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Re: Analogy: cases & prepositions; verbal inflection & adverbs

From:Lars Henrik Mathiesen <thorinn@...>
Date:Thursday, June 15, 2000, 11:38
> Date: Wed, 14 Jun 2000 20:36:11 CDT > From: Danny Wier <dawier@...>
> I read that too. In fact, many IE-ists (and Nostratists) believe that > Indo-European went through an ergative state, reflected possibly in > Anatolian (Hittite et al).
I have posted several longer versions of this, which should be in the archives, but in short: The idea of an ergative stage in PIE does not seem to be widely held among active workers in the field anymore. For a long time, Soviet linguistics was run by a man who maintained that there is a natural progression from active over ergative to nominative languages --- so Soviet linguists naturally tended to see things that way. (Both out of political expedience and because that was what they were taught). And most early work in Nostratic, as well as a lot of work on early PIE, was done by Soviet linguists. In fact the most cited example of an ergative construction in Hittite is mostly found in the _late_ stages of the language. Lars Mathiesen (U of Copenhagen CS Dep) <thorinn@...> (Humour NOT marked)