By Peter Barber
This publication is an research of ways semivowels have been realised in Indo-European and in early Greek. extra particularly, it examines the level to which Indo-European *i and *y have been self sustaining phonemes, in what respects their alternation used to be predictable, and the way this case replaced as Indo-European constructed into Greek.
The complete nature of this learn, its chronological sensitivity, and cautious overview of what's inherited and what's leading edge, permits important conclusions to be drawn concerning the behaviour of semivowels at quite a few levels within the heritage of Greek and in Indo-European itself.
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Additional resources for Sievers' Law and the History of Semivowel Syllabicity in Indo-European and Ancient Greek
The outcome of all this is that we are not obliged to say that Sievers’ Law was a development of Germanic, though in the end that could still turn out to be the case. Indeed the converse of Sievers’ Law, which is certainly Germanic, would be suﬃcient to produce the patterns we observe, assuming that we do not take it to have been an analogical pattern ultimately owing its existence to an inherited Sievers’ Law. In any case, the prospect of comparison is left open, and we can now consider some suspiciously similar patterns of semivowel syllabicity alternation in Vedic.
With ˘ ˘ the morphologically motivated sequence VCu+vV realized as [VCvV]. However, Seebold (1972:45–6) has put forward a convincing alternative explanation for sunváh.. He argued that it could be an analogical replacement for *su-nu-váh.. ) and ´sak-nu-vah. (1st dual) from a synchronic perspective, it would be possible to infer a rule of v-deletion: ´sak-nuv-ánti : ´sak-nu-vah. ). , which cannot be explained by Edgerton’s Converse:57 ´sak-nuv-ánti : ´sak-nu-mah. ). 55 It is very diﬃcult to ﬁnd evidence for an Indo-European phoneme *¯ı that cannot be plausibly resolved into a sequence of *i + *H.
2. 6). We might note that Cw- clusters are found at the beginning of words,36 and there are no Sievers’ Law eﬀects involving w/u in Gothic (a point developed by Vennemann 1971). This would appear to be a coherent set of facts under a constraint-based theory: Gothic does not have a constraint against *Cw in the onset, and therefore we also fail to see word-internal syllabicity alternation in the Sievers’ Law mould. But Riad (2004) is sceptical. g. g. swein ‘pig’, twaddje ‘second’. g. g. kniu ‘knee’, knussjan ‘fall down’ (Riad 2004:195–6).
Sievers' Law and the History of Semivowel Syllabicity in Indo-European and Ancient Greek by Peter Barber