I-I metrics (was SV: method of dating RV, III)

Jacob Baltuch jacob.baltuch at EURONET.BE
Sat Nov 7 17:50:17 UTC 1998

George Thompson wrote:

>It is also hard to tell whether Z's 'primitive' syllable-counting metrics
>represents an older, conservative stage of IE metrics, or whether it is
>itself an innovative development from an older metrical system represented
>by old Vedic.
>The questions that you ask are interesting, but I for one am unable to see
>how one can legitimately answer them.
>Perhaps the list's ziSTas can.

I was just interested in what the current majority thinking was, since
people have obviously been thinking about that: Meillet (whom you have
mentioned), Jakobson, Nagy, Schmitt, Kurylowicz and others. Here I can't
resist quoting Beekes' short remark in the introductory part of his
"Comparative IE Linguistics" (p.43) that "it is perhaps more likely that
the Avestan system is the older of the two" since "in general, it is not
very probable that metrical structures can be preserved over such a long
time, that is, for 1500 to 2000 years" which is an absolute non sequitur.

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