The metathesis of *-Hu- and *-Hi- in PIE

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The metathesis of *-Hu- and *-Hi- in PIE

Type: Master thesis
Title: The metathesis of *-Hu- and *-Hi- in PIE
Author: Jakob, Anthony
Issue Date: 2017-08-31
Keywords: Indo-European
Abstract: It was Werner Winter (1965: 192) who first drew our attention to the phenomenon of laryngeal metathesis, that is the idea that a sequence of *-Hu- and *-Hi- apparently underwent metathesis interconsonantally, potentially already at the Proto-Indo-European stage. However, the full evidence has yet to receive a full and systematic appraisal, and there is no consensus as to the age or correctness of this rule. In my research, I hope to find an answer to the following questions (1) Was laryngeal metathesis already present in Proto-Indo-European? More specifically, can it be viewed as an automatic (allophonic) realization of such a sequence, or was it already a phonemicized rule in PIE? (2) What exactly were the conditions for such metathesis, i.e. did it occur between all consonants, including resonants and *s? (3) How can we explain apparent exceptions to this metathesis (Lat. futurum, Gr. φῠτόν, Hirt’s law in Balto-Slavic)? A large part of this research depends on the methodology. The first task I will undertake in my thesis is to establish exactly which languages and language families can give us information on the position of a laryngeal in a full-grade root, and how reliable this information is. I will then highlight a number of positive examples of laryngeal metathesis. Finally, I will evaluate this evidence, and attempt to answer the questions posed above.
Supervisor: Pronk, Tijmen
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: Linguistics (Master)
Specialisation: Comparative Indo-European Linguistics
ECTS Credits: 20

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