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Language as a Clue to Prehistory

lpetrich

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I'll now demystify noun cases. Though they can look scary, they are functionally much like prepositions. If we named prepositions like cases, we'd get something like
  • of - genitive preposition
  • to - dative preposition
  • at, in, on - locative prepositions
  • from - ablative preposition
  • with - instrumental/comitative preposition
As to how they originated, consider prepositions. If they follow their noun phrases instead of preceding those phrases, they are called postpositions, and both together are adpositions.

Noun + postposition when run together give noun + case ending

Looking at

The Turkish one contains this example of agglutinative noun inflection: evlerinizin "of your houses" -- ev-ler-iniz-in -- house-(plural)-(your)-(genitive)

Most of the others are similarly agglutinative, with singular and plural forms sharing case endings. That can make it hard to distinguish them from postpositions.

Finnish has some additional complexity, however. Its bare plural ending is -t but that ending mostly becomes -i- when a case ending is added onto it.
 

Swammerdami

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Some people have proposed a cycle: isolating -> agglutinative -> fusional -> isolating again, but that seems too schematic.

As to which is easiest to learn, isolating and agglutinating morphologies are roughly equivalent, because they are both very modular, both easy to decompose into parts. Fusional morphology is more difficult, since it is less modular.

As an interested layman, I have some questions and comments.

First, some write-ups insist on adding additional morphological types (polysynthetic and possibly analytic) to the {isolating, agglutinative, fusional} trio. Would I be out-of-line to focus on the trio and dismiss these additions as unnecessary complications?

I usually think of a word as containing one or more syllables, and in agglutinative or fusional languages a word often contains many syllables. But what about "Qu'est-ce qu'il y a' — seven words of French using just three syllables? Or English "wun-chal" ("Wouldn't you all") — four words in just 2 syllables? Of course, the former is taught as Standard French, while the latter is colloquial; does this make a difference to linguists?

And are those examples "fusion", or something else? I remember the time a Frenchman asked me the single-syllable question "D'où?" and it took me a moment to figure out what he was asking. (My French teacher would have asked the less ambiguous "D'où venez-vous?")

I think Thai might be the most isolating of all languages! :cool:. (This is, I'll guess, one reason it is so VERY easy to learn.) Chinese (Mandarin?) seems to be the go-to example for very isolating language, and I know no Chinese. But I have read journal papers that treat Chinese and Thai as examples of isolating languages undergoing grammaticalization and they show that Chinese is further along in that part of the cycle. (And write "15–25% of lexemes produced by the Thai speakers were complex, with a mean of about 20% as shown. By contrast, 44–57% of lexemes produced by the Chinese speakers are complex, with a mean of about 52%.")

In fact the typical examples offered for grammaticalization in Thai are two words (โดน /don/ "bump") and (ถูก /thuuk/ "touch") which are increasingly used to mark passive voice. However (a) they are usually used only when recipient has an unfavorable outcome, and (b) the actor's noun is often placed in between the marker and the main verb. These suggest to me that this "grammaticalization" is not particularly ready for agglutination; am I right?

English is, I think, a good example of a language that uses all three structures (isolating, agglutinative, fusional) so shows that simplistic typing may be futile. Nevertheless my readings suggest that type cycling (isolating -> agglutinative -> fusional -> isolating again) may be valid as a general tendency.
 

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Some people have proposed a cycle: isolating -> agglutinative -> fusional -> isolating again, but that seems too schematic.

As to which is easiest to learn, isolating and agglutinating morphologies are roughly equivalent, because they are both very modular, both easy to decompose into parts. Fusional morphology is more difficult, since it is less modular.

As an interested layman, I have some questions and comments.

First, some write-ups insist on adding additional morphological types (polysynthetic and possibly analytic) to the {isolating, agglutinative, fusional} trio. Would I be out-of-line to focus on the trio and dismiss these additions as unnecessary complications?

I usually think of a word as containing one or more syllables, and in agglutinative or fusional languages a word often contains many syllables. But what about "Qu'est-ce qu'il y a' — seven words of French using just three syllables? Or English "wun-chal" ("Wouldn't you all") — four words in just 2 syllables? Of course, the former is taught as Standard French, while the latter is colloquial; does this make a difference to linguists?

And are those examples "fusion", or something else? I remember the time a Frenchman asked me the single-syllable question "D'où?" and it took me a moment to figure out what he was asking. (My French teacher would have asked the less ambiguous "D'où venez-vous?")

I think Thai might be the most isolating of all languages! :cool:. (This is, I'll guess, one reason it is so VERY easy to learn.) Chinese (Mandarin?) seems to be the go-to example for very isolating language, and I know no Chinese. But I have read journal papers that treat Chinese and Thai as examples of isolating languages undergoing grammaticalization and they show that Chinese is further along in that part of the cycle. (And write "15–25% of lexemes produced by the Thai speakers were complex, with a mean of about 20% as shown. By contrast, 44–57% of lexemes produced by the Chinese speakers are complex, with a mean of about 52%.")

In fact the typical examples offered for grammaticalization in Thai are two words (โดน /don/ "bump") and (ถูก /thuuk/ "touch") which are increasingly used to mark passive voice. However (a) they are usually used only when recipient has an unfavorable outcome, and (b) the actor's noun is often placed in between the marker and the main verb. These suggest to me that this "grammaticalization" is not particularly ready for agglutination; am I right?

English is, I think, a good example of a language that uses all three structures (isolating, agglutinative, fusional) so shows that simplistic typing may be futile. Nevertheless my readings suggest that type cycling (isolating -> agglutinative -> fusional -> isolating again) may be valid as a general tendency.

These typological categories are actually very old, and the proposed hierarchy has lots of exceptions. Syntactic typologies and phonological trends have a lot to do with how morphological systems change over time--for example, the way in which rhythmic syllable and foot patterns affect the coordination of articulatory gestures and the perceptual salience of syllables in words and phrases. It really requires a strong background in linguistics to make much sense of what is behind language typologies.
 

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These typological categories are actually very old, and the proposed hierarchy has lots of exceptions. Syntactic typologies and phonological trends have a lot to do with how morphological systems change over time--for example, the way in which rhythmic syllable and foot patterns affect the coordination of articulatory gestures and the perceptual salience of syllables in words and phrases. It really requires a strong background in linguistics to make much sense of what is behind language typologies.

Your little pinkie finger has forgotten more linguistics than I'll ever know — we get that.

Still it might have been a friendly gesture to actually respond to some of my questions.
 

Copernicus

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Sorry about not answering your questions. I didn't have a lot of time earlier, but I'll try to see what I can do. However, answering some of your questions would take a basic course in linguistics to introduce you to concepts that would help you understand the answers. How much phonetics, phonology, and morphology have you studied in the past? For most people, the answer would be "none". Linguistics simply isn't taught in most schools, and it is almost never a required subject. Not every university even has a linguistics department.

Some people have proposed a cycle: isolating -> agglutinative -> fusional -> isolating again, but that seems too schematic.

As to which is easiest to learn, isolating and agglutinating morphologies are roughly equivalent, because they are both very modular, both easy to decompose into parts. Fusional morphology is more difficult, since it is less modular.

As an interested layman, I have some questions and comments.

First, some write-ups insist on adding additional morphological types (polysynthetic and possibly analytic) to the {isolating, agglutinative, fusional} trio. Would I be out-of-line to focus on the trio and dismiss these additions as unnecessary complications?

No, but think of polysynthetic languages as those that pile lots of affixes (suffixes, infixes, prefixes) on verbs to designate roles that other languages might use separate words (pronouns, noun phrases) to express. Agglutinative languages tend to string affixes together on words, where each affix has a single grammatical function (e.g. plurality or definiteness, but not both). Fusional (or inflectional) languages tend to pile more meanings into an affix (e.g. the -s suffix in "puts" carries both third person and singular designations). Isolating languages tend to require separate words to express grammatical functions rather than affixes. No language really fits perfectly into any of these categories, and linguistic typology these days is much more sophisticated than in the early twentieth century when the morphological types were popular. So it can be misleading to take these categories too seriously.

I usually think of a word as containing one or more syllables, and in agglutinative or fusional languages a word often contains many syllables. But what about "Qu'est-ce qu'il y a' — seven words of French using just three syllables? Or English "wun-chal" ("Wouldn't you all") — four words in just 2 syllables? Of course, the former is taught as Standard French, while the latter is colloquial; does this make a difference to linguists?

Really tough to answer this question without explaining the difference between phonology and morphoponology. Phonology is basically about coordinating articulatory gestures during speech. Speech is sequential, so think of it in terms of articulating strings of words, where each word consists of a string of phonemes (basic speech sounds). Those phoneme strings are produced in rhythmic groups, which poets create artistic patterns from. Those rhythmic groups are composed of syllables. So you can slow down or speed up, articulate carefully or casually, sing, or whisper those strings of sounds. That's what phonology is about, and knowing that is part of the answer to the question.

Now consider that string of sounds that you try to pronounce using your largely unconscious knowledge of English phonology--rules governing articulatory gestures. You can monkey around with that string of sounds. Children do this in language games all the time, for example, in Pig Latin. When you say the plural of book, you add the suffix -s to the word: books. But if you say the plural of knife, you change the stem to knive and add -s (actually the phoneme /z/). English phonology makes sure that. So you manipulate the string of phonemes before you try to articulate the word. Phonology is what happens as you try to articulate. Morphophonology involves manipulating strings of phonemes that make up the words.

So you want to know why wouldn't you all can be pronounced casually like one word: wunchall. Good question. It involves both changing the string of phonemes and modifying they way you articulate that string--i.e. morphophonology + phonology. Would not gets replaced by a contraction wouldn't. Unstressed you gets replace by ya in casual speech. That's morphophonology. Now kick in phonology. A /t/ followed by an /y/ in the same syllable gets pronounced ch by a phonological process that we call "palatalization". Very common in English, doncha think? And, of course, ya + all coalesces into yall in casual English. Hence, wunchall.

Had enough? Am I tiring you out? I could explain what is going on in French. It's the same kind of interplay between morphophonological and phonological processes. The brain arranges a string of words that consists of strings of phonemes. The phoneme string gets packed into rhythmic units (meter and syllables) that then get run through a phonological filter to produce an acoustic output. Listeners use their knowledge and expectations to help them decode the acoustic signal back into words and phrases.


And are those examples "fusion", or something else? I remember the time a Frenchman asked me the single-syllable question "D'où?" and it took me a moment to figure out what he was asking. (My French teacher would have asked the less ambiguous "D'où venez-vous?")

I don't think that the morphological typology is useful in answering your question, but I think I've already addressed it. The morphophonological and phonological systems in French are quite different from English. For one thing, English is a stress-timed language rhythmically. So speakers time their articulation to pronounce strings of syllables that are of equal length between stress peaks. French is syllable-timed. That is, unlike with English, each syllable is pronounce with roughly equal length, and stress is almost always on the last syllable. In English, the placement of stress is more complicated. D'où is just a contraction of de + . In that speech context, you can guess the meaning without needing to say venez-vous.

I think Thai might be the most isolating of all languages! :cool:. (This is, I'll guess, one reason it is so VERY easy to learn.) Chinese (Mandarin?) seems to be the go-to example for very isolating language, and I know no Chinese. But I have read journal papers that treat Chinese and Thai as examples of isolating languages undergoing grammaticalization and they show that Chinese is further along in that part of the cycle. (And write "15–25% of lexemes produced by the Thai speakers were complex, with a mean of about 20% as shown. By contrast, 44–57% of lexemes produced by the Chinese speakers are complex, with a mean of about 52%.")

The evolutionary hierarchy that lpetrich posted is a fairly old one that isn't taken very seriously in modern linguistics. Thai and Chinese are tone languages, and that tends to play a role in their morphophonological and phonological systems. Neither language tends to use affixes (i.e. infixes, suffixes, prefixes), although there can be exceptions to the tendency.

In fact the typical examples offered for grammaticalization in Thai are two words (โดน /don/ "bump") and (ถูก /thuuk/ "touch") which are increasingly used to mark passive voice. However (a) they are usually used only when recipient has an unfavorable outcome, and (b) the actor's noun is often placed in between the marker and the main verb. These suggest to me that this "grammaticalization" is not particularly ready for agglutination; am I right?

I haven't studied Thai or Chinese well enough to speak about what is going on there. However, I would be hesitant to say that neither language uses affixes. There are degrees of difference between compounding words and attaching affixes to words. Sometimes, compounding resembles affixation.

English is, I think, a good example of a language that uses all three structures (isolating, agglutinative, fusional) so shows that simplistic typing may be futile. Nevertheless my readings suggest that type cycling (isolating -> agglutinative -> fusional -> isolating again) may be valid as a general tendency.

I would not say that, since all languages tend to be a mixed bag of these morphological types. Languages can go pretty much in any direction when they change over time. A lot of it has to do with the way in which phonological processes erode the acoustic signal in fast and casual speech. Infants are born with a capacity to develop a phonological system, and that is essentially what causes "babytalk" in the first few years of life. They are tuning their articulatory systems to mimic adult pronunciations. However, they can only base pronunciations on what they hear. So, if adults are inserting or deleting syllables when they speak carefully or quickly, the child may have a tendency to develop a phonological system that differs from the adult ones internally but sounds roughly the same to adults as their own. Linguists call this phenomenon "rephonologization". Imperfect learning is the primary driver of language change, and that is why resistance is useless. Change is inevitable. And it doesn't always go in a predictable direction, although there are recognizable trends.
 

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To the previous post's list I add Georgian/Nouns - Wikibooks, open books for an open world - for the language of Eurasian Georgia (not the US state).


The older and more conservative Indo-European languages are another story altogether, with multiple declension types and with case endings for singulars, duals (two of something), and plurals having little resemblance to each other. The dual and plural case endings cannot be analyzed into (dual or plural ending) + (singular case ending).

Indo-European noun-case endings have a complicated history, with plenty of influence on each other, and with the ancestral forms sometimes being difficult to reconstruct.
The Wiktionary article compares reconstructed PIE noun declensions to several attested ones.

PIE is usually reconstructed as having eight cases: nominative (subject), vocative (for addressing someone), accusative (direct object), genitive (of-case), dative (to-case), instrumental (with-case), locative (in-case), ablative (from-case).

But "case syncretism" is common, and is reconstructed for PIE.

The vocative case is identical to the nominative case in the dual and plural, and often also in the singular. When different, it is a sort of bare stem, without nominative singular -s.

In the neuter/inanimate gender, the nominative, vocative, and accusative cases are identical, something well-preserved in the descendant languages.

That is also true of duals, and the other cases are difficult to reconstruct for them. Sanskrit, with all eight cases, has genitive-locative and dative-instrumental-ablative syncretism.

Turning to the ablative, in the singular, it is often the same as the genitive, while in the plural, it is always the same as the dative.

-

Turning to adjectives, they are noun-like in PIE and in most descendant languages, and they have noun-like declensions. In PIE and the older IE languages, they have the same declensions, but some later ones, like Germanic and Slavic ones, developed separate adjective declensions.

Alternatively, adjectives might be verb-like ("to be <adjective>"), like in Japanese.

-

Looking outside of IE, the Bantu languages have noun-class prefixes that are different in singular and plural, where the plural ones cannot be analyzed as (singular noun-class prefix) + (plural prefix) --  Proto-Bantu language
 

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I note that wiktionary.org has lots of historical-linguistic info in its etymologies. Not just word roots, but also word inflections.

Duals:
  • Sanskrit: Nom-Voc-Acc -î, -au, Gen-Loc -oh, -yoh, Dat-Inst-Abl -abhyâm, -bhyâm, -âbhyâm
  • Greek: Nom-Voc-Acc -e, -ô, Gen-Dat -oin
  • Old Church Slavonic: Nom-Voc-Acc -e, -i, -a, Gen-Loc -u, Dat-Inst -ima, -oma
We see Skt bh ~ OCS m, and that's rather common in IE inflection endings:
  • *bh -- Italic, Celtic, Greek, Indo-Iranian
  • *m -- Germanic, Balto-Slavic

About duals, two of the words for numbers have dual endings: 2 *dwô and 8 *oktô -- 8 = 2*4 implying a word for 4 that is now lost. But it is present in the Kartvelian languages of the Caucasus Mountains, like Georgian otxi. The consonants are interchanged, a change called "metathesis", like "ask" becoming "ax" in some English dialects.


There is something similar in Japanese, where multiples of 2 sometimes have vowel changes.

Old Japanese, present-day native Japanese:

1 pitö, hitotsu; 2 puta, futatsu; 3 mi, mittsu; 4 yö, yottsu; 5 itu, itsutsu; 6 mu, muttsu; 7 nana, nanatsu; 8 ya, yattsu; 9 könönö, kokonotsu; 10 töwo, tō

Vowel-shift pairs: 1 - 2, 3 - 6, 4 - 8. The vowel shifts: (1-2) i-u, ö-a, (3-6) i-u, (4-8) ö-a

I note that from Old to Modern Japanese, 1 to 9 got the suffix -tsu.
 

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Trying to untangle Proto-Indo-European noun, adjective, and pronoun declension is a difficult task. From  Proto-Indo-European nominals and  Proto-Indo-European pronouns I have assembled a combined table:

CaseSingularPlural
Nominative-s ~ -()-es
Vocative-()-es
Accusative-m-ns
Neuter NVA-m ~ -()-h2 ~ -()
Genitive-os-om
Ablative-et-mos
Dative-ei-mos
Locative-i, -()-su
Instrumental-eh1-bhi

I've written 0-slash (nothing present) as ().

It's evident that the plural forms don't look much like the singular forms. PIE's nominal declensions are completely fusional rather than agglutinative, like for for Uralic, Turkic, Mongolian, and Dravidian.

It must be noted that some present-day IE languages have agglutinative case endings. For instance, Classical Armenian had fusional ones, but Modern Armenian has agglutinative ones. Some Indic languages also have agglutinative ones, like Sinhalese.
 

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In an earlier post, I had simplified the Proto-Indo-European noun declension, because there were three types: athematic noun, thematic noun, and pronoun, with some differences between them. Thematic nouns are o-stem ones: *-os, like Old Latin and Greek -os (Classical Latin made it -us), and athematic nouns all the others. Non-personal pronouns (demonstrative, interrogative, ...) were thematic-like, though some of them also had a separate feminine formed with athematic -eh2 > -â or -ih2 > î.

For instance the neuter nominative/accusative/vocative singular is athematic -, thematic -m, and pronominal -d. I'm omitting thematic and pronominal -o- ~ -e- to make the relations clearer. The neuter NVA plural for all of them is -h2, however.

The animate nominative singular for all of them is -s ~ -, accusative singular -m, nominative plural athematic, thematic -es, pronominal (some) -i ~ (some) -es, accusative plural -ns.

Athematic genitive-ablative singular: -s ~ -os ~ -es
Thematic, pronominal genitive singular: -s(y)o
Dative singular: -ey

Genitive plural: athematic, thematic -om ~ -ôm, pronominal -ysom
Dative-ablative plural: -bhos ~ -mos
 

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The personal pronouns are
Case1s2s1p2p
Nominativeh1egoHtuHweiyuH
Oblique stemh1me-te-ns-, nos-us-, wos-
The dual pronouns were very similar to the plural ones.

PIE had no third-person pronouns, but instead used demonstrative ones ("this, that"), as some of the descendant languages did, like Latin. The descendant languages have a *lot* of variety in those pronouns, though they originated in various ways, like hillbilly-English "this here" and "that there".

For instance, Romance, from Latin:
  • French ce < ecce, ceci < ecce hic, cela < ecce illac
  • Catalan aqueix < eccum ipse, aquest < eccum iste
  • Spanish ese < ipse, este < iste, aquel < eccum ille
  • Portuguese esse < ipse, este < iste, aquele < eccum ille
  • Italian questo < eccum iste, quello < eccum ille
  • Romanian acest < eccum iste, acela < eccum ille
From Latin ecce "look at...", hic, iste, ille, illic, ipse -- is (ea, id) dropped out, likely from being very short. Like how Latin îre "to go" dropped out. BTW, ille became most Romance languages' definite article.

PIE likely had two demonstratives, *to- and *e- (anaphoric: something earlier mentioned)

For *to- the masculine and feminine nominative singular did t > s: m *so, f *seh2 > *sâ, n *tod, plurals m *toi, f *teh2i > *tai, n *teh2 > *tâ

PIE had a reflexive pronoun, *swe-, a relative pronoun, (H)yo-, and an interrogative / indefinite pronoun *kwe- *kwi- with adjectival form *kwo-
 

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A common feature in IE is preposition-case combinations. Here are common meanings of cases with prepositions:
  • Genitive = origin, starting point
  • Accusative = destination of motion
  • Other cases = stationary state
Some prepositions can take more than one case, usually the second and third in this list.
Translations by Google Translate except for the Latin one.
  • English: The cat runs into the house / The cat sleeps in the house
  • German: Die Katze läuft ins Haus (acc) / Die Katze schläft im Haus (dat)
  • Icelandic: Kötturinn hleypur inn í húsið / Kötturinn sefur í húsinu
  • Latin: Fêlês in domum currit (acc) / Fêlês in domû dormit (abl) -- SOV
  • Croatian: Mačka utrči u kuću (acc) / Mačka spava u kući (dat)
  • Russian: Кошка вбегает в дом (acc) / Кошка спит в доме (loc)
I couldn't find dictionaries good enough for Ancient Greek.

Seems like it was a feature of Proto-Indo-European.

Among IE langs that have lost this noun-case variation, they either use the same preposition (French, Modern Greek) or different prepositions (Spanish, English).

English "into" is rather obviously a compound: "in" + "to" (indicates destination of motion). English "onto" is similar.

Looking outside of IE, I couldn't find anything comparable. Either one preposition for both meanings, two separate prepositions, or two separate noun cases.
  • Finnish: Kissa juoksee taloon (illative), Kissa nukkuu talossa (inessive)
  • Turkish: Kedi eve koşar (dative) Kedi evde uyuyor (locative) -- SOV
Here is a case of two separate prepositions:
  • Indonesian: Kucing itu berlari ke dalam rumah (into: ke dalam) / Kucing itu tidur di rumah (in: di)
Here is a case of one preposition for both:
  • Filipino: Tumatakbo ang pusa sa bahay (into: sa) / Natutulog ang pusa sa bahay (in: sa) -- VSO
I've indicated departures from SVO with -- SOV and -- VSO.
 

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There is a curious elaboration on the gender system in most Slavic languages. They split their masculine gender into animate and inanimate ones, distinguished by accusative = genitive (animate) or accusative = nominative (inanimate).
  • Singular only: Serbo-Croatian, Slovenian
  • Singular, inanimate plural: Czech
  • Singular and plural: Slovak, Eastern Slavic (Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian)
Polish has a three-way distinction.
  • Personal: acc = gen
  • Animate: singular: acc = gen, plural: acc = nom
  • Inanimate: acc = nom

This feature is an innovation in Proto-Slavic, since it is lacking from most other Indo-European languages, not even their closest relatives, the Baltic languages.
 

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An oddity that the Balto-Slavic languages share is genitive of negation. In some of them the object of a negated verb goes into the genitive case. Genesis of the Genitive of Negation in Balto-Slavic and Its Evidence in Contemporary Slovenian by Žiga Pirnat.

It's mandatory in Old Church Slavonic (Old Bulgarian), Polish, Slovenian, and Lithuanian, optional in Russian, rare in Serbo-Croatian and Slovak, and very rare in Czech and Latvian. It declined over the recorded history of Czech and Serbo-Croatian.

So it likely originated in Proto-Balto-Slavic and was variously preserved and dropped in a very patchy fashion in its descendants.

Alternately, it could have originated in Proto-Slavic, then be transmitted to Lithuanian as syntax borrowing.


This odd feature is rare outside of the Balto-Slavic languages.
 

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Syntax borrowing (areal effects) may also explain two odd features of the Russian language that are absent outside of the Eastern Slavic languages: omitting the present tense of "to be" and expressing possession with "at (u) <possessor> is" instead of "<possessor> has". Most other languages are like English, using that present tense and expressing possession with a verb, like English "to have". Ukrainian uses both variations of each feature, and I can't find out much about Belarusian.

''I have'' in Ukrainian - У мене є / Я маю - Ukrainian Lessons

I'll translate "I have a book":
  • Russian: У меня есть книга - U menya est' kniga
  • Ukrainian 1: У мене є книга - U mene ye knyha
  • Ukrainian 2: Я маю книгу - Ya mayu knihu
  • Polish: Mam książkę
  • Czech, Slovak: Mám knihu
  • Slovenian: Imam knjigo
  • Croatian: Imam knjigu
  • Serbian: Имам књигу - Imam knjigu
  • Macedonian: Јас имам книга - Jas imam kniga
  • Bulgarian: Имам книга - Imam kniga
Ukr 1 is the more usual version, and Ukr 2 is common in W Ukraine. So:
  • Ukr inherited a Russian-like construction, and W Ukr was then influenced by Polish
  • Ukr inherited a word meaning "to have" and then was then influenced by Russian

One reconstructs Proto-Slavic
  • *jьměti - to have
  • *kъňìga - book
So the word for "to have" must have been lost in Eastern Slavic.

As to how Russian got those two constructions, I've seen the theory that those are syntax borrowings from some Turkic language.

More generally, some linguists divide languages into "have languages" and "be languages" depending on how they express possession, either with a verb of possession ("to have") or else with some construction like "at <possessor> is".
 

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I must note a very well-preserved feature of Indo-European, the "Neuter Law": in the neuter or inanimate gender, the nominative, vocative, and accusative cases always look the same. I recall from somewhere that it has no exceptions in attested IE langs. Like in English: he/him, she/her, but it/it.


The Slavic split of the masculine gender into animate and inanimate subgenders brings to mind an odd feature of Spanish, the "personal a" -- The Personal A of Spanish and Spanish Prepositions: The Definitive Guide From the former:
  • I saw the tree -- Vi el árbol
  • I saw Teresa -- Vi a Teresa
From the latter:
“To” or “at” in Spanish is “a“. It is used when the direct object of a verb is an animal or a person or something personified. We also use “a” to introduce an indirect object, to express time, to give an order, to indicate manner and motion.
To use noun-case names, "a" is a dative preposition, and it is also used as an accusative preposition for personal nouns.

The personal a does not exist in other Romance languages, not even in close ones like Portuguese or Catalan.


Another oddity in Spanish is its two words for "to be" - ser and estar.
  • ser - persistent - date, occupation, characteristic, time, origin, relation
  • estar - transitory - position, location, action, condition, emotion
Though estar is also used for the locations of anything fixed in place, like trees and buildings.

Ser vs. estar: understanding Spanish “to be” verbs and Ser vs Estar: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need | BaseLang and When do you use 'ser' and 'estar'? | Learning Spanish Grammar | Collins Education

Portuguese Verbs Ser vs. Estar: How and When to Use Either » Portuguesepedia -- looks very similar to Spanish
Usos de ser i estar – Aula de català - Catalan has also has this verb split, but it is somewhat different.
What's the difference between ‘essere’ and ‘stare’ in Italian? | Learning Italian Grammar | Collins Education - Also somewhat similar.

However, French and Romanian do not have that split.
 

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These Romance words for "to be" are derived from Latin esse "to be", sedêre "to sit, stay in place", and stâre "to stand".

In turn derived from PIE *h1es- > *es- "to be (imperfective)", *sed- "to sit", and *steh2- > *stâ- "to stand". These words, in turn, may have some common ancestor in some pre-PIE language. **s ?

Conjugations of "to be": infinitives, present indicative of first form. The conjugation of the second form is much more regular.

LanguageInf (1st)Inf (2nd)1s2s3s1p2p3p
Latinessestâresumesestsumusestissunt
Italianesserestaresónosèièsiàmosiètesóno
Spanishserestarsoyeresessomossoisson
Portugueseserestarsouésésomossoissão
Catalanserestarsócetséssomsousón
Frenchêtre /etr/suis /swi/es /e/est /e/sommes /som/êtes /et/sont /soN/

The 1s and 3s forms are related to English "am" and "is".

Note the e- at the beginning of Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, and French. This is an add-on that makes the pronunciation easier. Consider Latin scrîbere "to write": Italian scrivere, Spanish escribir, Portuguese escrever, French écrire.

French être has e-hat instead of es. That is a French spelling convention for a dropped s. Consider Latin fenestra "window": Italian finestra, Portuguese fresta ("small opening"), Catalan finestra, Old French fenestre, French fenêtre.
 

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In Proto-Indo-European, adjectives were noun-like, declined like nouns, and agreeing with their nouns in gender, number, and case. A feminine gender was added early in IE history, using stems -eh2 > -â, -ih2 > -î, and -uh2 > -û to make feminine versions of nouns and adjectives, though there were many nouns and adjectives where the feminine form was left the same as the masculine one.

For example, *swekuros "father-in-law" and *swekruh2 "mother-in-law" (Latin socer, socrus, etc.), though that is an unusual case. Feminines were usually formed with -eh2 (-â) or -ih2 (-î).

Some patterns, mostly from Wikipedia and Wiktionary, and also Whitney's Sanskrit Grammar (Wikisource):
  • (thematic) -os, -om -- (Greek)
  • (thematic) -os, -eh2 (-â), -om -- Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, Celtic, Germanic, Balto-Slavic
  • (thematic) -os, -ih2 (-î), -om -- Sanskrit
  • (athematic) -s, - -- Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, Celtic, Germanic
  • (athematic) -s, -eh2 (-â), - Sanskrit, Greek, Balto-Slavic(?)
  • (athematic) -s, -ih2 (-î), - Sanskrit, Latin, Balto-Slavic(?)
  • (athematic) -s, -uh2 (-û), - Sanskrit
 

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Proto-Germanic developed an additional adjective declension feature: strong vs. weak.

The strong one was the indefinite form, "a/an (adj)", and the weak one the definite form, "the (adj)".

The strong one continues o/a-stem adjectives as -az, -ô, -an and the weak one continues n-stem adjectives.

In the present languages, "a big dog" vs. "the big dog":
  • Dutch: en groot hond / de grote hond
  • German: ein großer Hund / der große Hund
  • Swedish: en stor hund / den stora hunden
The German ß is ss with a long vowel before it. Like the other North Germanic languages, Swedish has both a standalone article and a suffixed one, and without an adjective, only the suffixed one is used: "the dog" - hunden.

English lost that distinction, and English adjectives are indeclinable with only two exceptions, the demostratives: this/these and that/those.

I must note that those words for "dog" have "hound" as their English cognate, and that the Dutch and German adjectives are cognate with English "great".


Proto-Balto-Slavic also developed an indefinite vs. definite distinction. Definite adjectives were made by suffixing the pronoun *ya- to the indefinite ones. This is preserved in the Baltic languages and usually lost in the Slavic languages, with the Slavic forms often being mixtures of the old indefinite and definite forms. For instance, in Russian, the indefinite form became the short form and the definite form the long form. Get the lowdown on long and short–form adjectives in Russian – Unlocking Russian
 

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Turning to verbs, I note these Proto-Indo-European verb personal endings:
Pers,NumAct PriAct SecAct ImpMPs PriMPs SecMPs ImpStative
1s-mi, -oh2-m--h2er-h2e--h2e
2s-si-s-, -dhi-th2er-th2e?-th2e
3s-ti-t-tu-or-o?-e
1d-wos-we-??-?
2d-thes-tom?????
3d-tes-tâm?????
1p-mos-me--mosdhh2-medhh2--me
2p-te-te-te-dhh2we-dhh2we-dhh2we-te
3p-nti-nt-ntu-ror, -ntor-ro, -nto-nto-êr
Act = active, MPs = mediopassive
Pri = primary, Sec = secondary, Imp = imperative

Participles:
Active: -ent- ~ -ont- ~ -nt-
Mediopassive: -mh2no- ~ -m(e)no-
Stative: -wos ~ -us-

Thematic verbs had a suffix -o- ~ -e- before the personal endings, athematic verbs didn't. For the first person singular active primary, athematic verbs had -mi and thematic verbs -oH > -ô.
 

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Mediopassive voice? That's combined middle (reflexive) and passive.

The PIE mediopassive survived into the older IE languages, though in Germanic, Balto-Slavic, Greek, and Indo-Iranian, -r was replaced by -i. Modern Greek is the only present-day Indo-European language that preserves the original IE mediopassive.

As an aisde, Greek is also one of the only ones to preserve PIE nominative singular -s. Lithuanian, Latvian, and Icelandic also do so, though in Icelandic, it became -r.


But some speakers of the dialects have created new mediopassives.
Romance, North Germanic, and Slavic languages use descendants of *s(w)e- "self" in reflexives, though North Germanic turned it into a suffix, -s (-st in Icelandic), and Russian also did so, -sya or -s'. In most of these langs, this construction also has an impersonal-subject or a passive-voice meaning, making it a mediopassive.

Like Spanish "se habla español" -- "Spanish is spoken"


Mediopassives sometimes become complete passives, as in Latin and the continental North Germanic languages.

Also, some languages with (medio)passive conjugations use those conjugations with active meaning in some intransitive verbs -  Deponent verb - like Latin, Greek, and the continental N Gmc langs.
 
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Swammerdami

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The thread title "Language as a Clue to Prehistory" is a fascinating topic. Historic events like imperial conquests by the Romans, Arabs, and Turks are plainly visible in the present-day distribution of languages. BUT some prehistoric events are invisible in the archaeological record and can ONLY be discovered via linguistic evidence. The Bantu and Austronesian expansions are vividly apparent in the languages of sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania. The Algonquin language family is best known from encounters along the Atlantic coast by early American settlers (the Powhatan of Virginia and Wampanoag of Massachusetts) but many expert historical linguists agree — though this is still very controversial — that this language family originated far to the West, perhaps near Montana.

The most pondered language grouping of all is the Indo-European language family, which extended in pre-history from Ireland to Siberia and India. The homeland and expansion of the I-E family was one of the great mysteries of the social sciences, and has finally been resolved by careful study of linguistic evidence, assisted by DNA evidence.

Do the details of I-E case markers offer clues to I-E development and expansion? If so, please connect the dots. I don't see it.

The I-E Homeland, and its outward radiation beginning with Anatolian (Hittite) ca 4000 BC is now rather well understood. It is STUNNING how much can be deduced, and how well the archaeological, linguistic, and DNA evidence fit together like a hand fits a glove. The corpse called Amesbury Archer found buried richly at Stonehenge (ca 2370 BC) probably spoke a language ancestral to Celtic; his agnatic ancestry can be traced back to West Central Europe, to the Yamnaya (P-I-E) of East Central Europe, and from there to the Samara culture near the Volga River ca 4400 BC.

The big exception is Germanic — its detailed development is uncertain. I commented on this earlier in the thread, though without any apparent interest from fellow Infidels.


Development of proto-Germanic language is a mystery

With one exception the relationships — at least in broad brush-stroke form — can be deduced between the early adventures of the P-I-E people and the eventual placement of the subfamilies of Indo-European language. The exception is Germanic.

When farmers arrived, hunter-gatherers were outnumbered and had to adopt farming themselves, flee to the north, or die out. The "shell midden" people along the Atlantic coast with a very productive littoral economy could hold out longest, but they eventually adopted farming also, celebrating this new success by becoming the "Megalithic" people, doing the initial constructions at Stonehenge and erecting le Grand Menhir Brisé in Armorica (Brittany).

Europe's North was the one place where non-farmers held out. Around the shorelines of Denmark, northern Germany, Sweden and Norway, hunter-gatherers practiced sealing and fishing, and were building log-boats before 6000 BC. These ancient people are among the ancestors of the Germanic people.

The Mesolithic  Ertebølle culture of Scandinavia gave birth to the  Funnelbeaker culture which was unique in several ways. It had little resemblance to the farming cultures of  Linear Pottery culture to its south, nor to the Kurgan P-I-E cultures emerging to its east. The slovenly style of Funnelbeaker (aka TRB) settlements betray its origin from hunter-gatherer culture, yet it led the way in some Neolithic developments. The earliest preserved wagon-wheels are found at TRB sites.

TRB eventually came into competition with the Kurgan-derived Globular Amphora and Corded Ware (aka Battle-Axe or Single-Grave) cultures, but I think care should be taken before generalizing about these vast cultural horizons which stretched from the Rhine to the Volga. The Western portion of Corded Ware was sibling to Bell Beaker and might have spoken a language sibling to Italo-Celtic. The eastern part of Corded Ware had R1a haplogroup compared with R1b in the West, and eventually spoke proto-Baltic. Meanwhile Funnelbeaker persisted and competed with Corded Ware for several centuries in Denmark and northern Germany. Conditions would have been ripe for the creation of a creole language, but if such a language survived it was probably re-creolized 1000 years later! Funnelbeaker (TRB) was also in conflict with the  Pitted Ware culture to its north, a non-farming culture possibly related to the (Uralic speaking?)  Comb Ceramic culture to its east. Although non-farmers, Pitted Ware should not be under-estimated! They were superb hunters, sealers, fishers and sea navigators; had fur-skins and amber to trade for agricultural goods they wanted; and might have been daring raiders and warriors.

It is said that the Nordic Bronze Age began in Denmark or southern Sweden, as a result of a union between the Corded Ware-Battle-axe culture and Pitted Ware. Again there was opportunity for language creolization, or at least the emergence of a strong Pitted Ware substrate in the language that became proto-Germanic.

I detail the above just to argue against a glib equation of proto-Germanic with Corded Ware. The Germanic languages are most divergent from other I-E branches based on grammar, lexicon and phonology, and show evidence of inheritance both from Italo-Celtic and from proto-Baltoslavic. The development of proto-Germanic language is a complicated, largely-unknown story.

Yes, Germanic's sources include both a "core" language (Satem like Balto-Slavic, or para-Satem like Albanian) and a Western Centum language (Italic or Celtic), but there must have been a THIRD source as well. I think the third source was a sea-faring Baltic people, either the  Pitted Ware culture or the  Pit–Comb Ware culture.

The sea-faring terms Ship, Sail, Sea, Seal, Keel, Eel possibly Ice and perhaps even Boat are all non-IE words found in both West Germanic and North Germanic. The Finnic (or Fennic) language is often associated with these Scandinavian seal-hunters but I don't think any of the eight words just mentioned has a clear Uralic cognate. Although 'Boat' has a possible PIE etymology (*bheid- "to split"), cognates of Boat in Romance languages are considered borrowings from Germanic. (And Irish bád is borrowed from Old English.)

Basic vocabulary words found in both Western and Northern Germanic but not in other I-E languages include finger, toe, neck, bone, wife, oak, berry and even horse.

Ocean-going ships were in use in the Baltic as early as 2500 BC, about the same time as Corded Ware farmers arrived in Sweden. But some fisher-gatherers of Sweden rejected farming and adopted a rich economy on the shores of the Baltic. They could trade furs and amber for agricultural products; or even use their sea-going skills as pirates to raid and steal what they wanted.

The Nordic Bronze Age was centered in Sweden, not Germany or Denmark. I think the "proto-Vikings" — whose existence isn't even hinted at in Barry Cunliffe's otherwise excellent Europe Between the Oceans — gained control during that Age. (Perhaps their sea-faring skills gave them access to the English tin needed for bronze.) At some point they switched to the I-E (Corded Ware) language of those they conquered but they retained some of their old language, calling their king Kuningaz instead of Rēx, and so on.

The origin of the Germanic people and their language is surely a fascinating story but one we'll never be able to reconstruct. Still, I think linguistics may offer some clues.
 

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BUT some prehistoric events are invisible in the archaeological record and can ONLY be discovered via linguistic evidence. The Bantu and Austronesian expansions are vividly apparent in the languages of sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania. The Algonquin language family is best known from encounters along the Atlantic coast by early American settlers (the Powhatan of Virginia and Wampanoag of Massachusetts) but many expert historical linguists agree — though this is still very controversial — that this language family originated far to the West, perhaps near Montana.
Some time ago in the "What Are You Reading" thread I strongly recommended Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past by David Reich. It is a fascinating account of how analysis of historic (or prehistoric actually) DNA opens a window on past migrations and other human history. The answers may still be somewhat conjectural, but the approach gives an empirical foundation to linguistic analysis.
 

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I earlier mentioned  Deponent verb - intransitive verbs conjugated in the (medio)passive in Latin, Greek, and North Germanic, like Latin loqui "to speak". Much like  Reflexive verb - intransitive verbs with reflexive constructions in Romance and Slavic and some Germanic languages.

English has a reflexive construction, but it is not used as much as in these other languages. Like:
  • Autocausative verbs: "get married" often becomes "marry oneself"
  • Anticausative verbs: "the door opened" often becomes "the door opened itself"
  • Impersonal verbs: "it is thought that..." often becomes "it thinks itself that..."
Some verbs only exist in reflexive construction, like Romance and Slavic and German translations of "to complain", much like deponent verbs.

Some examples:
He complained about people insulting him.
He got married earlier today.
The door slowly opened.
It is thought that Uralic may be related to Indo-European.

Spanish, from Google Translate:
Se quejó de que la gente lo insultaba.
Se casó hoy temprano.
La puerta se abrió lentamente.
Se cree que el urálico puede estar relacionado con el indoeuropeo.

Croatian, from Google Translate:
Žalio se na ljude koji ga vrijeđaju.
Oženio se ranije danas.
Vrata su se polako otvorila.
Smatra se da bi uralski mogao biti povezan s indoeuropskim.

Notice the "se" in all these translations.
 

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Proto-Indo-European verbs had a system of aspects that was originally sets of related but lexically separate verbs. This is something like the aspects of Slavic verbs, though those aspects are formed in a completely different fashion. That aside, let us take a look at Slavic verb aspects before continuing to PIE ones.  Grammatical aspect in Slavic languages

Slavic verbs have two aspects, imperfective, for continuous or repeated actions, and perfective, for momentary or completed actions.

For most verbs, the primary form is the imperfective form, and the perfective form are most often made from it with some preposition prefix. Such prefixes are common in Latin, Greek, and Sanskrit, and some Germanic languages have an odd twist: the prefix can come loose and follow the verb in some of the inflected forms: "separable verbs" in Dutch and German. Modern English goes a step further, with prefixes following verbs full-time, "phrasal verbs". So such prefixes are an ancestral Indo-European feature.

For some verbs, however, the primary form is the perfective form, and the imperfective form is usually formed from it with some suffix, usually -ava- or -ova-. Some perfective verbs are also made with suffixes.

Some verbs change conjugation class, like -a- ~ -i-, and some use different roots: suppletion.

Of the inherited Indo-European verb conjugation, Slavic languages tend to keep only the imperfective present as the imperfective present and perfective present/future tenses, with the other tenses usually being new compound tenses rather than inherited ones.

Some imperfective verbs can be made perfective with additional prefixes, and those perfective verbs can then be made imperfective with some imperfective suffix.

Verbs of motion have some additional complexity in the western and eastern Slavic languages (Polish, Czech, Russian, ...). They are either determinate (going somewhere) or indeterminate (repeated or having no goal). Both types are imperfective, being made perfective with the prefix po-. They take prefixes for direction of motion and the like, with the indeterminate verb becoming imperfective and the determinate verb becoming perfective. They also have separate verbs for going on foot and traveling by vehicle.

Looking in the Slavic languages' closest relatives, the Baltic languages, Lithuanian also has aspects, but they are lexically separate and they have the full conjugations.
 

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Turning to  Proto-Indo-European verbs PIE's verbs are reconstructed as having a complicated aspect system, but formed very differently from Slavic aspects. They likely had a similar sort of origin, as lexically separate verbs produced by various derivation processes.

PIE verbs had three aspects: imperfective (incomplete actions), perfective (complete actions), and stative (steady state).

For the imperfective aspect, the primary endings were for the present tense, and the secondary endings for the imperfect past tense. The perfective aspect used the secondary endings, and the stative aspect separate endings. The primary endings are likely an elaboration of the secondary endings.

The aspects were derived from each other in a variety of ways, and part of those derivations were a process called ablaut: vowel shifts. Vowels could alternate between none, e, o, ê, and ô, and that was often a result of the position of the accent in the word. Which vowel was present is often called (vowel)-grade: zero-grade, e-grade, o-grade, etc. Ablauting also occurred in noun declensions, like this for *ph2ter- "father":

Nominative *ph2têr, accusative *ph2term, genitive *ph2trós
The vowel disappearing in the last one was from the accent moving to the last syllable.
Source: Appendix: Proto-Indo-European declension - Wiktionary

A relatively recent appearance of this effect is in Spanish "boot verbs": Spanish Stem-Changing Verbs - Lawless Spanish Boot Verbs - they have vowel shifts that did not occur in their Latin ancestors, and that do not occur in most other Romance cognates.

"I want, we want" - ie/e: quiero, queremos - Latin quaerô, quaerimus
"I fly, we fly" - ue/o: vuelo, volamos - Latin volô, volâmus
"I serve, we serve" - e/i: sirvo, servimos - Latin serviô, servîmus

I must note that a common grammatical device in PIE was reduplication: repeating the first consonant of a root. This was common in Ancient Greek and Sanskrit, but for the most part, it dropped out of the more recent IE languages. English "did", past tense of "do", is likely a survival of reduplicated *dheh1-.
 

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Now how to make the PIE aspects, from  Proto-Indo-European verbs That article uses the convention 3rd person singular and plural forms as its reference forms.

Imperfective

Root or simple athematic verbs (no stem vowel):
CéCti ~ CCénti
(Rare: "Narten"): C(é/ê)Cti ~ CéCnti

Root or simple thematic verbs (with stem vowel):
CéCeti ~ CéConti
(Rare) CCéti ~ CCônti

Reduplicated athematic:
CéCeCti ~ CéCCnti
CiCeCti ~ CiCCnti

Nasal infix (inserting a n; athematic):
CnéCti ~ CnCénti

Suffixed -nu- (related to the nasal infix; athematic):
CCnéwti ~ CCnuénti

Suffixed -ye- (thematic):
CéCyeti ~ CéCyonti
CCyéti ~ CCyônti

Suffixed -ske- (for durative (long time) or iterative (repeated) and maybe also for inchoative (starting); thematic):
CCskéti ~ CCskônti

Suffixed -se- (thematic):
CéCseti ~ CéCsonti

Suffixed -eh1- (stative with imperfective form)
CCéh1ti ~ CCéhnti

Suffixed -eye- (causative or iterative; thematic)
CoCéyeti ~ CoCéyonti

Suffixed -(h1)se- (desiderative (for desiring something); thematic)
CéC(h1)seti ~ CéC(h1)sonti
CiCC(h1)seti ~ CiCC(h1)sonti (reduplicated)

Suffixed -sye- (desiderative; thematic)
CCsyéti ~ CCsyónti

The article then listed some suffixes for forming verbs from nouns and adjectives; all imperfective.

Perfective

Root:
CéCt ~ CCént

Root (very rare):
CéCet ~ CéCont

Reduplicated thematic (only one verb):
CéCCet ~ CéCCont

Suffixed -s- (Narten-like; the usual way of making perfective verbs from imperfective ones: in Greek, the sigmatic or s-aorist):
CêCst ~ CéCsnt

Stative

Root (only one verb):
CóCe ~ CCêr

Reduplicated (the only way of making stative verbs from other kinds of verbs):
CeCóCe ~ CeCCêr
 

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So in summary, PIE had several ways of making imperfective verbs, one main way of making perfective verbs (suffixed -s-), and only one way of making stative verbs (reduplication).

Some verbs were suppletive, with different roots in different aspects, notably "to be": imperfective *h2es-, perfective *bheuH-, ancestors of English words "is" and "be".

What happened in the dialects?

Ancient Greek and Sanskrit had all three aspects, but most others had some reduction of the aspect system.

Modern Greek has only the imperfective and perfective aspects, with some loss of reduplication, and in Pali, a descendant of Sanskrit about 2,300 years old, only those two aspects were in common use, with the stative being rare. Present-day Indic languages have lost all of the original Indo-European conjugation, as far as I can tell.

Germanic: the imperfective aspect became the present tense and the stative aspect the simple past tense, though with loss of reduplication. That explains the vowel-shift past tenses in the "strong" verbs. The Germanic "weak" verbs, those with the -ed conjugation and its cognates, have a conjugation with an obscure and much-debated origin. One possibility is generalizing the reduplication in "did", Proto-Germanic *ded-.

Latin: the imperfective aspect became the present tense and the perfective and stative aspects the perfect tense. Some reduplication persists, and some perfect-tense forms have lengthened vowels, though I don't know if that goes back to PIE.

Slavic: the imperfective and perfective aspects survived, though the perfective aspect then dropped out of the western and eastern branches.
 

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Verbs can have have moods or modes, and the default one is the indicative: a simple statement of something.

PIE had an imperative mood, for commands, a subjunctive mood, for hypothetical statements, and an optative mood, for something desired.

 Subjunctive mood -  English subjunctive - "Definition and scope of the concept vary widely across the literature, but it is generally associated with the description of something other than apparent reality."

An English subjunctive construction: "it's necessary that he do that" vs. "he does that" and "it's necessary that you be doing that" vs. "you are doing that".

But subjunctives are much more prominent in the Romance languages, for instance.

In PIE, subjunctives were constructed with e-grade ablaut and a -e- added to the stem. Athematic verbs look like thematic ones and thematic ones have long stem vowels.
CxC- becomes CeCe-
CxCe- becomes CeCê-

 Optative mood - for something wished or hoped for. As with the subjunctive, English has optative constructions like "may you do that". In PIE, it was expressed using a zero-grade stem and an ablauting suffix: -yéh1- ~ -ih1-
CCyéh1ti ~ CCih1énti

It looks like it was originally a separate verb.

Sanskrit and Ancient Greek had an optative mood, though in later Greek it dropped out. Optatives in the ancestors of Latin and Germanic became those families' subjunctives, displacing their original ones.
 

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Bear in mind that all of these reconstructions for PIE do not reflect plausible pronunciations or even probable morphosyntactic constructions. They just reflect patterns that we see across presumed sets of cognate words in the oldest recorded words and expressions in daughter languages. The cognate sets are not necessarily synchronic, since some branches have older records than others. All of these reconstructions are complicated by the fact that there were influences from non-IE languages on those daughter languages, and they influenced each other. One needs to study diachronic linguistics for years in order to begin to understand what all of these claimed reconstructions actually mean and how reliable they are. That's why they look so strange. Basically, they are Frankenstein forms--constructions built out of pieces of deceased Indo-European language branches.
 

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Language change sometimes runs in cycles.

A commonly-proposed cycle is isolating to agglutinative to fusional to isolating again.

What are the language states of these cycles?

In an isolating language, all the grammar is done as syntax, without word morphology, and grammatical-function words and content words are all separate entities.

In an agglutinating language, words are formed as word roots with affixes (prefixes, suffixes, infixes) that have various grammatical functions. But the words can be interpreted as isolating-language phrases made into compound words.

In a fusional language, word parts can have multiple functions with those parts not being decomposable into subparts with those functions.

These are obviously ideal types, and most languages are a mixture of these types.

English is largely isolating, but with some agglutinative and fusional features. Consider English verbs' past tenses. The regular form has -ed (/-t, -d, -id/), thus being agglutinative, while irregular forms usually have vowel shifts, thus being fusional.

A related classification is analytic and synthetic, where analytic is isolating and synthetic is any combination of agglutinative and fusional. Synthetic languages may be polysynthetic, having words that are complete sentences.

The cycle goes:
  • Isolating to agglutinative: running words together
  • Agglutinative to fusional: running word parts together
  • Fusional to isolating: erosion of words, like final sounds dropping out

That seems rather grossly oversimplified to me. Consider Latin and the Romance languages, especially the Western ones, which I will discuss. They lost noun cases, completely for their nouns and partially for their pronouns, filling in the gap by inventing more prepositions. They also dropped the passive verb endings, creating new compound past tenses. They also created a compound perfective aspect with "to have", much like in English and other present-day West Germanic languages. Going in a more analytic direction, yes, but there are ways where they went in a more synthetic direction, like preposition-article compounds. Italian has a *lot* of them. Also a new future-tense construction, expressing "I will go" as "to go I have".
 

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Historical linguist Joseph Greenberg proposed a "definiteness cycle":
  1. Demonstrative adjective
  2. Definite article
  3. Marker of specificity (non-genericness)
  4. Marker of noun class
Getting more and more used until it is no longer very distinctive. English is in stage 2, and French is pretty much in stage 3. By stage 4, the definite article has effectively disappeared, and it may then be reinvented, restarting the cycle.
 

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Preposition-article contractions in the Western Romance languages. Some of them have a *lot* of them, and none of them existed in Latin.

Italian preposition with definite article « learn Italian language
I'll give an example: di "of":
  • di + il -> de-l -> del
  • di + lo -> de-llo > dello
  • di + l' -> de-ll' > dell'
  • di + la -> de-lla > della
  • di + i -> de-i > dei
  • di + gli -> de-gli > degli
  • di + le -> de-lle > delle
Preposition in also changes, to ne-, but prepositions a, da, and su do not change.
  • Spanish: de + el -> del, a + el -> al
  • French de + le -> du, de + les -> des, à + le -> au, à + les -> aux.
Catalan and Portuguese both have more contractions, but they can be decomposed in the fashion of he Italian ones.
  • Catalan: a > a-, de > de-, per > pe-, ca > ca- (with) el > -l, els > -ls
  • Portuguese (definite): a > a-, de > d-, em > n-, por > pel- (with) o, a, os, as
  • Portuguese (indefinite): de > d-, em > n- (with) um, uma, uns, umas
In the Portuguese contractions, aa becomes à. Also, the -l- in pel- may be a relic of definite-article beginning l-, otherwise lost from the language.

What the prepositions mean:
  • French: à "to, at, in", de "of, from"
  • Catalan: a "to, at, in", de "of, from", per, "because of, for, by (w/pass)", ca "at the home of, like French chez"
  • Spanish: a "to, at", de "of, from"
  • Portuguese: a "to, at", de "of, from", em "in, at, on", por "for, through, by (w/pass)"
  • Italian: a "to, at, in", di "of, from", da "from, by (w/pass)", in "in", su "on"

The Portuguese indefinite article um also means "one", and its plural means "some". That is also true of Spanish uno.
 

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I will now do "to love" and "I will love".

French: aimer, j'aimerai; Catalan amar, amaré; Spanish amar, amaré; Italian amare, amerò; Latin amâre, amâbô

Proto-Indo-European did not have a distinct future tense, and that tense was separately invented in the dialects. In Latin, it was -bi- alternating with the subjunctive, and Latin also had a new imperfect past tense with -ba-.
 

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A grammatical category that is universal or close to it is negation. Something that reminds me of a bit of Document21 - Russell, Bertrand - The Metaphysician's Nightmare.pdf
What was known was that he consistently avoided the word 'not' and all its synonyms. He would not say 'this egg is not fresh', but 'chemical changes have occurred in this egg since it was laid'. He would not say 'I cannot find that book', but 'the books I have found are other than that book'. He would not say 'thou shalt not kill', but 'thou shalt cherish life'.
Which I note because it seems so impractical.

Associated with it is another historical-linguistic cycle,  Jespersen's Cycle - when a marker of negation becomes very weakened, another one is invented and it takes the original's place. The new one is often an extension of the old one, but a completely different word may be substituted.

Old French inherited from Latin "ne", and some time later, "pas" is added to it to strength it, that word literally meaning "step". In present-day colloquial French, the "ne" is dropping out, leaving the "pas" as a marker of negation.

"I don't speak"
Old French: jeo ne dis - "I not speak"
Standard French: je ne dis pas - "I not speak step" > "I not speak not"
Colloquial French: je dis pas - "I speak not"
 

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This cycle has happened elsewhere in Indo-Europeandom.

Proto-Indo-European had a negation adverb *ne and a related negation prefix *n-

The prefix became Germanic un-, Latin in-, Greek a(n)-, and Sanskrit a(n)-. Balto-Slavic ne- may be derived from prefixing the negation particle.

That adverb survives as "ne" in the Balto-Slavic langs, and the Russian word for "no", nyet, is from Proto-Slavic *netu < *ne + *ye + *tu "not is that".

Turning to Latin and the Romance langs, Latin's negation particles are nê "not" with a lengthened vowel, and nî "neither / nor", and nôn "no" < *ne *oynos "not one".

Latin nê and nôn survived into the Romance langs. French has descendants of both, and Spanish and Catalan no, Portuguese não, Italian non, no, and Romanian nu are all derived from Latin non.
 

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The Germanic languages have a rather complicated history of negation markers.

First the West Germanic ones.

English "not" is from Middle English as a variation of "nought", meaning "nothing", and that is from Old English nâwiht, German nicht is from Old High German niowiht, and Dutch niet has a similar origin. All are from Proto-Germanic *ne + *aiwaz + (*wihtiz / *wihtą) "not" + ("eternity, age" > "ever") + "thing".

English "no" is from Middle English as a variaion of "none", from Proto-Germanic *nainaz, from *ne + *ainaz, "not"+ "one". Dutch nee and German nein, for the interjection, also have that origin.

German kein "no" (adjective) is from Old High German nihein, from Proto Germanic *nehw *ainaz, "nor one". with *nehw from *ne + *-hw, "not and". The latter one is from PIE *-kwe, with descendants like Latin *-que. Dutch geen has a similar origin.

That aside, the ni- was lost along the way to modern German and Dutch, thus removing the original negation part.

Now the North Germanic ones.

"Not": Swedish inte, ej, icke / Norwegian ikke, ikkje, ei / Danish ikke, ej / Icelandic ekki, ei, eigi

"No" (adj): Swedish, Norwegian, Danish ingen / Icelandic enginn

For "not", Swedish inte is descended from Old Norse enginn, from einn "one" + -gi "not". The second one is in turn descended from Proto-Germanic *-gin, and that is possibly from PIE *kwos 'which, what" + *ne "not". Also descended are Swedish icke and Danish and Norwegian ikke.

Also for "not", Swedish ej and its North Germanic cognates are descended from Old Norse eigi, earlier ne eigi. The second eigi is from Proto-Germanic *aigô "possessor, owner", from *aiganan "to possess, own" + *-ô (n-stem) an agent-noun suffix, both from PIE. The latter one is cognate with Latin -ô, -on- and Greek -ôn, -on-.

For "no" (adj), Swedish ingen and its NGMc cognates are also descended from Old Norse enginn.

For "no" (intj), Swedish has nej, and it and its NGmc cognates are descended from Old Norse nei, and ultimately from PIE.


So what has often happened is that the original negation marker has been extended to make some form meaning literally "nothing" or something similar. Then it gets eroded down, with the erosion sometimes involving dropping the original negation marker, leaving only the "thing" part. Thus, "thing" > "not".
 

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I found something on the Modern Greek (medio)passive voice. Modern medio-Passive voice | WordReference Forums

Αγγελος - Angelos "Angel"
I don't know about conjugators, but the medio-passive voice is very common in Modern Greek, including in some very common cases where the passive form would NOT necessarily be used in English, such as
-- spontaneous processes: το αλάτι διαλύεται στο νερό = salt dissolves in water, καίγομαι = I'm on fire!
-- expressions of possibility: το σπίτι φαίνεται από δω = the house is visible (=can be seen) from here, το βιβλίο διαβάζεται εύκολα = the book reads (=can be read) easily,
-- reflexive verbs: πλένομαι = I wash myself, ξυρίζομαι = I shave myself
-- deponent verbs (έρχομαι, εύχομαι, φοβάμαι...)

Note also some inconsistencies, such as ζεσταίνομαι = I'm hot (passive of ζεσταίνω = heat up) vs. κρυώνω, which means both 'I cool' and 'I am cold' (there is no *κρυώνομαι).

Perseas
F.ex. Ο γεωργός οργώνει το χωράφι (οργώνει: active voice & active disposition) <<The farmer ploughs the field>>
Ο Γιάννης ντύνεται (ντύνεται: passive voice & middle disposition) <<Yannis is dressed>>
Χρειάζομαι χρόνο (Χρειάζομαι: passive voice & active disposition) <<I need time>>
Το παιδί κοιμάται (κοιμάται: passive voice & neutral disposition) <<The child sleeps>

My examples:

He complained about people insulting him.
He got married earlier today.
The door slowly opened.
It is thought that Uralic may be related to Indo-European.

Παραπονέθηκε για ανθρώπους που τον προσέβαλαν.
Παντρεύτηκε νωρίτερα σήμερα.
Η πόρτα άνοιξε αργά.
Θεωρείται ότι τα ουραλικά μπορεί να σχετίζονται με τα ινδοευρωπαϊκά.

Google Translate turned all these examples into mediopassive voice except for "opened".

So Modern Greek is much like the Romance and Slavic languages with its use of the mediopassive, with reflexive, passive, spontaneous-action, and impersonal uses -- also in having deponent verbs (mediopassive-only).

As far as I can tell about Ancient Greek, its middle and passive voices had similar uses. They were different in the aorist (simple past) tense, but not in the present tense.
 

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Swedish:
Han klagade över att folk förolämpade honom.
Han gifte sig tidigare idag.
Dörren öppnades sakta.
Man tror att uraliskt kan vara släkt med indoeuropeiskt.

"Complain" is an active verb, like in English. "Get married" becomes a reflexive (sig ~ him/her/itself) -- "marry oneself", like in Romance, Slavic, and Greek. "Opened" gets the s-passive. "It is thought" becomes "One thinks" (impersonal).

Also, that -d- in the verbs is a cognate of English -ed.
 

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Although the ancestral Indo-European noun declension has been eroded away in many of the present-day dialects, there are some pattens in its erosion.

I'll look at Latin to Romance.

The o-stem nouns (-us, -î) got reduced to -o or -, and their plural to -i or -os or -s. The singular likely comes from the accusative -um, while the plural from the nominative -î or the accusative -ôs.

The a-stem nouns (-a, -ae) got reduced to -a or -e, and their plural to -e or -as or -es. The singular can come from the nominative and the accusative merging, and the plural from either case.

Languages will consistently use either the nominative plurals (Italian -o -i, -a -e) or the accusative plurals (Spanish -o -os, -a -as).

Latin's third declension of nouns is a mixture of i-stems (panis "bread") and consonant stems. Many of the consonant-stem forms have special nominative-singular forms, essentially contractions of (stem)-s. Like nox "night" < *noct-s, -tâs "-ness, -ty" <*-tât-s, etc.

Many of them go into the Romance languages from the accusative, panem, noctem, ... though -tâs usually as *-tât or *-tâ. Plurals are usually from the merged nominative and accusative cases: -es.

There are various complexities, like some dialects sometimes doing -o -a, like Latin ovum, ova "egg, eggs" > Italian uovo, uova.


The same thing happened in Greek, with the o-stem and a/e-stem declensions going forward, and the rest getting moved into these declensions, usually from the accusative. patêr "father" (acc. patera) became pateras, elephas "elephant" (acc. elephanta) became elefantas, phusis (acc. phusin) "origin, nature, property" became fisi, etc.

Like Latin, Greek also had plenty of contracted nominative singulars, like elephas < *elephant-s.
 

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The cycle goes:
  • Isolating to agglutinative: running words together
  • Agglutinative to fusional: running word parts together
  • Fusional to isolating: erosion of words, like final sounds dropping out
Is it much much too simplistic to say that each of these three tendencies is a tendency toward efficiency?
* Providing affixes to mark plurality, past-tense, etc. streamlines a language and reduces ambiguity.
* Combining several affixes together reduces the syllable count.
* Replacing inflected forms with a single root word makes the language easier to learn.
But each move toward efficiency introduces a new problem, solved by the next step in the cycle.

I think it takes at least THREE modes to get this sort of oscillation; TWO modes isn't enough.

The Rock < Paper < Scissors (< Rock) game is an example of such a 3-cycle in a pecking-order graph. A famous military analog is pikemen > horse_riders > archers > pikemen which becomes light_infantry > motorized_infantry > artillery > light_infantry in a modern context.

Yes, this is a particularly fascinating one. These 3 arms of the military have existed since records began, and persist to this day. Infantry, cavalry, and artillery....

I have heard it said that one of Napoleon's great gifts was the ability to get the right arm facing the enemy's "natural inferior" arm. If one could do this every time, all the way along the line, one would win every battle by a massacre!

I have (IMHO) found a "deeper" reason why this particular inconsistent triad is the way it is, but that will have to wait till a later time.

The quote is from the e-mail of a math professor one of whose interests is such cycles in pecking-orders. I've exchanged much e-mail with him, as this is also a topic of interest to me. But no, I don't think he ever elaborated on the '"deeper" reason why this particular inconsistent triad is the way it is.' He did show me a 7-cycle — A > B > BC > C > D > F > E ( > A) — which applies to 20th-century navies.
 

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Another example of the "thing" part surviving of "nothing": French rien "nothing", from Latin rem, accusative of rês "thing". Romance nouns and adjectives are usually derived from the Latin accusative forms and not the nominative ones, despite the nominative case being the usual case for reference forms.


Looking at Slavic aspects, most perfectives are formed with preposition prefixes, but there is one perfective suffix that I've found: -nu-. Imperfectives are all suffixes, like -ova-/-ava-.


Proto-Indo-European had numerous derivational affixes, and not just prepositions as verb prefixes. The Slavic languages are far from alone alone in having prefixed verbs of motion -- Latin and Greek have plenty of such verbs, and some of this prefixing ended up as borrowed words in English, like "exit" from ex "out of, from" + îre "to go". English has enough of Latinate words with ex- for its speakers to use that prefix more generally, like ex-(something) being a former something, like ex-wife.

English adjective-from-noun derivational suffix -ish has Germanic cognates -isk, -isch, from Proto-Germanic *-iskaz, in turn from PIE *-iskos

It appears as Greek -iskos - a diminutive suffix - and in Balto-Slavic as Lithuanian -ishkas and Slavic -ski/-sky, a common suffix for forming adjectives from nouns. Like Sovetsky Soyuz "Soviet Union".

Another one is -en, "made of", from PGmc *-înaz and cognate with Latin -înus, Greek -inos, and Slavic -in,-ny, from PIE *-iHnos

Another one is -y, with Germanic cognates -ig, -ich, from PGmc *-gaz, with cognates Latin -cus, -icus, Greek -kos, -ikos, Sanskrit -ka, from PIE *-kos

From Latin -ius and Greek -ios we find PIE *-yós with various other descendants.

Suffixes like English -ness and Latin -tâs had a rather complicated history, with such ancestors as PIE *-tus action noun and -*-
*-teh2 state of being, from *-tós a verbal-adjective suffix

English suffix -ize is from Latin -iz-, and in turn from Greek -iz-.

Suffix -ist is from Latin -ista, in turn from Greek -istês in turn from -iz-tês, an agent-noun suffix, likely from PIE *-teh2.

Suffix -ism is from Latin -ismus, in turn from Greek -ismos in turn from -iz-mos, from an action or result noun suffix, form PIE *-mos.

I think I'll leave off.

It's remarkable how much detail one can find out about long-lost languages like Proto-Indo-European, even if most of what one finds is not very culturally informative.
 

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The cycle goes:
  • Isolating to agglutinative: running words together
  • Agglutinative to fusional: running word parts together
  • Fusional to isolating: erosion of words, like final sounds dropping out
Is it much much too simplistic to say that each of these three tendencies is a tendency toward efficiency?
* Providing affixes to mark plurality, past-tense, etc. streamlines a language and reduces ambiguity.
* Combining several affixes together reduces the syllable count.
* Replacing inflected forms with a single root word makes the language easier to learn.
But each move toward efficiency introduces a new problem, solved by the next step in the cycle.
That's a good point, and that explains Otto Jespersen's negation cycle. Bertrand Russell's metaphysician is an extreme rarity. Everybody wants to express negation and do so often. But as people do so, they wear down the negation markers, and they eventually invent extensions. But those also eventually get worn down. no + thing -> nothing -> no. Sometimes it's the extension that becomes the new negation marker, the thing part.
I think it takes at least THREE modes to get this sort of oscillation; TWO modes isn't enough.
Actually, two unstable states are all that is necessary - a system will then go back and forth between those states. Think of a swing as it swings back and forth. Both the forward and the rearward positions are unstable, and when the swing stops at one of those, it reverses direction and goes to the other one.
 

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LINGUIST List 13.588: Borrowing of Verbs Versus Nouns

That entry's formatting is not very good; its text is run together. Someone asked
A standard textbook on historical linguistics, Hock's 1991 Principles of Historical Linguistics, 2nd ed., p. 386, says: "...it has been noted that verbs are crosslinguistically less easily borrowed than nouns..." Is this a generally accepted claim?
It apparently got a lot of responses saying that yes, indeed, nouns are more often borrowed than verbs in a variety of languages.

[PDF] Borrowability and the Notion of Basic Vocabulary
This paper reports on a collaborative quantitative study of loanwords in 41 languages, aimed at identifying meanings and groups of meanings that are borrowing-resistant. We find that nouns are more borrowable than adjectives or verbs, that content words are more borrowable than function words, and that different semantic fields also show different proportions of loanwords. Several issues arise when one tries to establish a list of the most borrowing-resistant meanings: Our data include degrees of likelihood of borrowing, not all meanings have counterparts in all languages, many words are compounds or derivatives and hence almost by definition non-loanwords. We also have data on the age of words. There are thus multiple factors that play a role, and we propose a way of combining the factors to yield a new 100-item list of basic vocabulary, called the Leipzig-Jakarta list.
Of content words, sense perception, spatial relations, the body, and kinship have the least likelihood of being borrowed.

The list:  Leipzig–Jakarta list
100 concepts that were found in most languages and were most resistant to borrowing formed the Leipzig–Jakarta list. Only 62 items on the Leipzig–Jakarta list and on the 100-word Swadesh list overlap, hence a 38% difference between the two lists.

25% of the words in the Leipzig–Jakarta list are body parts: mouth, eye, leg/foot, navel, liver, knee, etc. Six animal words appear on the list: fish, bird, dog, louse, ant and fly – animals found everywhere humans can be found.

The items house, name, rope and to tie are products of human culture, but are probably found in all present-day human societies. Haspelmath and Tadmor drew the conclusion that "rope is the most basic of human tools and tying is the most basic technology".
 

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I will look at a very common - and very irregular - conjugation: the present tense of "to be". I'd done that for the Western Romance languages and Latin, now I will compare across IE.

Language1s2s3s1p2p3p
English (to be)amare, (art)isareareare
Old English (wesan, bêon)eom, bêoeart, bistis, bithsind, bêothsind, bêothsind, bêoth
Proto-Germanic (wesanan, beunan)immi, biumiisi, biusiizi, biuthiizum, beumizud, beudsindi, biunthi
Croatian (biti)jesam, samjesi, sijeste, jejesmo, smojeste, stejesu, su
Czech (byt)jsemjsi, -sje, jestjsmejstejsou
Russian (byt')jesm'jesijest'jesmyjestesut'
Old Church Slavonic (byti)esmiesiestuesmuestesontu
Proto-Slavicesmiesiestiesmuestesonti
Lithuanianesuesiyraesameesateyra
Latin (esse)sumesestsumusestissunt
Greek (einai)eimieiestiesmenesteeisi
Sanskritasmiasiastismahsthasanti
Proto-Indo-Europeanh1ésmih1ésih1éstih1smósh1stéhsénti

How was the h1 pronounced? It's a part of  Laryngeal theory a rather contentious aspect of Proto-Indo-European reconstructions.
  • h1 - neutral - likely a glottal stop alternating with a @ (schwa) when a syllable
  • h2 - a-coloring - a velar / uvular / pharyngeal fricative - like "h" but with the back of the mouth or the throat constricted
  • h3 - o-coloring - like h2 but with rounded lips: h2w
So *h1ésti was likely pronounced ésti.

While the present tense points to root *h1es-, such past tenses as Latin fui and Lithuanian buvau "I was / I have been" point to a different root, *bheuH- This is also the source of English "be, been" and its Germanic cognates. English past tense "was, were" and its Germanic cognates have an additional source: PIE *h2wes- "to stay, reside".

So we reconstruct for Proto-Indo-European "to be": imperfective *h1es- and perfective *bheuH-

Germanic adds *h2wes- and Romance *steh2- through Latin stâre "to stand"

The Latin form has a suffix that is from ()-éhye- a thematic version of an originally athematic suffix for making stative verbs: ()-eh1- with (é)-ye- The first one makes stative verbs from perfective ones or from nominals (nouns+adjectives), the second one makes transitive imperfective verbs.

The () is for the ablaut of the root vowel.
 

lpetrich

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Slavic aspects:

Russian Verb Aspect Made Simple – StoryLearning

Says that the most common Russian perfective prefix is po- a prefix that makes verbs of motion perfective. The prefix za- makes a verb not only perfective but also indicating the start of something (inchoative).

Also mentions some suppletive aspects, like govorit' (impf), skazat' (pf) "to speak, say, tell" and brat' (impf), vzjat' (pf) "to take"

Microsoft Word - ASPECT PAIRS- 31.7.11.doc - aspektpaare.pdf for Czech: mentions brát (impf), vzit (pf) "to take"

Basic Croatian: 17 Aspect of Verbs - za- is also inchoative in Croatian.


Turning to PIE, I've found DAWN OF VERBAL SUPPLETION
IN INDO-EUROPEAN LANGUAGESf
- listing several suppletive-aspect verbs in the dialects. "To be" is only one of them.
 

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Language Dispersal Beyond Farming - an open-access book as a PDF file

Farming/Language Dispersal - Food for thought - Martine Robbeets
Idiomatic English from a non-native speaker :D

Farming making language dispersal - a completely reasonable hypothesis, since farmers can easily outbreed foragers, something that there is some genetic evidence for in some places.

Mentions the "diversity hotspot" principle - "Assuming that the deepest splits within a family reflect the greatest age, the location of these splits on the map is thought to point to the area where the proto-language began to diversify. The principle is thus based on the assumption that the homeland is closest to where one finds the greatest diversity with regard to the deepest subgroups of the language family." - like the Austronesian family, which spread outward from Taiwan. However, "A second limitation of this principle is that the contemporary hotspot of lin- guistic diversity may diverge from the earlier one." (the first one is how reliably one can determine a language family's subgrouping structure)

"The prehistoric population movements out of Taiwan and through Island South-East Asia into the Pacific discussed by Gray et al. (2009), for instance, display pulses and pauses that closely match the stages of splits and spreads in the phylogenetic tree of Austronesian languages." - so there is a good match between population and language dispersal there.
 

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Martine Robbeets on "The language of the Transeurasian farmers":
  1. Proto-Transeurasian, the language ancestral to the Turkic, Mongolic, Tungusic, Koreanic and Japonic languages, reflects a broad-spectrum subsistence strategy probably including some plant cultivation and yielding food surpluses.
  2. The assumed location and time depth of proto-Transeurasian associate the ancestral language with the Xinglongwa culture, the first farming society in Northeast China in the 7th and 6th millennium BC.
  3. The spread of the Transeurasian languages to their present-day locations is con- sistent with the spread of agriculture in Northeast Asia. However, agriculture did not necessarily cause language spread by boosting the farmer’s demography and pushing them to search for new land. It also followed ecological stress caused by climate change, disrupting traditional resource bases and replaced previous subsistence strategies.
Cultural reconstruction indicates that the speakers of proto-Transeurasian targeted a millet-like crop for its seeds, sowed seeds and maintained fields for cultivation. Their food surpluses were sufficient to permit labor-intensive and technologically complex activities such as weaving. They were familiar with a process of oxida- tion, probably in connection with iron-rich clay in hematite pottery production. In contrast to the communities in the Yellow River Basin, the speakers of proto-Tran- seurasian relied intensively on grinding for their food-production. The starches involved in this process were not limited to millets, but were provided by various nuts such as walnut, chestnut, acorn and pine as well as roots. The reconstructed vocabulary therefore suggests a broad-spectrum subsistence strategy with some economic dependence on the cultivation of plants such as millets.

The lexical evidence is in line with the diversity hot-spot principle, locating the homeland of Transeurasian in the West Liao River region and Bayesian inference, estimating the time-depth of the family at ca. 5700 BC. The location and time depth indicate that proto-Transeurasian may be connected with the Xinglongwa culture (6200–5400 BC) in Southern Manchuria. This culture depended on a broad-spec- trum subsistence strategy including millet cultivation.
 

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"Farming-related terms in Proto-Turkic and Proto-Altaic" by Alexander Savelyev
Historical sources from different times describe Turkic, Mongolic and Tungusic traditional economies as based on pastoralism, with agriculture playing only a minor role among their subsistence strategies.

I show that the majority of the Turkic pastoralist lexicon has a secondary nature, being formed due to contact, derivation or lexical recycling. At the same time, farming-related terms in Turkic are mostly unborrowed and underived and a few of them have reliable Altaic connections. The very limited number of agricultural terms reconstructible to Proto-Altaic as compared to the preceding Proto-Transeurasian period can be attributed to a loss of farming-related lexicon over time after the break-up of Altaic.
Altaic = Turkic, Mongolic, Tungusic, as opposed to these families with Korean and Japanese (Transeurasian).

"Archaeological and historical sources from different times describe Turkic, Mongolic and Tungusic traditional economies as based on pastoralism, with agriculture playing only a minor role among their subsistence strategies."

Transeurasian - 5700 BCE - Altaic, J-K
Altaic - 4600 BCE - T-M, Tungusic
TM - 2800 BCE - Turkic, Mongolian


Farming and the Trans-New Guinea family - proposes ancestral words for sugarcane and banana. Finds that words for taro, a common root crop, are much more variable, implying that taro growing is much more recent.
 

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Macrofamilies and agricultural lexicon - Problems and perspectives - George Starostin

It's generally agreed that the first Eurasian agriculture originated in the Middle East some 12 - 10 thousand years ago, meaning that these first farmers must have had words for their agriculture.
Unfortunately, if we consider all known linguistic families whose protolanguages satisfy the following three conditions:
  1. they have been reconstructed to more or less general satisfaction, so that their historical reality is not a point of contention between the majority of specialists;
  2. they are generally agreed to have contained at least a certain amount of semantically unambiguous agricultural terms;
  3. they are generally agreed to have been spoken either in the Levant area or in regions not too far removed from it;
– then none of these families, including such linguistic taxa as Indo-European, Semitic, Dravidian, Kartvelian, North Caucasian (Nakh-Daghestanian and Abkhaz- Adyghe), can be reasonably claimed to have had their ancestral languages spoken as early as the required date.
Unfortunately, all these protolanguages split up at most by 5 - 6 thousand years ago, far too recent for agriculture.

The languages of the first farmers might have disappeared long ago, with their only surviving evidence being contributed agricultural vocabulary.

So we must turn to less well-established language families, families that go much farther back in time, like Nostratic and Afro-Asiatic.
 

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He first considers Nostratic, and he notes that there is not much agreement on what is a member, but he notes an agreed-on core membership of Indo-European, Uralic, and Altaic. Possibly members are Kartvelian and Dravidian, while Afro-Asiatic is likely separate.

Of these, IE, Kartvelian, and Dravidian have some agricultural vocabulary, Uralic has none, and Altaic has a little bit. Proto-Nostratic had no clearly reconstructible words for anything agricultural.

Turning to smaller-scale hypotheses, Indo-Uralic is supported by grammatical features and basic vocabulary, things that are likely to be inherited. Vocabulary like "water", "name", "to lead", "to hear", ... and IE agricultural terminology does not have any good cognates in Proto-Uralic, implying that the IE agricultural vocabulary is from semantic shifts and borrowings.

Altaic agricultural vocabulary seems very limited and restricted.
 
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