diphthongs (correction)

Michael Witzel witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Thu Jun 4 12:13:43 UTC 1998

On Wed, 3 Jun 1998, Jacob Baltuch wrote:

> So let me rephrase:
> >If I understand what you're saying the fact that zreSTha has 3 syllables
> >must be a relic of an original [zrai'iSTha] pronunciation. But why couldn't
> >it be the relic of a [zre:'iSTha] pronunciation?

Yes, [zrai'iSTha] or, as Kuiper probably would have it even for the RV,
[zraiHiSTha]  (with surviving laryngeal)

As for point 2:  Vedic [zrai'iSTHa] < Indo-Iranian *[c'raiHis`'tha]
                 < IE *k'reiHist(h)o-

In all these (pre-)forms, not [zre:'iSTha], as comparatives and
superlatives work with full grade (guNa) in the root, not long vowel grade

cf. guru ;  gar-Iyas ; gar-iSTha,
or without the problems of laryngeal in guru:
dhan-iSTha, pan-, van-, san-, han-, tap-,vep-, rabh-, zobh-iSTha etc.etc.

Michael Witzel                       witzel at fas.harvard.edu
phone: 1- 617 - 495 3295 (voice & messages), 496 8570, fax 617 - 496 8571
my direct line (also for messages) :  617- 496 2990

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