Paired Horse and PIE breakup

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal mcv at WXS.NL
Tue Nov 10 17:05:30 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).

>    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.

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
mcv at

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