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Thread: Was proto-Indo-European the same proto-Germanic?

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    Was proto-Indo-European the same proto-Germanic?



    I think we shouldn't imagine that there were strange sound changes in the ancient times, I believe it just related to the phonology of native languages, when you can't pronounce θ, the most possible thing is that you pronounce it as t, the same thing can be said about x > k, q > g, ...



    Of course it is possible that the voiced stops (b,d,g) were originally aspirated stops (bʰ,dʰ,gʰ), otherwise it is diffcult to explain how b,d,g were changed to pʰ,tʰ,kʰ in the ancient Greek, unless Anatolian had important role because we know b,d,g didn't exist in Anatolian phonology, like Tocharian.
    Last edited by Cyrus; 22-06-19 at 15:47.

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    I have not time to go deep into this (interesting) question just now but:
    Celtic: *w has given f in Gaelic only, it's a late evolution in front of the Brittonic gw- ,but in Celtic it was still w ;
    the sound corresponding to the hard English 'th' evolves towards t but also to s -X can evolve towards k but also h and standard French/German r -
    I don't know the value you give to your *y, and diverse *q(w) sound -

    Greek ph kh th (today f X 'th' {English hard sound} because languages keep on evolving!) are not supposed as become from b g d in PIE, or things has changed -
    your column Germ/PIE is a bit weird to me...

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    Hmm, that's interesting that the original Indo-European F sound is deleted in Celtic...that's a Vasconic trait. Spanish has an influence of Basque with the alternate form of Fernando (Hernando) and the word for a flame, llama, losing its original Latin F (French: Flamme)

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOESAN
    Celtic: *w has given f in Gaelic only, it's a late evolution in front of the Brittonic gw- ,but in Celtic it was still w ;
    Ok, I corrected it.

    Quote Originally Posted by MOESAN
    the sound corresponding to the hard English 'th' evolves towards t but also to s
    You are right but we see this sound change too, like Ancient Greek sú "thou": https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%CF%8...#Ancient_Greek or Persian se "three": https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%D8%B3%D9%87#Persian or pesar "son" from proto-Iranian puθra: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%F0%9...82#Old_Persian

    Quote Originally Posted by MOESAN
    X can evolve towards k but also h and standard French/German r -
    I think debuccalization is an internal sound change, like s>h in Greek and Iranian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrus View Post
    I think we shouldn't imagine that there were strange sound changes in the ancient times, I believe it just related to the phonology of native languages, when you can't pronounce θ, the most possible thing is that you pronounce it as t, the same thing can be said about x > k, q > g, ...

    Of course it is possible that the voiced stops (b,d,g) were originally aspirated stops (bʰ,dʰ,gʰ), otherwise it is diffcult to explain how b,d,g were changed to pʰ,tʰ,kʰ in the ancient Greek, unless Anatolian had important role because we know b,d,g didn't exist in Anatolian phonology, like Tocharian.
    Have you ever wondered why the "t" in PIE *dʰugh₂tḗr remained as "t" in "daughter" (PGmc *duhtēr) while the "t" in PIE *méh₂tēr turned into a dental fricative in "mother" (PGmc *mōdēr )?

    And why the "t" in PIE *bʰréh₂tēr became "th" in "brother" (PGmc *brōþēr) but "t" in PIE *ph₂tḗr became "d" in Proto-Germanic "fader"?

    There's a riddle for you to solve here...

    In other words, your sound chart doesn't make any sense. And lumping PIE consonants in one and the same column as "Germanic" consonants (whatever that is - Pre-Proto-Germanic? Proto-Germanic? Germanic?, all of them centuries or millenia apart) is absurd.
    Last edited by hrvclv; 22-06-19 at 21:59. Reason: Omission
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    The legitime but messy intellectual curiosity of Cyrus push him to do weird shirt cuts.
    concerning his chart, and to excuse him whatetver some inconsistancies, I suppose it concerns only initial consonnants...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joey37 View Post
    Hmm, that's interesting that the original Indo-European F sound is deleted in Celtic...that's a Vasconic trait. Spanish has an influence of Basque with the alternate form of Fernando (Hernando) and the word for a flame, llama, losing its original Latin F (French: Flamme)
    You have been mistaken by the curious first column of Cyrus (Germ-PIE, what a monster!) -
    It would be rather in PIE that f is missing! But Celtic created a /f/ sound in more than a case, by instable mutation of new p- (initial) itself from loans or from ancient Qw-, or in Gaelic from ancient w-, or by devoicing of final -v in some dialects - so /f/ does not present a difficulty of pronounciation for Celtic speaking peoples (at least the neo-Celtic ones). Only s turned into h and only in Brittonic dialects, if I don't miss some dialects I'm unware of.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOESAN View Post
    The legitime but messy intellectual curiosity of Cyrus push him to do weird shirt cuts.
    concerning his chart, and to excuse him whatetver some inconsistancies, I suppose it concerns only initial consonnants...
    Granted. But even so, listing PIE aspirates as fricatives reaches beyond what I would call a weird shortcut.

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    Many Albanian dialects transform h to f for example.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nik View Post
    Many Albanian dialects transform h to f for example.
    P, H, and F can all be connected (for example, pater-->father). Sometimes B and V are connected to these sounds too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hrvclv
    Have you ever wondered why the "t" in PIE *dʰugh₂tḗr remained as "t" in "daughter" (PGmc *duhtēr) while the "t" in PIE *méh₂tēr turned into a dental fricative in "mother" (PGmc *mōdēr )?
    Because "t" in proto-Germanic *duxtēr is in a consonant cluster, I believe the PIE word relates to Semitic uxt "female relative" with the prefix dhu- "owner", it seems the pronunciation of "xt" is more difficult than "x", in Hellenic a vowel has been added, so we see tʰugatēr, also Sanskrit dúhitṛ, in Celtic and Iranian we see almost the same words duxtīr and duxtar. In Armenian x has been changed to s, so we see dustr but in Balto-Slavic it sounded softer, so we see duktē.

    And why the "t" in PIE *bʰréh₂tēr became "th" in "brother" (PGmc *brōþēr) but "t" in PIE *ph₂tḗr became "d" in Proto-Germanic "fader"?
    About father, the original Germanic word is *faðēr (compare Old Norse faðir), in fact a voiceless dental fricative has been changed to a voiced dental fricative after an unstressed vowel, anyway it could be changed to "t" in other IE languages.

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    3 members found this post helpful.
    The wovel before "t" in tʰugatēr is what is left of the PIE laryngeal (H²). The voiceless stop "t" should regularly have turned to "d" in Germanic. It didn't, owing to Verner's Law, cluster or no cluster. The same goes for the other voiceless stops, which means you can't have one column for Germanic consonants and ignore their specific evolution depending on stress position.

    *faðēr is a later, specifically Scandinavian development. The regular Proto-Germanic form is *fader (Verner's Law again, while the initial "f" is due to Grimm's Law). The "th" in English only dates back to Middle English, and emerged under the influence of Scandinavian dialects after the Vikings settled in northern England.

    Chronology does matter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nik View Post
    Many Albanian dialects transform h to f for example.
    it's rather the opposite (/f/ to /h/) which can occur, the most of the time and more naturally - I suppose /h/ to /f/ ask for a /w/ sound combination, via a back-vowell environment, and even like that, I lack example (only /w/ sounds in English and colloquial Danish, or /v/ in some Alemannic dialects of German, from ancient 'gh' (aspirated lenited /g/, sorry I cannot put IPA letters: Engl bow from bog or "plow" from plough, Dan skow/skou from skog, Els 'wave'<'wawe' from wagen) - or could you provide some examples in Albanian, with sure etymology? Thanks beforehand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOESAN View Post
    it's rather the opposite (/f/ to /h/) which can occur, the most of the time and more naturally - I suppose /h/ to /f/ ask for a /w/ sound combination, via a back-vowell environment, and even like that, I lack example (only /w/ sounds in English and colloquial Danish, or /v/ in some Alemannic dialects of German, from ancient 'gh' (aspirated lenited /g/, sorry I cannot put IPA letters: Engl bow from bog or "plow" from plough, Dan skow/skou from skog, Els 'wave'<'wawe' from wagen) - or could you provide some examples in Albanian, with sure etymology? Thanks beforehand.
    Not exactly the sort of linguistic environment you describe (not h to f, but x to f), but it comes somewhat close, so I thought it might help:

    English "laugh" [la:f], from Old English "hlæhhan" [hlæxan], from Proto-Germanic *klakhjan.

    (First you have the appearance of an excrescent [w] before the velar, then the [w] somehow "pulls" the point of articulation to the front.)

    Probably the same sort of pull that happened when PIE *dʰworom (from *dʰwer-, door) turned into Latin "forum", except the assimilation process worked backwards in this case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hrvclv
    The wovel before "t" in tʰugatēr is what is left of the PIE laryngeal (H²). The voiceless stop "t" should regularly have turned to "d" in Germanic. It didn't, owing to Verner's Law, cluster or no cluster. The same goes for the other voiceless stops, which means you can't have one column for Germanic consonants and ignore their specific evolution depending on stress position.

    *faðēr is a later, specifically Scandinavian development. The regular Proto-Germanic form is *fader (Verner's Law again, while the initial "f" is due to Grimm's Law). The "th" in English only dates back to Middle English, and emerged under the influence of Scandinavian dialects after the Vikings settled in northern England.

    Chronology does matter.
    Verner's Law is certainly important, for example about proto-Germanic *b, instead of *f, Julius Pokorny in "Proto-Indo-European Etymological Dictionary", page 2624, says "number seven spread from PIE to Semitic numeric system", then it mentions Akkadian sebe and compares it to proto-Germanic *sebun but the proto-IE word is septḿ, or proto-Semitic ḥabl- "rope, cable": https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Recon.../%E1%B8%A5abl- can be compared to proto-Germanic ḥabilaz "lifter": https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Recon...rmanic/habilaz (*habjaną +‎ *-ilaz) and Latin capulum "lifter, rope, cable", but they are believed to be from proto-IE *keh₂p- + *-elo.

    About b>p (also d>t, g>k) sound change in IE languages, it can be again related to Tocharian, Anatolian or other intermediate languages which didn't have b,d,g, other than f,θ,x, so fader, father, bader and bather are changed to pater.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hrvclv View Post
    Not exactly the sort of linguistic environment you describe (not h to f, but x to f), but it comes somewhat close, so I thought it might help:

    English "laugh" [la:f], from Old English "hlæhhan" [hlæxan], from Proto-Germanic *klakhjan.


    (First you have the appearance of an excrescent [w] before the velar, then the [w] somehow "pulls" the point of articulation to the front.)

    Probably the same sort of pull that happened when PIE *dʰworom (from *dʰwer-, door) turned into Latin "forum", except the assimilation process worked backwards in this case.
    Yes, you're right; I had forgotten these examples; but what you say is a parallele to my own examples, concerning effect of vocalic environment on spirations, voiceless or voiced - it's true my writings are not phonetic ones: 'bog' passed through kind of 'bogh' (kind of dutch 'g' here)
    but in fact: /kh/ -> /f/ , /gh/ -> /v/ by a sort of labialization -
    I was wrong when I let to believe it was only a question of front/back position, it's also a question of labialization against palatalization :in fact alternances for G -> gh in english and danish between /w/ and /j/ influences upon the spiration, with sometimes a loss of shutting in finals when a waited /(w)f/ or /(j)ç/ gives only /w/ or /j/ ('plough', 'high' - 'plov' (-ow) < 'plog' , 'höj' < 'hög') -
    I don't master phonetic lexicon in English; my aim was to expose my conception of direction of stops phonetic evolution in the most of the cases, in a rough way -

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    Quote Originally Posted by hrvclv
    PIE *méh₂tēr turned into a dental fricative in "mother" (PGmc *mōdēr )?
    "t" in PIE *ph₂tḗr became "d" in Proto-Germanic "fader"?
    Another good example is proto-Germanic *mudra "mud" (Frisian modder, Dutch modder, German moder, ...) from Proto-Indo-European (proto-Germanic) *mū- "moist". https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/mud

    It can be compared to proto-Semitic *mudr "dirt, mud": https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%DC%A...assical_Syriac also Sumerian mudur wr. mudra "dirty": http://psd.museum.upenn.edu/epsd/e3760.html

    But we see d>t in Indo-Iranian *mutra "filth": https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E0%A...A4%B0#Sanskrit

    This word also exists in proto-Finnic as muta "mud": https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Recon...to-Finnic/muta

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joey37 View Post
    Hmm, that's interesting that the original Indo-European F sound is deleted in Celtic...that's a Vasconic trait. Spanish has an influence of Basque with the alternate form of Fernando (Hernando) and the word for a flame, llama, losing its original Latin F (French: Flamme)
    Spanish didn't lose its /f/, it in fact palatalized some consonant clusters like /fl/ and /cl/ into the ll palatal consonant, just like Portuguese did turning them into ch, and similar palatalizations of consonant clusters also happened in other Romance languages. The loss of /f/ was just a consequence of the consonant cluster slowly evolving into a palatalized cluster and finally into a palatal or an affricate.

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    Let's look at these consonants: kʰ, kʷ, x, xʷ, š, θ, č, f, b

    Indo-European language:

    Germanic: kʷ, x, xʷ, θ, f, b
    Sanskrit: kʰ, (š), č
    Avestan: x, xʷ, š, θ, č, f, b
    Balto-Slavic: š, č, b
    Slavic: š, č, x, b
    Armenian: kʰ, š, x, č, b
    Mycenaean Greek: kʰ, kʷ, b
    Ancient Greek: kʰ, b
    Albanian: š, θ, f, b
    Anatolian: kʷ, (x), (xʷ)
    Tocharian: (š), č
    Italic: kʷ, f, b
    Celtic: kʷ, (x), f, b

    Non-Indo-European languages:

    Sumerian: kʰ, š
    Elamite: š, b
    Hurrian: x, (f)
    Minoan: b
    Etruscan: kʰ, š, f
    Basque: (x), č, f, b
    Semitic: x, š, θ, (f), b
    Altaic: kʰ, š, č, b
    Uralic: š, č
    Dravidian: kʰ, č
    Kartvelian: kʰ, š, x, č, b

    First the satem-speaking Indo-Europeans (Indo-Iranian, Balto-Slavic and Armenian) migrated to the Uralic lands where θ, f, b didn't exist but š, č existed, so those sounds were added to their phonology.

    Then Indo-Iranians migrated to the Altaic lands where kʰ, b existed and finally Indians migrated to the Dravidian lands where still existed but Iranians migrated to the Semitic and Germanic lands where x, xʷ, š, θ, f were added to their phonology.

    On the other hand, the centum-speaking Indo-Europeans migrated to the Hurrian and Anatolian lands where θ, f, b originally didn't exist too but Albanians seem to be closer to the Semitic lands. Celtic and Italic people finally migrated to Etruscan and Basque lands where f, x were added to their phonology.

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    Cyrus, please understand this once and for all: people do add new sounds and forsake former sounds regardless of contacts with people who speak other languages. That's the internal development of languages. There's no need to "learn" new sounds from foreign nations when the gradual but continuous development of phonetics in a language already leads slowly to the creation or disappearance of phonemes, initially, generally, as allophones, but gradually spreading to replace others. You don't even have to have a degree in linguistics to that, even amateurs can notice that that can happen observing the recent development of their own language in an era with much more long distance contact and language standardisation as our own. Sounds change step by step into others because they already show the potential for that, all that it has to happen is a slight change in the articulation and the trick is done after some generations.

    Besides, sound changes don't work backwards. Most of these sound laws didn't happen in all positions of the word and have some constraints that either cause or prevent the change, so they won't work if you unwittingly compare Proto-Germanic to other IE proto-languages as if Proto-Germanic were the mother language of all of them (which, by the way, was not just a bunch of sounds, but also very innovative in grammatical and lexical features, so obviously not PIE, because it was clearly not the source from which the other IE branches could've developed as they were). Those sound changes won't work because the order of the factors does change the result of the calculation in linguistics. For instance, different sound changes may have ended up converging to the same phoneme in certain positions on the syllables, so that the reverse change just could not happen, because speakers would not be able to know that these phonemes came from that former phoneme, and those others came from the other. That would be a ridiculous misinterpretation. Instead of making very generalized tables comparing sounds as if the correspondences were thorough, without any exceptions, take a look at how these correspondences really work in detail, so that the drawback of relying only on a bunch of a few phonemes will become obvious (and some of them are pretty "peculiar" in your own personal reconstruction, certainly not corresponding to what most linguists have reconstructed).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs
    Cyrus, please understand this once and for all: people do add new sounds and forsake former sounds regardless of contacts with people who speak other languages. That's the internal development of languages. There's no need to "learn" new sounds from foreign nations when the gradual but continuous development of phonetics in a language already leads slowly to the creation or disappearance of phonemes, initially, generally, as allophones, but gradually spreading to replace others. You don't even have to have a degree in linguistics to that, even amateurs can notice that that can happen observing the recent development of their own language in an era with much more long distance contact and language standardisation as our own. Sounds change step by step into others because they already show the potential for that, all that it has to happen is a slight change in the articulation and the trick is done after some generations.
    In almost all languages there were certainly some internal sound changes too, otherwise modern languages should be almost the same as ancient ones, but this process of simplification (like rd>l in Middle Persian or sk>sh in Old English) differs from the process of sound shifts between substrate and superstrate languages, it can't be denied that ancient Indo-Europeans migrated from a land to another land and sound changes in their languages mostly relate to substrate languages, for example it can't be said that native Brazilian languages had no role in nasal sounds in the Brazilian Portuguese.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrus View Post
    it can't be denied that ancient Indo-Europeans migrated from a land to another land and sound changes in their languages mostly relate to substrate languages, for example it can't be said that native Brazilian languages had no role in nasal sounds in the Brazilian Portuguese.
    Substrate influences happen, but they are not (in all cases, at least) the main drivers of phonetic evolution of most languages.

    But how is that that the nasal sounds of BP were decisively influenced by native Brazilian languages? The nasal vowels of BP are exactly the same that already existed in the Portuguese language of Portugal when the colonization started, and they are still exactly the same sounds found in European Portuguese, too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    Spanish didn't lose its /f/, it in fact palatalized some consonant clusters like /fl/ and /cl/ into the ll palatal consonant, just like Portuguese did turning them into ch, and similar palatalizations of consonant clusters also happened in other Romance languages. The loss of /f/ was just a consequence of the consonant cluster slowly evolving into a palatalized cluster and finally into a palatal or an affricate.
    Here I disagree (the first time!).
    'f-' was weakened and spired into 'h-' in Castillan, latin dialect formed near the Basque country (this phenomenon concerns Gascon dialect too, and surely is based upon a basque substratum)
    - this sound, almost guttural in some remote dialects today (or better said, yesterday), faded out after some centuries in the most of the regions become castillan speaker (before that, the most of Iberia conserved the 'f-'). Only in some words the 'f-' was restablished for euphonia or loaned to other romance iberian dialect (?) or latin, see hogar >< fuego - hierro >< ferrocarril - hijo >< filiaciôn - horca ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrus View Post
    I think we shouldn't imagine that there were strange sound changes in the ancient times, I believe it just related to the phonology of native languages, when you can't pronounce θ, the most possible thing is that you pronounce it as t, the same thing can be said about x > k, q > g, ...



    Of course it is possible that the voiced stops (b,d,g) were originally aspirated stops (bʰ,dʰ,gʰ), otherwise it is diffcult to explain how b,d,g were changed to pʰ,tʰ,kʰ in the ancient Greek, unless Anatolian had important role because we know b,d,g didn't exist in Anatolian phonology, like Tocharian.
    The most logical alternative to the mainstream is that the so called 'voiced stops' were simple stops, slightly longer (p:, t:, k:) or 'aspirated' and the so called 'voiced aspirated' stops were simple stops (p, t, k).

    *bʰ,*dʰ,*gʰ = p, t, k (changed to b,d,g in Baltic, f,θ,x ultimately in Greek (also early Italic). But we have p,t,k in Anatolian and 'Tocharian')
    *p, *t, *k = p:, t:, k: (changed to p, t, k in Baltic and Greek. In Anatolian we often have p:, t:, k: written as pp,tt,kk).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joey37 View Post
    Hmm, that's interesting that the original Indo-European F sound is deleted in Celtic...that's a Vasconic trait. Spanish has an influence of Basque with the alternate form of Fernando (Hernando) and the word for a flame, llama, losing its original Latin F (French: Flamme)
    the problem is that Celtic languages lost *P, not *F, according to serious linguists - ATW this new reconstruction of PIE by Cyrus seems very confused and counter-intuitive- all these IE languages which cannot pronounce /F/ and makes /P/ in its place !-

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