SV: Fortunatov's Law and tolkAppiyar's rules

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal mcv at WXS.NL
Thu Aug 13 06:17:06 UTC 1998

Jacob Baltuch <jacob.baltuch at EURONET.BE> wrote:

>Wouldn't it be better then to speak of "rooky" IE? (since satm includes

Yes, "ruki" in principle would make a better diagnostic than "satem".
However, the term "satem-group" is traditional, and there are a few
problems with the RUKI-rule.  Because it affects less words than the
satem-rule, and because PIE *s has suffered other changes over time
in the different languages, it is quite easy to determine that
Albanian and Armenian are satem, but less easy to determine whether
they are RUKI.  I know little about Albanian, but from the sound laws
as given in Beekes' "Comparative IE Linguistics", it is impossible to
determine whether Albanian is a RUKI-language or not:

*s => sh- (initially before unstressed vowel: shtate" < s(ep)tmti- 7)
   => gj- (initially before stressed vowel: gjashte" < sek^sti- 6)
   => sh  (before consonant: asht "bone" < *Host-)
          (between vowels: jeshe" < esa < esm "I was")
   => zero (before resonants, final: mi < muHs "mouse")

If Albanian was RUKI, the evidence has disappeared, either because
other instances of *s became sh, or because both normal *s and
RUKI-*s disapeared in certain positions.

The case of Armenian is even more complex, as the RUKI-ness of
Armenian and the fate of PIE *s in Armenian in general are linked to
the old problem of the origin of the Armenian plural in -kh.  The
cluster -rs appears in Armenian as <r.> (/rr/), presumably by way of
/rs^/.  Final -is and -us appear as -r in some words, while we have
<k> in cases like <mukn> "mouse" (< *mu:s) and <jukn> "fish" (<
*dhghu:s), and -k` (aspirated /kh/) as the plural marker (from *-es
or from *-u:s < *-o:s ?).  But normally, *s (RUKI or not) becomes /h/
or disappears (e.g. nu "sister-in-law" < *hnuh < *snuso-).

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
mcv at

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