Paired Horse and PIE breakup

C.R. Selvakumar selvakum at VALLUVAR.UWATERLOO.CA
Tue Nov 10 19:27:13 UTC 1998

*"C.R. Selvakumar" <selvakum at VALLUVAR.UWATERLOO.CA> wrote:
*[my explanation of how different Hittite is..]
*>    How was Hittite then classified as IE ?
*Because other things are not different.  Hittite *has* a nominative
*in -s, acc. in -n (< -m), plural in -es, verbal endings -mi, -si,
*-ti, etc.  What put Hrozny on the track of Hittite as an IE language
*was the word <watar>, which means "water".
*As a crude measure, if we take the Swadesh list of the 100 most basic
*words, we find some 13 (and a few doubtful ones) which are cognate
*between Classical Greek and Hittite.  Not much, but about the same as
*between Classical Greek and Modern English (I don't have
*Greek-Sanskrit handy, but Latin-Sanskrit is about 45 matches).

     Thanks for your explanation. Can you please contrast the
     features of syntax ? Are there any better lists than Swadesh 100?
     I remember that there was a list of 1000.
*>    What are the other
*>    IE languages which don't have the gender but
*>    have animate/inanimate ?
*Well, animate and inanimate are genders too, grammatically speaking.
*What happened after the split-off of Hittite, is that the other
*languages divided the animate gender into "masculine" and "feminine"
*words, which resulted in a 3-gender system (masc., fem. and inanimate
*(neuter)).  It is tempting to see that in the context of a
*"masculinization" of society, but I doesn't necessarily follow.

      Interesting. Is it an accepted view that animate/inanimate(A-I)
      classification is *prior* to the 'evolution' of the three genders?
      I was curious about the animate/inanimate because Sumerian
      has this (A-I)feature and Tamil and some of the indian languages
      have this feature, but not many IE languages seem to have
      this feature. Now, of course, English and a few other
      modern IE languages are 'evolving into' this state of
      'losing masculine/feminine gender', gramatically speaking,
      I don't know how many IE languages have (or had) this
      animate/inanimate feature.

      Thanks for your remarks,


*Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
*mcv at

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