h, s, s-hacek in Iranian

Vidhyanath Rao vidynath at MATH.OHIO-STATE.EDU
Wed Jul 1 18:27:46 UTC 1998

[I have cc'ed this to the Indo-iranian list. I have no objection to
moving it over there, together with the retroflexion thread.]

> > In Iranian, PIIr *s becomes h, PIE *k' becomes s and the
> > ruki-conditioned s becomes s with hacek.

I don't have any books on hisotrical Iranian phonology handy, but perhaps
I should have said intervocalic s.

I thank Professor Witzel for his detailed reply. Now I need to find out
how they were actually pronounced. Does anybody know if Beekes' grammar
of Gatha Avestan covers this? (It is checked out of the library at the
moment. I plan to read it at some future time anyway.)

> and one could add the dotted  s`' .  <   rt  (as`'.a ~ ved. Rta) Older
> pronunciation probbaly [hl] (lateral l) as shown in mpers ahlavan for
> Avest. as`',uuan-. Medieval (in India) > s`'.

Can hl or just l (both l's lateral) become s`', or did both come out of
some other common pronunciation? also wouldn't this change mean that
t in -rt- was pronounced differently than intervocalic t/tt?

The whole point of my question was if the triple distinction s/"s/.s
of Sanskrit can be considered as due to Dravidian influence or if
Iranian forces us to recongize this for a common PI-Ir stage. It looks
to me that the latter is the case.


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