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Proto-Indo-European, glottalic theory and consonant inventories.

From:Steven Williams <feurieaux@...>
Date:Friday, January 20, 2006, 2:33
Having reread Gamkrelidze and Ivanov's work for about
the tenth time, I decided to skim the Wikipedia
( on
Proto-Indo-European, to get an idea of what the
current state of the theory is.

About midway through the article, I see what appears
to be a more recent reconstruction of the PIE
consonant system, which goes something like this:

voiceless --> p - t - k - q - k_w
ejective/glottalized --> (p') - t' - k' - q' - k_w'
aspirated --> p_h - t_h - k_h - q_h - k_w_h

The first thing I wondered was, who proposed this
system, and when? It's interesting. For one, it posits
a complete uvular system, something that's
typologically a little marked (I mean, neither Quechua
nor the Kartvelian languages typically show such a
three-way contrast, right?).

The article did mention that the uvular-velar contrast
was probably allophonic, and corresponded to the
traditional plain velar vs. palatalized velar
contrast, so the table should be more like this, by
that token:

voiceless--> p - t - k - k_j - k_w
ejective/glottalized --> (p') - t' - k' - k_j' - k_w'
aspirated --> p_h - t_h - k_h - k_j_h - k_w_h

Anyways, is there any actual support for this
supposition, that PIE had an opposition between plain,
ejective/glottalized, and aspirated stops (voicing's
either non-existent or non-contrastive in all three

What are the 'holes' in the theory? Am I totally
misinterpreting all this?

(I know, Wikipedia's hardly a good source for such
relatively obscure scholarly material as this, but
until I figure out how to navigate my university's
labyrinthine journal archives, I'm stuck with that)


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