Paired Horse and PIE breakup

C.R. Selvakumar selvakum at VALLUVAR.UWATERLOO.CA
Tue Nov 10 16:22:33 UTC 1998

*Still, the differences between Hittite/Anatolian and the other IE
*languages are very considerable.  Hittite shows no sign of feminine
*gender, only animate/inanimate, no dual, no special declension for
*the o-stems, a genitive that in Luwian is still adjectival in
*character, a simple dative/locative case in -i, an allative case in
*-a, an instrumental in -it, no special forms for the dat/loc., ins. &
*abl. cases in the plural (no sign of the *-bh- and *-m- suffixes we
*see elsewhere), a pronominal gentive in -l, a pronominal infix -eda-
*(vs. -sm- in Sanskrit and other lgs.), a simple verbal system with
*only present and past tenses, with no sign at all of aspect/tenses
*like the imperfect, aorist, perfect, pluperfect, future, or of moods
*like the optative and conjunctive.  No distinction between thematic
*and athematic conjugations, but instead a fundamental difference
*between active (-mi) and stative/deponent (-hi, -ha) verbs, mirroring
*the animate/inanimate distinction in the nominal system.

    How was Hittite then classified as IE ? What are the other
    IE languages which don't have the gender but
    have animate/inanimate ?

*Those are pretty big differences, and I find them almost impossible
*to reconcile with an IE breakup between 3000-2500, considering that
*we already have Hittite and Mycenaean Greek texts a millennium later,
*c. 1500 ~ 1000 BC (and that the Rgveda was probably composed
*somewhere in that same period).
**Almost* impossible, of course.  Language change *is* unpredictable.
*But if you ask me for an estimate (give or take a thousand years) of
*how long Greek and Hittite had been diverging at the time of our
*first records (say 1500 BC), I have to say that 3 ~ 4000 years seems
*more likely than 1 ~ 2000 years.  I'd say the latter figure (1 ~ 2000
*years) fits the divergence between Mycenaean Greek and Vedic Sanskrit
*Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
*mcv at


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