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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:51 am 
Avisaru
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Which is news to me! Beckwith argues that when the traditionalists argue that the three-way distinction of voiceless vs. voiced vs. voiced aspirated is maintained by Germanic, Italic, Greek and Indic, while the voiced and voiced aspirates collapse together in Celtic, Balto-Slavic and Iranian, they've got it backwards- in point of fact there was a two-way voiced vs. voiceless distinction, and the former group of languages actually innovated an aspirated/breathy-voiced series from an allophonic distinction later on.

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This does have the convenient advantage that it explains, kind of, the weird constraints on roots that disallow formations like **deg- or **dʰek-, as well as the near-absence of /b/. He's not very clear on just what the conditions were for the phonemicization of the aspirated stops were,

That's the important part, and the part that I want to know.

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though, and the whole thing just plain strikes me as really unlikely.

Winter's law (which occured in Balto-Slavic) operated in front of voiced stops, but not voiced aspirated stops. This shows that Balto-Slavic made the distinction at one time before it merged them.

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(He also doesn't reconstruct a palatovelar or labiovelar series of stops).

I had a thread ( viewtopic.php?f=7&t=41938 ) about that this summer. After reading http://dnghu.org/indo-european-grammar/ ... nology.htm , I don't like to reconstruct the palato-velar series either. I wouldn't do away with the labiovelar series though.

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I can send the PDF to anyone who wants a look-through- but what's going on here?

I want it. Perhaps you could just upload it to mediafire in a password-protected zip/rar?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:57 am 
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Terra wrote:
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though, and the whole thing just plain strikes me as really unlikely.

Winter's law (which occured in Balto-Slavic) operated in front of voiced stops, but not voiced aspirated stops. This shows that Balto-Slavic made the distinction at one time before it merged them.


I'd forgotten that! Doesn't Celtic also have different reflexes for *gʷ and *gʰʷ in at least some instances?

Also, I've put the PDF on my Google Drive- you should be able to access it here.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:40 am 
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FearfulJesuit wrote:
Terra wrote:
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though, and the whole thing just plain strikes me as really unlikely.

Winter's law (which occured in Balto-Slavic) operated in front of voiced stops, but not voiced aspirated stops. This shows that Balto-Slavic made the distinction at one time before it merged them.


I'd forgotten that! Doesn't Celtic also have different reflexes for *gʷ and *gʰʷ in at least some instances?

Also, I've put the PDF on my Google Drive- you should be able to access it here.

1) Yes. PIE *k^w -> PCelt *kw, PIE *gw -> PCelt *b, PIE *gwh -> PCelt *gw. What happened to these labiovelars after that depends on which branch of Celtic you follow, naturally named P-Celtic and Q-Celtic.
2) Okay, I'm reading it now.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:41 am 
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I've read it. To sum up:
- PIE originally had just two series of stops: voiceless and voiced
- The voiced series had the allophones [B, D, G] and [b, d, g].
- The allophonic voiced stops became phonemic voiced aspirated stops.
- /B/ merged with /w/ (He claims that evidence of this is shown by the unusually high number of roots that start with *w, which were formerly *b before merging.). /D/ and /G/ had nothing to merge with, and simply hardened to become phonemic /d/ and /g/.
- He argues that the occurrence of Grassman's Law in both Greek and Sanskrit shows that it was originally a PIE thing, not a separate and identical innovation.

My thoughts/concerns:
- I haven't seen any frequency data for PIE phonemes. I would very much like to.
- With only 2 series of stops, that gives 2*2=4 types of CVC root forms. After the phonemicization, that gives 3*3=9 types, 3 of which are illegal. He doesn't say why roots of the form *deg became *dhegh, and why *teg and *dek didn't become *tegh and *dhek. As for why/how *degh and *dheg appear at all, he says they ""occur under highly constrained conditions, and are shown by Grassman (1863/1967) to be secondary developments of *dhegh."" What exactly these conditions are, he doesn't say. (Again, this is the important part, and really shouldn't be left out...)
- He doesn't mention *kw and *gw at all; I assume he thinks that they were just allophones of *k and *g.
- I'm not sure why he thinks Celtic fits into "group C" when PCelt had the *gw->*b and *gwh->*gw shift.
- Ditto for Balto-Slavic with Winter's Law.

Afterthoughts:
- I really want to see some frequency data (that also notes phoneme position in the root). Are the root forms *degh and *dheg really so rare? If they are, I haven't noticed it.
-- I could write a program to do this, but I don't think I want to make this in an excel spreadsheet, which will mean it's a little less portable when I'd share it.
-- Writing the dictionary of roots would be long and tedious, but necessary to get an fair view of the frequency. Also, I'd have to go through multiple dictionaries to get all the roots. (I'm eager for Lubotsky's Pokorny 2.0 project to be finished in a couple years so they'd all be compiled in a single dictionary.)


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:31 am 
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There's always morrigan's one. It's got a lot of problems (uses more than one notation system, repeats roots, some entries lack info, some entries seem dubious), but it's the best thing I've seen (which is ridiculous, frankly - some conlanger on the internet should NOT be able to produce the best resource for the vocabulary of the mother-language of half the globe).

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:38 am 
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Salmoneus wrote:
There's always morrigan's one. It's got a lot of problems (uses more than one notation system, repeats roots, some entries lack info, some entries seem dubious), but it's the best thing I've seen (which is ridiculous, frankly - some conlanger on the internet should NOT be able to produce the best resource for the vocabulary of the mother-language of half the globe).


Yes. There currently is no up-to-date PIE etymological dictionary on the market. Everybody in academia still uses Pokorny's Indogermanisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch even though it is more than half a century old and utterly out of date. Morrígan's spreadsheet, despite all problems with it, is indeed the best source of PIE lexicon that is currently available!

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:22 pm 
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WeepingElf wrote:
Salmoneus wrote:
There's always morrigan's one. It's got a lot of problems (uses more than one notation system, repeats roots, some entries lack info, some entries seem dubious), but it's the best thing I've seen (which is ridiculous, frankly - some conlanger on the internet should NOT be able to produce the best resource for the vocabulary of the mother-language of half the globe).


Yes. There currently is no up-to-date PIE etymological dictionary on the market. Everybody in academia still uses Pokorny's Indogermanisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch even though it is more than half a century old and utterly out of date. Morrígan's spreadsheet, despite all problems with it, is indeed the best source of PIE lexicon that is currently available!


For some reason this reminds me of the sterling work amateur astronomers do by discovering novae and so on.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:30 pm 
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araceli wrote:
WeepingElf wrote:
Salmoneus wrote:
There's always morrigan's one. It's got a lot of problems (uses more than one notation system, repeats roots, some entries lack info, some entries seem dubious), but it's the best thing I've seen (which is ridiculous, frankly - some conlanger on the internet should NOT be able to produce the best resource for the vocabulary of the mother-language of half the globe).


Yes. There currently is no up-to-date PIE etymological dictionary on the market. Everybody in academia still uses Pokorny's Indogermanisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch even though it is more than half a century old and utterly out of date. Morrígan's spreadsheet, despite all problems with it, is indeed the best source of PIE lexicon that is currently available!


For some reason this reminds me of the sterling work amateur astronomers do by discovering novae and so on.


Indeed - things like this show that amateurs can do meaningful and valuable scholarly work! Science is much more than just "big science". Sure, amateurs cannot afford particle colliders, interplanetary probes or supercomputers, but there is still a lot of things to do for them. The professionals may have more resources at their disposal, but they still cannot look everywhere.

In astronomy, archaeology, local history and some other fields, the work of amateurs is indispensable. And historical linguistics is a classical example of a "book discipline" which works entirely without expensive equipment. Anybody can do that, provided he understands the methodology and doesn't let his mind be clouded by idées fixes. And sometimes, "outsiders" come up with fresh ideas because the professionals think too much in a rut. A good example is the laryngeal theory, which was started by an undergraduate student - sure, one that was to become one of the most eminent linguists later, but when he came up with that idea, he was just a student!

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 4:26 pm 
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n ' rm h n a

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 4:55 pm 
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ObsequiousNewt wrote:
n ' rm h n a


Kwod?

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 5:25 pm 
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Excuse me, my device had an epileptic fit. What I was going to say was that there's something to be said for amateurs who are curious having more incentive (a hunger for knowledge) than professional linguists (money, probably) to do any sort of work. I certainly would work on PIE reconstruction myself if I had the basic knowledge to start with.

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Το̨ ανθροπς αυ̨τ εκψον επ αθο̨ οραναμο̨ϝον.
Θαιν. Θαιν. Θαιν. Θαιν. Θαιν. Θαιν. Θαιν.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 5:53 pm 
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WeepingElf wrote:
ObsequiousNewt wrote:
n ' rm h n a


Kwod?

Maybe it was a hint that we should make a proto-language having these and only these as its phonemes? :333

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:44 pm 
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Quote:
There's always morrigan's one.

Aka Goatman, right?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:23 pm 
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Pole wrote:
WeepingElf wrote:
ObsequiousNewt wrote:
n ' rm h n a


Kwod?

Maybe it was a hint that we should make a proto-language having these and only these as its phonemes? :333

I should totally try that, actually; interpreting that as /n ʔ r~ɹ m h n a/ or somesuch. Seems on the short side, though, and with no stops too...

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Το̨ ανθροπς αυ̨τ εκψον επ αθο̨ οραναμο̨ϝον.
Θαιν. Θαιν. Θαιν. Θαιν. Θαιν. Θαιν. Θαιν.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:24 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:15 pm 
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Terra wrote:
1) Why does PIE lack *b in native roots? (Roots that are neither borrowings nor imitations nor cradle words.)

b>w, whence the strange behavior of w (appearing in clusters like *wronkeh2 where j can't)

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:51 am 
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which clusters proved to be surprisingly stable, surviving into english until... what, 1600? and aren't there still some dialects without the rap-wrap merger?

it's too bad the (AFAIK and I'm probably wrong) only wl- word to survive into even middle english underwent metathesis to break up the cluster and then died out

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:31 am 
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Nortaneous wrote:
which clusters proved to be surprisingly stable, surviving into english until... what, 1600? and aren't there still some dialects without the rap-wrap merger?

it's too bad the (AFAIK and I'm probably wrong) only wl- word to survive into even middle english underwent metathesis to break up the cluster and then died out

According to Wikipedia: "/wr/ and /r/ remain distinct in the Doric dialect of Scots, itself derived from Middle English. In Doric, /wr/ is pronounced /vr/."


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:40 am 
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R.Rusanov wrote:
Terra wrote:
1) Why does PIE lack *b in native roots? (Roots that are neither borrowings nor imitations nor cradle words.)

b>w, whence the strange behavior of w (appearing in clusters like *wronkeh2 where j can't)


*b > *w is a possibility; another would be a chain shift *b > *bh > *w; both, especially the latter, would have to have happened before the rise of the root syllable constraints. But I am sceptical about such an explanation.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:56 am 
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clawgrip wrote:
Nortaneous wrote:
which clusters proved to be surprisingly stable, surviving into english until... what, 1600? and aren't there still some dialects without the rap-wrap merger?

it's too bad the (AFAIK and I'm probably wrong) only wl- word to survive into even middle english underwent metathesis to break up the cluster and then died out

According to Wikipedia: "/wr/ and /r/ remain distinct in the Doric dialect of Scots, itself derived from Middle English. In Doric, /wr/ is pronounced /vr/."

But does anyone actually have [wr] there anymore? Maybe Elfdalian...


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:33 am 
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Nortaneous wrote:
it's too bad the (AFAIK and I'm probably wrong) only wl- word to survive into even middle english underwent metathesis to break up the cluster and then died out

Which one?

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 8:32 am 
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Ulrike Meinhof wrote:
Nortaneous wrote:
it's too bad the (AFAIK and I'm probably wrong) only wl- word to survive into even middle english underwent metathesis to break up the cluster and then died out

Which one?


The only one I've found so far is OE wlāte > ME wlate > ModE waltsome, meaning "loathesome", but that's listed as archaic or dialectal on Wiktionary.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 9:08 am 
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Terra wrote:
- I really want to see some frequency data (that also notes phoneme position in the root). Are the root forms *degh and *dheg really so rare? If they are, I haven't noticed it.

For totally different reasons (tense stem distribution of verbal stems), I once made an Excel sheet of the roots in LIV (Lexikon der Indogermanischen Verben) and one thing I included was the root structure, probably because I was bored.
I made a quick count of the root structures and came up with the following (all possible errors and miscounts henceforth are mine, not LIV's):
T...K: 80
T...G: 40
T...Gh: 13 (7 uncertain)
D...K: 11 (3 uncertain)
D...G: 1 (*gweh2b-, which looks suspect, because /b/)
D...Gh: 22
Dh...K: 9 (8 uncertain, only certain example is *bhrekw-)
Dh...G: 32
Dh...Gh: 41

If we look strictly at the CeC-roots (which are quite rare by themselves, only 26 of these type in LIV and 43 in Pokorny), we get the following picture:
TeK: 16 (Pokorny: 13)
TeG: 2 (8)
DeK: 1 (5)
DeGh: 2 (4)
DheG: 4 (4)
DheGh: 5 (8)

(Pokorny also mentions 1 DeG-root: *bed-)
(Pokorny counts are from here:http://www.utexas.edu/cola/centers/lrc/ielex/PokornyMaster-X.html)
(BTW I didn't count roots with an s-mobile)

Make of this what you will. Please note that the LIV-data only contain verbal roots.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:30 pm 
Avisaru
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FearfulJesuit wrote:
Terra wrote:
Quote:
though, and the whole thing just plain strikes me as really unlikely.

Winter's law (which occured in Balto-Slavic) operated in front of voiced stops, but not voiced aspirated stops. This shows that Balto-Slavic made the distinction at one time before it merged them.


I'd forgotten that! Doesn't Celtic also have different reflexes for *gʷ and *gʰʷ in at least some instances?

Also, I've put the PDF on my Google Drive- you should be able to access it here.



On one part:

Quote:
Moreover, the traditional three-way phoneme system - unvoiced unaspirate : voiced unaspirate voiced aspirate - is not merely unnatural, it seems to be unattested in any known language, as noted by Jakobson in 1958 (Miller 1977).


http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Improbable_things_happen

Seriously. Improbable things happen. This "PIE couldn't have X because X is rare" is a non-sequitur. We don't care about what happens in other languages, we care about what happened in PIE.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:54 pm 
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ObsequiousNewt wrote:
Excuse me, my device had an epileptic fit. What I was going to say was that there's something to be said for amateurs who are curious having more incentive (a hunger for knowledge) than professional linguists (money, probably) to do any sort of work. I certainly would work on PIE reconstruction myself if I had the basic knowledge to start with.


Yeah, professional linguists are totally driven by money, not a hunger for knowledge. That's where the old stereotype of the greedy, sit-on-her-ass linguist comes from. Noam Chom$$$ky, amirite?

In all serious, most of the professional linguists I've met (I guess I'm technically one, because I get a stipend) are super curious and driven by a desire to figure out the puzzle that is language. I've met very few respected linguists who don't prioritize understanding over e.g., politics, money, etc.

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