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Nostratic (was Re: Schwebeablaut (was Re: tolkien?))

From:Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>
Date:Sunday, December 14, 2003, 21:57

On Sun, 14 Dec 2003 16:41:11 -0500,
Paul Bennett <paul-bennett@...> wrote:

> On Sun, 14 Dec 2003 20:06:41 +0100, Andreas Johansson <andjo@...> > wrote: > > > 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.
I don't know about the reconstructions you talk about, but as for why I reconstruct the pre-ablaut forms with *a rather than *e, see my previous post in the "Schwebeablaut" thread. As *a doesn't contrast with an *e in pre-ablaut PIE as I see it, it is merely a matter of naming, and I prefer a name that describes what must have been.
> 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?
I also think that certain scholars reconstruct more phonemes than they should. They apparently try to make their sound correspondences simple in terms of avoiding conditional rules, thus they posit a separate phoneme for each correspondence set. And because they try to get at least six different families under one hat, things can indeed get quite hairy. Greetings, Jörg.


Paul Bennett <paul-bennett@...>