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Re: Another Indo-European question

From:Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Monday, July 2, 2001, 5:11
At 8:30 pm +0000 30/6/01, Lars Henrik Mathiesen wrote:
>> Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2001 17:38:29 -0500 >> From: Patrick Dunn <tb0pwd1@...> >> >> How did Proto Indo-European verbs form the infinitive? It seems common >> that IE languages use the theme vowel and an alveolar of some kind; does >> that come from PIE, or does it have another source? > >According to Beekes 1995 (again), they didn't. Or rather, there are no >forms reconstructible to that stage that is known to have had that >function. > >There were lots of ways of forming verbal nouns that were used in >different case forms, mostly dative and accusative, like the Latin >supine still was. Infinitives developed as frozen case forms of these.
Yep - I was going to reply on similar lines, but was away over the weekend :) Languages can work perfectly well without infinitives, e.g. modern Greek. The inifinitive forms that were developed in the various IE languages are IIRC fossilized case forms of verious verbal nouns; they do not show any common treatment. Certainly, as Lars says, no common PIE infinitives can be reconstructed which does seem to me to suggest that they got along without them. Ray. ========================================= A mind which thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language. [J.G. Hamann 1760] =========================================