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
>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
A mind which thinks at its own expense
will always interfere with language.
[J.G. Hamann 1760]