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Re: PIE past time (was: isolating is equivalent to inflected)

From:Rob Haden <magwich78@...>
Date:Thursday, December 15, 2005, 18:45
On Thu, 8 Dec 2005 09:10:24 +0000, R A Brown <ray@...>

>> It is also (generally, at least) passive. That is, _lauda:tus_ >> meant 'having been praised', not 'having praised'. > >Yes, I know - but the question was about _tense_, which often gets mixed >up with aspect, so I didn't see much point in mentioning voice. But, >generally, they were passive, it is true; tho there are some notable >active forms such as 'cenatus' = "having dined, having had supper". >Also, of course, the perfect participles of deponent verbs were always >active in meaning. > >But the point I was making is that the participle denotes perfect >aspect, not past time.
Yes, you're right. Thanks for the correction. :)
>> Current speculation has the Latin imperfect and future tenses arising >> from forms of the IE verb *bheux- 'be(come)' (here I use <x> for 'h2'). >> Corroborating evidence for this hypothesis comes from related Italic >> languages, such as the closely related Faliscan: cf. Faliscan _carefo_ 'I >> will be without' vs. Latin _care:bo:_ (here Faliscan has */bh/ > /f/ in >> medial position, while Latin does not). > >Correct - tho this only applies to the futures of the 1st & 2nd >conjugations, and to the alternative 'non-standard' 4th conj, forms such >as _audibo_ "I shall hear". The futures of the 3rd conj. and the >standard 4th conj. forms seems to have been derived from earlier >subjunctive forms.
Right, although there's the question of why the 1sg ending has a different vowel from the others (e.g. _tegam_ 'I will cover' vs. _teges_ 'you will cover'). Do you have any thoughts about this?
>However, yes, all imperfect indicatives are though to have originated >from the IE verb *bheux- with the sole exceptions of 'eram' "I was" and >'poteram' "I could".
Something else interesting -- why are _eram_ etc. past forms? [snip]
>> What's interesting about the IE verb system is that it must have been a >> system in flux. Namely, at the time of "breakup" (i.e. earliest >> dialectal divergence to interfere with intelligibility), IE's verb >> system was shifting from a primarily aspect-based scheme to a tense- >> based one. > >I am sure you right. Indeed PIE must always have been in a state of flux >as there was no authority for standardizing language at the time. The >idea, which sometimes seems to be given, that at some time in the past >there was a standard, monolithic PIE is surely incorrect. > >The rest snipped - but read with great interest. Thanks, Rob, for the >info. I found it very informative.
You're very welcome. :) I have a hypothesis about IE, namely that it (or its immediate ancestor) was originally an active language, specifically fluid-S. There were two sets of endings for verbs, one for "active" (or transitive) and another for "stative" (or intransitive). Although I'm not sure exactly what categories the two sets distinguished, the first set gave rise to the eventive verbs in the active voice, and the second set gave rise to the stative verbs and the middle voice of eventives. Furthermore, I'll venture to guess that the first set consisted of subject pronouns, while the second set consisted of oblique pronouns. - Rob