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Thread: Is Albanian really a Satem language?

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    Is Albanian really a Satem language?

    So the general rule of thumb for the centum/satem theory is that k and g sounds became s and z. These consonants in general:

    *kʷ, *gʷ, *gʷʰ
    *k, *g, *gʰ
    *ḱ, *ǵ, *ǵʰ

    It is true that this has happened in a lot of cases for Albanian for a great of part of words, but for the majority it doesn't.

    I looked at the slavic word zima, which is related to the word dimer in albanian ("winter"). It comes from the PIE
    *ǵʰ eimn̥o.

    I get that for slavic *ǵʰ -> z, but in albanian this turns into a d. which is nowhere close to a s, th sound?

    Other examples

    *ǵʰ elh₃-u̯o -> djell (sun), related to the world yellow of course.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albanian_language


    If you look on wikipedia the majority of dorsal consonants do not turn into s, or th. so is it considered a satem language, if this shift is only present in some cases?

    Could it maybe be considered an incomplete satem language, can someone lend me a hand here, Im really at my wits end.

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    What "Centum" and "Satem" really means is the treatment of the 'palatovelar' series:
    *ḱ, *ǵ, *ǵʰ
    In the Centum languages, these become merged with the plain velars (that is, they are treated exactly the same), while in the Satem languages, the palatovelars become fricatives, like *s and *z. But this is not universal, for instance compare Latvian "simts", "suns" with Lithuanian "šimtas", "šuo" - meaning "hundred" and "dog", respectively (I might say "hound" instead, because this is the cognate of the Latvian/Lithuanian words, and also actually Centum/Satem-sensitive because the sound in question here is a common *ḱ. It must be pointed out that this should be purely seen as a descriptive feature, because the idea that there was a split into "Centum" and "Satem" branches is certainly false.

    With Albanian, where it has instances of *d in place of a PIE *ǵʰ or *ǵ, these must go back to a previous . Likewise goes back to *ḱ. It is clearly treated differently from PIE *k, *g and *gʰ, which are reflected as *k or *c (for PIE *k) and as *g or (for PIE *g or *gʰ). The developments *k > *c ("q") and *g > *ɟ ("gj") must be a secondary development there, because it happened only before *e, *i, and it must have occured only relatively late, because Latin loanwords are also affected by this:

    "civitas" > "qytet"
    "caelum" > "qiell"
    "canis" > "qen"
    "centum" > "qind"
    "argentum" > "argjend"
    "gallus" > "gjel"
    "lex" (plural "leges") > "ligj"

    but:

    "concilium" > "këshill"
    "conventus" > "kuvend"
    "corona" > "kurorë"
    Last edited by Taranis; 09-12-12 at 15:09.

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    Yes its agreed upon that q and gj are recent developments due to how the latin loan-words are treated.

    An example that intrigues is the *ǵʰuto -> zot shift. *ǵʰuto became gott in german, which is centum i get. but in albanian it doesnt follow the *ǵʰ -> d sound law. it does the slavic *ǵʰ - > z, instead. can a shift only happen for some consonants and not for others?

    And so following up that case is Satem simply the non-conservation of the palatovelars? Meaning not retaining those is the criteria for being qualified as a satem language? If so, I find this theory a bit useless quite frankly.

    Also, what about the extremely common shift in Albanian from *s - > gj. Isnt that a bit like going from satem to centum. its a fricative turned into a palatal stop?

    examples

    *salp -> gjalp

    Eng. Alb.
    semi -> gjysem
    sleep -> gjume
    serpant -> gjarper


    the shift from s - > gj is quite radical and can only happen if the language lived in isolation for a long time. but if it was in isolation then why would it be satemized? isnt satemization due to areal contact ? This doesnt really make any sense.

    I simply dont understand the whole point of this theory. Didnt it become obsolete after the discovery of tocharian anyhow? sorry i touched on too many shit but im getting confused as hell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finalise View Post
    Yes its agreed upon that q and gj are recent developments due to how the latin loan-words are treated.

    An example that intrigues is the *ǵʰuto -> zot shift. *ǵʰuto became gott in german, which is centum i get. but in albanian it doesnt follow the *ǵʰ -> d sound law. it does the slavic *ǵʰ - > z, instead. can a shift only happen for some consonants and not for others?

    Are you sure the etymology is correct? (I don't think it is because PIE *u shouldn't be reflected as *o in Albanian, hence my doubt the root is correct at all) Or, can you think of other examples where *ǵʰ > *z?


    And so following up that case is Satem simply the non-conservation of the palatovelars? Meaning not retaining those is the criteria for being qualified as a satem language? If so, I find this theory a bit useless quite frankly.
    No. None of the attested Indo-European languages preserves the palatovelars (it can be reconstructed though that Proto-Anatolian preserved all three series). The Centum/Satem distinction arises how they are further treated: the Centum languages reflect them the same as plain velars, while the Satem languages reflect them as fricatives.

    Also, what about the extremely common shift in Albanian from *s - > gj. Isnt that a bit like going from satem to centum. its a fricative turned into a palatal stop?

    examples

    *salp -> gjalp

    Eng. Alb.
    semi -> gjysem
    sleep -> gjume
    serpant -> gjarper
    "gjume" is not a cognate with English "sleep". But, it is a cognate however with Greek "hypnos" (υπνος), Latin "somnus", Sanskrit "svapna", Scottish Gaelic "suain", Welsh "hun". The point is, as you can see, the Albanian *ɟ does not correspond with PIE *ǵʰ but with PIE *s, which is not Centum/Satem sensitive.


    the shift from s - > gj is quite radical and can only happen if the language lived in isolation for a long time. but if it was in isolation then why would it be satemized? isnt satemization due to areal contact ? This doesnt really make any sense.
    You're making quite a few suppositions here. Yes, Albanian exhibits quite a few exotic sound changes (I think nobody calls in doubt that Albanian is special), but that doesn't mean Albanian was isolated: if you look at it's input of loanwords, Albanian was in permanent contact with other languages over a time frame of 2500+ years.

    I simply dont understand the whole point of this theory. Didnt it become obsolete after the discovery of tocharian anyhow? sorry i touched on too many shit but im getting confused as hell.
    The term "Satemization" or "Centumization" only makes sense when going from Proto-Indo-European to it's daughter languages. French for example is a language which exhibits sound shifts that might be described as "Satem-like" (*k > *ʃ, *g > *ʒ), but it's parent language (Latin) obviously was a Centum language (for example "caballus" > "cheval", "canis" > "chien").

    It's basically a question of "what sound in language X corresponds regularly with what sound in language Y".

    With Tocharian: it was located in the Tarim basin, far in the east, and the closest nearby IE languages (Indic, Iranic, Slavic) all Satem. This means the idea that this formed an "original split" is certainly wrong. But the concept is still useful to describe the languages. When going from PIE into a specific daughter branch (ie, Proto-Celtic, Proto-Baltic, Proto-Iranic, Proto-Tocharian etc. etc.), these "Centum" or "Satem" sound laws still apply to the respective branches.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    Are you sure the etymology is correct? (I don't think it is because PIE *u shouldn't be reflected as *o in Albanian, hence my doubt the root is correct at all) Or, can you think of other examples where *ǵʰ > *z?

    No. None of the attested Indo-European languages preserves the palatovelars (it can be reconstructed though that Proto-Anatolian preserved all three series). The Centum/Satem distinction arises how they are further treated: the Centum languages reflect them the same as plain velars, while the Satem languages reflect them as fricatives.
    *ǵʰer -> zorre (bowels)
    *ǵʰwen -> zë (sound)


    but *ǵʰ is also retained as a g in some cases which is mind boggling to me

    *ǵʰáns - > gate (goose) (polish has this case as well, which is different to other slavic/baltic terms where it goes to zes)
    *ǵʰer -> gardh (to enclose)

    so *
    ǵʰ goes to a fricative, a d sound, and also a g? wtf is this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post

    You're making quite a few suppositions here. Yes, Albanian exhibits quite a few exotic sound changes (I think nobody calls in doubt that Albanian is special), but that doesn't mean Albanian was isolated: if you look at it's input of loanwords, Albanian was in permanent contact with other languages over a time frame of 2500+ years.
    yes but my point was it was in isolation from the time PIE languages split up, and BEFORE the Roman invasion of the Balkans. All the contact Albanian has made has been recent (past-Roman invasion), and by then it would have already been qualified as centum/satem.

    If it was a satem language, that means its original urheimat couldn't have been in isolation in the balkans, but more north-east in contact with slavs and indo-iranians. but if it was in contact with them, then what's up with the exotic changes?

    could it be that illyrian after 2500 years in contact with thracians and dacians, and later slavic migrations been progressively satemized? could the language be a mix of 2 balkan languages 1 satem 1 centum? I mean is there no chance that some words dont obey sound laws simply because they were borrowings, and people wrongly assume they were derived straight from pie?

    also, assuming anatolian predates the centum/satem "split", around what time would this isogloss began to have happened?

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    Well i wanted to post something but i better not,

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finalise View Post

    *ǵʰáns - > gate (goose) (polish has this case as well, which is different to other slavic/baltic terms where it goes to zes)
    *ǵʰer -> gardh (to enclose)

    "goose" is "patë" in Albanian, not "gatë".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finalise View Post
    So the general rule of thumb for the centum/satem theory is that k and g sounds became s and z. These consonants in general:

    *kʷ, *gʷ, *gʷʰ
    *k, *g, *gʰ
    *ḱ, *ǵ, *ǵʰ

    It is true that this has happened in a lot of cases for Albanian for a great of part of words, but for the majority it doesn't.

    I looked at the slavic word zima, which is related to the word dimer in albanian ("winter"). It comes from the PIE
    *ǵʰ eimn̥o.

    I get that for slavic *ǵʰ -> z, but in albanian this turns into a d. which is nowhere close to a s, th sound?

    Other examples

    *ǵʰ elh₃-u̯o -> djell (sun), related to the world yellow of course.

    Wikipedia Albanian language

    If you look on wikipedia the majority of dorsal consonants do not turn into s, or th. so is it considered a satem language, if this shift is only present in some cases?

    Could it maybe be considered an incomplete satem language, can someone lend me a hand here, Im really at my wits end.
    I don't think that diell is related to yellow. Helios and sol have more affinities with diell.

    Quote Originally Posted by Finalise View Post
    Yes its agreed upon that q and gj are recent developments due to how the latin loan-words are treated.

    An example that intrigues is the *ǵʰuto -> zot shift. *ǵʰuto became gott in german, which is centum i get. but in albanian it doesnt follow the *ǵʰ -> d sound law. it does the slavic *ǵʰ - > z, instead. can a shift only happen for some consonants and not for others?

    And so following up that case is Satem simply the non-conservation of the palatovelars? Meaning not retaining those is the criteria for being qualified as a satem language? If so, I find this theory a bit useless quite frankly.

    Also, what about the extremely common shift in Albanian from *s - > gj. Isnt that a bit like going from satem to centum. its a fricative turned into a palatal stop?

    examples

    *salp -> gjalp

    Eng. Alb.
    semi -> gjysem
    sleep -> gjume
    serpant -> gjarper


    the shift from s - > gj is quite radical and can only happen if the language lived in isolation for a long time. but if it was in isolation then why would it be satemized? isnt satemization due to areal contact ? This doesnt really make any sense.

    I simply dont understand the whole point of this theory. Didnt it become obsolete after the discovery of tocharian anyhow? sorry i touched on too many shit but im getting confused as hell.
    Semi is not English but Latin. In English is said half. But it's true that semi and gjysëm are a lot similar. On the other side sleep and gjumë are totally unrelated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Finalise View Post
    *ǵʰer -> zorre (bowels)
    *ǵʰwen -> zë (sound)


    but *ǵʰ is also retained as a g in some cases which is mind boggling to me

    *ǵʰáns - > gate (goose) (polish has this case as well, which is different to other slavic/baltic terms where it goes to zes)
    *ǵʰer -> gardh (to enclose)

    so *
    ǵʰ goes to a fricative, a d sound, and also a g? wtf is this?



    yes but my point was it was in isolation from the time PIE languages split up, and BEFORE the Roman invasion of the Balkans. All the contact Albanian has made has been recent (past-Roman invasion), and by then it would have already been qualified as centum/satem.

    If it was a satem language, that means its original urheimat couldn't have been in isolation in the balkans, but more north-east in contact with slavs and indo-iranians. but if it was in contact with them, then what's up with the exotic changes?

    could it be that illyrian after 2500 years in contact with thracians and dacians, and later slavic migrations been progressively satemized? could the language be a mix of 2 balkan languages 1 satem 1 centum? I mean is there no chance that some words dont obey sound laws simply because they were borrowings, and people wrongly assume they were derived straight from pie?

    also, assuming anatolian predates the centum/satem "split", around what time would this isogloss began to have happened?
    Goose is said patë which is related to the Spanish and Portuguese pato(duck).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pixelless View Post
    I don't think that diell is related to yellow. Helios and sol have more affinities with diell.



    Semi is not English but Latin. In English is said half. But it's true that semi and gjysëm are a lot similar. On the other side sleep and gjumë are totally unrelated.


    Goose is said patë which is related to the Spanish and Portuguese pato(duck).

    concerning distinct treatments of consonnants in satem languages, don't forget that the systematic drift of consonnants occurred at some stage for the most on PIE reflexes , not on later loan words -
    &: "goose" I think as you: the root *p-t bears a more common meaning : "bird" : slavic languages:
    ptica, ptak, pàtc, ptica, ptica - greek ptenon, letton putns; someones speak about a root *pet- "to fall down", "to dash" >> "to fly", sanskrit pàt-âti "he is flying", pàd-yate "he is falling down", latin pessum ire to fall down" >> pessimus, peius/peior "worst" (<< *pedyos)

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOESAN View Post
    concerning distinct treatments of consonnants in satem languages, don't forget that the systematic drift of consonnants occurred at some stage for the most on PIE reflexes , not on later loan words -
    &: "goose" I think as you: the root *p-t bears a more common meaning : "bird" : slavic languages:
    ptica, ptak, pàtc, ptica, ptica - greek ptenon, letton putns; someones speak about a root *pet- "to fall down", "to dash" >> "to fly", sanskrit pàt-âti "he is flying", pàd-yate "he is falling down", latin pessum ire to fall down" >> pessimus, peius/peior "worst" (<< *pedyos)
    I just corrected a mistake that he made, goose is said patë and not gate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finalise View Post
    Yes its agreed upon that q and gjare recent developments due to how the latin loan-words are treated.

    An example that intrigues is the
    Quote Originally Posted by Finalise View Post
    *ǵʰuto -> zot shift. *ǵʰuto became gott in german, which is centum i get. but inalbanian it doesnt follow the *ǵʰ -> d sound law. it does the slavic *ǵʰ - > z, instead. can a shift only happen for someconsonants and not for others?

    And so following up that case is Satem simply the non-conservation of the palatovelars? Meaning not retaining those is the criteria for being qualifiedas a satem language? If so, I find this theory a bit useless quite frankly.

    Also, what about the extremely common shift in Albanian from *s - > gj. Isntthat a bit like going from satem to centum. its a fricative turned into apalatal stop?

    examples

    *salp -> gjalp

    Eng. Alb.
    semi -> gjysem
    sleep -> gjume
    serpant -> gjarper




    Yes, in Albanian has happened exactly the opposite sound shift assumed by the PIE theory. The examples are many:

    selp- -->gjalpë
    sem -->gjithë
    ser- -->gjizë
    swokWos- -->gjak
    solwo- -->gjallë
    srebh- -->gjerbë
    swep- -->gjumë

    Therefore if the theory is correct, in the case of the Albanian language not only didn't occur the change of the palatovelars to fricatives , which would have justified Albanian to be considered a Satem language, but if we follow strictly the theory' rules but now in reverse, the Albanian should be considered a Centum language, and the PIE a Satem one, which is an absurdity on its own.
    The PIE theory has numerous pitfalls. For instance it is unable to explain how is possible that the same PIE structure, has yielded so many unrelated words in Albanian:

    gWer-/---> gur
    gWer-/---> ngrënë/ngranë
    gWer-/---> grish

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    Quote Originally Posted by Endri View Post
    "goose" is "patë" in Albanian, not "gatë".
    Bro, I was referring to a heron (pelican-like creatures). In Albanian gatë is the name for a heron.

    Pate is a completely different story.

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    Diell is related to Yellow:

    From Proto-Albanian *delwa, from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰelh₃-u̯o (“yellow”). Compare English yellow, Lithuanian žel̃vas ("greenish"), Latin helvus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus10 View Post


    Yes, in Albanian has happened exactly the opposite sound shift assumed by the PIE theory. The examples are many:

    selp- -->gjalpë
    sem -->gjithë
    ser- -->gjizë
    swokWos- -->gjak
    solwo- -->gjallë
    srebh- -->gjerbë
    swep- -->gjumë

    Therefore if the theory is correct, in the case of the Albanian language not only didn't occur the change of the palatovelars to fricatives , which would have justified Albanian to be considered a Satem language, but if we follow strictly the theory' rules but now in reverse, the Albanian should be considered a Centum language, and the PIE a Satem one, which is an absurdity on its own.
    The PIE theory has numerous pitfalls. For instance it is unable to explain how is possible that the same PIE structure, has yielded so many unrelated words in Albanian:

    gWer-/---> gur
    gWer-/---> ngrënë/ngranë
    gWer-/---> grish
    You are doing something very selective here. You are ignoring the fact that with the examples, Albanian "gj" does not correspond with any one of the palatovelars but PIE *s, as can be demonstrated below:

    "gjume" (sleep)

    Latin "somnus"
    Greek "hypnos" (υπνος)
    Scot.Gaelic "suain"
    Welsh "hun"
    Latvian "sapnis"
    Polish "sen"
    Hindi "sapana"

    "gjak" (blood)
    Greek "(h)opos" (οπος)
    Latvian "sveki"
    (note that alternatively, "gjak" might be a cognate with Latin "sanguis", but that doesn't change the validity of this argument)

    "gjalpë" (blood)
    German "Salbe"

    As you can see, this is obviously not in any way relevant to the Centum/Satem isogloss. You are attacking a strawman version of the Centum/Satem isogloss if you say "if we strictly followed the rules". Only that the rules are actually different from those that you claim.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    You are doing something very selective here. You are ignoring the fact that with the examples, Albanian "gj" does not correspond with any one of the palatovelars but PIE *s, as can be demonstrated below:

    "gjume" (sleep)

    Latin "somnus"
    Greek "hypnos" (υπνος)
    Scot.Gaelic "suain"
    Welsh "hun"
    Latvian "sapnis"
    Polish "sen"
    Hindi "sapana"

    That's excactly what I am saying. I am looking at the equation on the reverse. I assume you don't expect to find in modern Albanian the obsolete hypothetical palatovelars. Therefore if the theory presumes that the equation went like this:

    *g -----> *ɟ ----> gj

    and since we don't know the PIE words but we can reconstruct them, everybody expects that the reverse equation would appear like this:


    gj-----> ------->*g


    But actually it doesn't. The reconstructed PIE words turn out to start with a fricatives *s. And my examples are too many to be considered "something very selective".

    "gjak" (blood)
    Greek "(h)opos" (οπος)
    Latvian "sveki"
    (note that alternatively, "gjak" might be a cognate with Latin "sanguis", but that doesn't change the validity of this argument)

    "gjalpë" (blood)
    German "Salbe"

    As you can see, this is obviously not in any way relevant to the Centum/Satem isogloss. You are attacking a strawman version of the Centum/Satem isogloss if you say "if we strictly followed the rules". Only that the rules are actually different from those that you claim.
    I dont know what you mean by comparing Albanian gjak(blood) with Greek οπος(like, as). Also I dont understand why you wrote:

    "gjalpë" (blood)
    because gjalpë means butter and not blood.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus10 View Post
    That's excactly what I am saying. I am looking at the equation on the reverse. I assume you don't expect to find in modern Albanian the obsolete hypothetical palatovelars. Therefore if the theory presumes that the equation went like this:

    *g -----> *ɟ ----> gj

    and since we don't know the PIE words but we can reconstruct them, everybody expects that the reverse equation would appear like this:

    gj-----> *ɟ ------->*g

    But actually it doesn't. The reconstructed PIE words turn out to start with a fricatives *s. And my examples are too many to be considered "something very selective".
    No, you are still using the same strawman argument here. What you are doing here is "I pretend that PIE palatovelars do not exist because I arbitrarily equate PIE *s with the palatovelars", which is obviously nonsense. It should be clear that these are distinct sounds.

    What we actually have here is that Albanian *gj here corresponds regularly with *s elsewhere in Indo-European, and that it has nothing to do with the Centum/Satem isogloss. It is not a "disproof" of the PIE palatovelars because it has nothing to do with them.

    I dont know what you mean by comparing Albanian gjak(blood) with Greek οπος(like, as). Also I dont understand why you wrote:
    The "οπος" I was thinking about means "resin", and Latvian "sveki" has the same meaning.

    because gjalpë means butter and not blood.
    Yes, I know that "gjalpë" actually means 'butter', not 'blood'. It is, however, a cognate with German "Salbe".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    No, you are still using the samestrawman argument here. What you are doing here is "I pretend that PIEpalatovelars do not exist because I arbitrarily equate PIE *s with thepalatovelars",
    Did I? When, where? I actually presumed they do exist/ed and I was trying to "get" to them following the opposite course, which should be the logical route, totally entailed by its premises.

    What we actually have here is that Albanian *gj here correspondsregularly with *s elsewhere in Indo-European, and that it has nothing to dowith the Centum/Satem isogloss. It is not a "disproof" of the PIEpalatovelars because it has nothing to do with them.
    Of course it does, the whole idea behind the centum-satem isoglosses, is the different shifting ways of the hypothetical PIE palatovelars respectively to simple velars(Centum) or otherwise fricatives for Satem division.

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    A weird case is the word "gjeri" meaning "until" which, in Tosk dialect, is "deri". It is surely cognate with G heri and Latin sera but what about the existance of both /gj/ and /d/ at the same time? I am not sure but i think there is another example, the word "djep" meaning "cradle" in Geg dialect is pronounced (i personally heard an old man pronounce it) "gjep". This one is similar to G huphe which comes from *webh leading me into thinking that gjep <- *seb <- *(s)webh.

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    The s -> gj shift is pretty accepted. For example, Gjarper - Serpant, or Gjalp - Salbe as Taranis mentioned.

    Im not too familiar with the Gheg dialects, so Im not sure they say gjeri, and not sure even more that it is related to "sera". Do you have a source or something?

    But about the gjep it doesnt seem far fetched.


    But as Taranis mentioned this isnt considered a part of the centum/satem isogloss

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    Yeah, we say "gjeri". At least in Central Gheg. I haven't heard "gjep" though, perhaps is more Northern.

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    Sorry for Necroing this thread, but couldnt resist, we albanians in Macedonia (Sharr mountains/polog) use Gjep :) (not only a few, but all of us). We also use -Nanë madhe- (not many though) which is translated to greatmother , i.e grandmother.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    What "Centum" and "Satem" really means is the treatment of the 'palatovelar' series:
    *ḱ, *ǵ, *ǵʰ
    In the Centum languages, these become merged with the plain velars (that is, they are treated exactly the same), while in the Satem languages, the palatovelars become fricatives, like *s and *z. But this is not universal, for instance compare Latvian "simts", "suns" with Lithuanian "šimtas", "šuo" - meaning "hundred" and "dog", respectively (I might say "hound" instead, because this is the cognate of the Latvian/Lithuanian words, and also actually Centum/Satem-sensitive because the sound in question here is a common *ḱ....
    "canis" > "qen"
    "centum" > "qind"
    ...
    Good point about hound, thanks! English "hound" and "hundred" are Centum forms that have been further modified by Grimm's Law of Germanic sound changes. Hence, these words are direct cognates with Latin "canis" and "centum". This is one of the reasons why valid historical linguistics research requires consideration of all sound changes that have affected the languages that you are studying. You cannot just take one sound shift and assume that it will give you the answers that you want.

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