Dear Madhav,

I second what Andrew says. I also recommend Karl Praust's 2004 paper (reference below) on the development of the class IX presents. According to Praust, the realization of /CnHC/ as [Cn̥HC] in class IX presents was avoided already in Proto-Indo-European in favor of [CnɪHC], with an epenthetic vowel, in order that -n- be non-syllabic throughout the inflectional paradigm, i.e. like the strong forms, which have the sequence /CneHC/. In other words, there was analogical pressure to keep the n a consonant, and the epenthetic vowel made that possible. The further development to -nī- in Indic would then be the result of regular sound change.

Praust cites the previous literature. Since then, there have been some further discussions: Lipp 2009:392–4 n. 97; Yoshida 2013; Kümmel 2016; and Gunkel 2018.

In my paper, I talk a bit about the development of the ī in class III presents of the type mímīte. The metrical evidence from the Rigveda suggests that we should restore some forms with a short i, esp. *mimihí (for transmitted mimīhí). jahimaḥ 'we leave' is attested in the Atharvaveda. Those show us the regular phonological development to short i (in accordance with Jamison's foundational study). The long vowels there are analogical, and I think it's attractive to have them be analogical to the class IX presents. If we follow Praust, then the chronology works nicely: the long ī in class IX would be in place early enough for that analogy to take place.



Gunkel, Dieter. 2018. Localization evidence for the restoration of Rigvedic *mimihi 'measure'. In Vina Diem Celebrent: Studies in Linguistics and Philology in Honor of Brent Vine, ed. Gunkel et al., 76–92. Ann Arbor: Beech Stave.

Kümmel, Martin Joachim. 2016. “Zur ‘Vokalisierung’ der Laryngale im Indoiranischen.” In Sahasram Ati Srajas: Indo-Iranian and Indo-European Studies in Honor of Stephanie W. Jamison ed. Gunkel et al., 216–26. Ann Arbor: Beech Stave.

Lipp, Reiner. 2009. Die indogermanischen und einzelsprachlichen Palatale im Indoiranischen. Vol. 2, Thorn-Problem, indoiranische Laryngalvokalisation. Heidelberg: Winter.

Praust, Karl. 2004. “Zur historischen Beurteilung von griech. κλίνω, der altindischen 9. Präsensklasse und zur Frage grundsprachlicher ‘ni-Präsentien’.” In Artes et Scientiae: Festschrift für Ralf-Peter Ritter zum 65. Geburtstag, ed. Peter Anreiter, Marialuise Haslinger, Heinz Dieter Pohl, and Helmut Winberger, 369–90. Vienna: Praesens.

Yoshida, Kazuhiko. 2013. “The weak affix -nī- in Sanskrit ninth class presents.” Münchener Studien zur Sprachwissenschaft 67:65–77.

On Mon, Mar 15, 2021 at 3:40 PM Andrew Ollett <> wrote:
See Jamison, Stephanie. 1988. ‘The quantity of the outcome of vocalized laryngeals in Indic’. In A. Bammesberger, ed., Die Laryngaltheorie und die Rekonstruktion des indogermanischen Laut- und Formensystems, 213–226. Heidelberg: Carl Winter. Jamison argued that ī is the regular development of an interconsonantal laryngeal in a final syllable, while i is the regular development elsewhere. If I'm not mistaken (I don't have a copy of the paper now) she argued that the length of ī in the weak stem of 9th class verbs was in order to distinguish the (synchronic) stem-final vowel from the (synchronic) "linking-vowel" i. That might account for its appearance in non-present forms of 9th class verbs (although once again I don't remember her argument).

In Middle Indic the outcome i seems to be more general (Prakrit gahia- for Sanskrit gr̥hīta- etc.), though I remember vaguely that early scholars took this to be a secondary (accentual) development from the Sanskrit forms. In principle they could represent the "regular" outcome of the PIE laryngeals.

On Mon, Mar 15, 2021 at 9:07 AM Madhav Deshpande <> wrote:
Pāṇini' rule "ग्रहोऽलिटि दीर्घ:" [७।२।३७] prescribes the lengthening of "i" in forms like गृहीत, गृहीत्वा etc.  Is there a historical explanation of this lengthening?

Madhav M. Deshpande
Professor Emeritus, Sanskrit and Linguistics
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Senior Fellow, Oxford Center for Hindu Studies
Adjunct Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, India

[Residence: Campbell, California, USA]
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