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Re: Schwebeablaut (was Re: tolkien?)

From:Paul Bennett <paul-bennett@...>
Date:Sunday, December 14, 2003, 21:37
On Sun, 14 Dec 2003 20:06:41 +0100, Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>

> Quoting Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>: > >> These are indeed quite common in PIE, common enough to have a terminus >> technicus for this phenomenon: it is called Schwebeablaut. >> The origin might have been a difference in accent position: >> >> *CáRaC > *CeRC >> *CaRáC > *CReC >> >> I am planning to use Schwebeablaut in my IE-related conlang family >> "Hesperic", though I don't know yet what exactly to do with it. > > What's the reason to reconstruct with a's rather than as CéreC and CeréC?
My immediate thought when I saw it was "Nostratic, eh?", but that was conditioned by unfamiliarity rather than familiarity. AFAIK, only Baldi and Pokorny require a PIE phoneme /a/ (and sometimes /a:/), and Baldi's reconstruction really does not taste good to me. Speaking of which... Unaccustommed as I am to Nostratic, I remember reading of one particular reconstruction that was good because it "only" needed nine dental phonemes. Nine? Huh? Anyone care to explain this quite remarkable situation? Is Nostratic really that woolly, that the fewest number of dentals required is nine? Paul