Fortunatov's Law and tolkAppiyar's rules

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal mcv at WXS.NL
Sun Aug 2 13:27:45 UTC 1998

Vidhyanath Rao <vidynath at MATH.OHIO-STATE.EDU> wrote:

>Miguel Carrasquer Vidal <mcv at WXS.NL> wrote:
>> c^ => s^
>>    => c => s
>>         => T => s
>>              => t
>Doesn't PIE *k't become s^t in Avestan (and OP?). In the above
>development, we will need a special treatment for that.


              1.    2.    3.
*s         =>    => h  => h
*sC        =>    =>    => s
*{ruki}s   => s^ =>    => s^
*k^        => c^ => c  => s
*k^C       => c^ => s^ => s^

>> I don't see what else it could have been: it's "sh" in Balto-Slavic
>> too.  I see the Iranian developments as:
>Beekes, in his recent paper (JIES) on historical phonology of
>Iranian suggests that ruki-s was .s to begin with.

Yes, but [s.] _is_ "sh"...  Unless there are two or more contrasting
kinds of shibilants in a language, it doesn't really matter if the
sound is described/realized as palato-alveolar (laminal
post-alveolar) [s^], alveolo-palatal (palatalized/domed
post-alveolar) [s'] or retroflex (apical/flat post-alveolar or
sub-apical/sub-laminal palatal) [s.].  They are all allophones of the
same basic shibilant sound /S/.

It was only when *k^ became /s'/ (laminal/domed post-alveolar) in
Sanskrit that ruki-/S/ became the retroflex (apical/flat
post-alveolar) phoneme /s./.  Same as in Polish or Mandarin Chinese
or Ubykh.

>In the past, the there was a strong prejudice that retroflex sounds
>could not occur in `real IE', and people attempted to restrict it
>to Indic. Old habits die hard.

Nonsense: English, Swedish, Sardo, Asturian, Polish and Russian are
`real European IE' and have retroflex sounds.

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
mcv at

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