fume, smell" < *bʰreh₁-.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:55 pm 
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That seems like a possibility, actually: maybe *Dʰ-t roots (secondary or not) have tended to get reanalyzed as *t-suffixed derivatives of shorter roots?

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:12 am 
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:56 am 
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Strictly speaking, the statement that PIE had no *b < **ɓ is too strong - it probably did exist in native PIE words, it was just uncommon. Even still, even if late PIE had no *b, that doesn't rule out no **ɓ, as there could have been sound changes at any point that eliminated it.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:54 pm 
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Yeah, in what I thought was the default version of the Cao Bằng model, there would have been only a short period where PIE had /ɠ/ but not /ɓ/. It would have been first /ɓ/ > /w/ and/or /m/ and then /ɗ/ and all other implosives > /d/, etc. I seem to recall reading that there are examples of /ɓ/ unconditionally leniting, but I don't remember any examples and could be wrong.

Even still, it's a weakness of the Cao Bằng model that it can't explain the absence/infrequency of *b < **ɓ without additional provisos. I was thinking recently about Beckwith's voiced fricative (or affricate?) model, which has the advantage that it explains the *b gap. If the so-called mediae series was *β, *ð, *ɣ, etc., then it's reasonable that *β would merge with *w, while there was nothing comparable for the others to merge with. Is it possible that this stage happened in the middle of the Cao Bằng process? i.e., /ɓ/ > /β/ > /w/, /ɗ/ > /ð/ > /d/, etc.? Is there any precedent for general spirantisation of implosives?

Why combine this with Cao Bằng at all; why not just start with the voiced fricatives? For one thing, it doesn't have the articulatory markedness that could explain the prohibition on roots with two mediae. This is not very strong, however, since PIE seems to have had a general trend to avoid similar consonants in roots. More points against original fricatives:

would voiced fricatives really be so marked that they would be avoided in conjugation suffixes? One might think that fricatives would be favored in these positions. Perhaps the voiced fricatives in suffixes lenited further to ∅. But there's no evidence I know of that this affected the other fricatives (*s and probably some or all of the laryngeals).

voiced fricatives don't fit with the model of Proto-Balto-Slavic where mediae are preglottalised.

Instead of voiced fricatives, we could consider a prenasalised series instead, which would answer some of these objections. So, /ᵐb/ > /m/, /ⁿd/ > /d/, etc. But, if /ᵐb/ could merge with /m/, why not /ⁿd/ with /n/? Perhaps /n/ was alveolar while /ⁿd/ was dental, and speakers didn't feel those were similar enough to merit the merger.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:29 pm 
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Or you could just have ejectives. [Or preglottalised stops]

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:37 pm 
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The problem there is that they're diachronically inconvenient, see .


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:52 am 
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One possibility is that they were ejectives in an earlier stage, but shifted to implosives still before the break-up.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:26 am 
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It's possible, yeah, but ad-hoc at this point.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:37 am 
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:44 am 
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Realistically, Uralic need not tell us very much - assuming a shift ejective > implosive > voiced stop, there's no reason to assume that it was still in the 'ejective' phase in PIU.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:54 am 
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Fair. The main reason for ejectives rather than implosives is the paucity of the labial member, which is a trait more characteristic for ejective rather than implosive systems. But it may just be due to the kind of process that led to the emergence of what I prefer to call, agnostically, "emphatic" stops. Perhaps *d is from an affricate, and *g from a uvular, and there simply was nothing that would give a *b. But this particular suggestion is of course nothing but speculation!

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:12 am 
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:51 am 
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Oh. Oh, hang on.

As you may have gathered, I'm skeptical of "Indo-Uralic". My reasoning is at core:

- the proposed reflexes seem easily explained through a mixture of borrowing and coincidence
- genetically and archaeologically, Uralic is clearly associated with a migration from the east, making it a poor match for IE, which came from eastern europe
- even if the pronouns WERE relicts of a deep connexion, there's no reason to assume specifically Indo-Uralic, given the broader MT area and its families

I still think this. HOWEVER. What if we DID accept the relationship? In that case, my points 1 and 2 actually might explain each other...

We know:
- a "Macro-IE" language is likely to have been spoken by the Afanasievo culture (it's genetically and archaeologically indistinguishable from Yamnaya in the west)
- Afanasievo was later swamped by the Okunev culture, migrants from the east and north

So how about this model:
1) two sister languages develop on the steppe: Yamnaya in the west, and Afanasievo in the east. Yamnaya is what we now call 'PIE'.
2) speakers of Afanasievo are overrun by speakers of, let's call it "Proto-Siberian".
3) speakers of Afanasievo almost completely replace their vocabulary with that of Proto-Siberian, leaving only inherited morphology and a small amount of core vocabulary
4) the resulting language - an Afanasievo core with an almost entirely Siberian vocabulary - is "Pre-Proto-Uralic"
5) Pre-Proto-Uralic continues to migrate into Europe. It encounters the Andronovo and Sintashta cultures (let's say "Proto-Tocharian" and "Proto-Indo-Iranian" on its root and borrows a bunch of words from them
6) Pre-Proto-Uralic becomes Proto-Uralic

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:19 am 
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One thing I noticed is that the PIE speakers are assumed to be culturally more advanced than the Uralic, and that it has been this way for more than 4000 years. Your model is difficult to explain given that all or nearly all loanwords seem to have gone the opposite direction.
Edit: I misread but the same applies further east... The branches of Uralic with the best vocab preservation are generally assumed to be th European ones, even Hungarian with its massive tables of sound changes.... so it doesn't really explain the vocab differences between Uralic and PIE since it doesn't explain the vocab differences in Uralic itself.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:33 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:15 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:42 pm 
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is there anything especially appealing about an unmotivated general ejective > implosive shift, other than that it explains the dearth of /b/? Is this shift typologically common?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:48 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:34 pm 
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But the river tripped on her by and by, lapping
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I'se so silly to be flowing but I no canna stay!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:56 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:52 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:42 am 
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I mean technically we can't actually know for sure how the Akkadian "emphatics" were pronounced; I've even heard it proposed that they were in fact aspirates developed under Sumerian influence, which would turn the constraint against multiple emphatics in a root into something more like Grassman's Law. Honestly if you asked me I'd say that the distributional argument is one of the weaker arguments for the glottalic theory in any form, because most of the languages I know with ejectives/implosives have no such restrictions, and indeed one of the language groups often cited as having such a restriction doesn't at all.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:41 pm 
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