4 May 2010

New pdf on Indo-European verbs

I've put up a new pdf in my Lingua Files section on my views about Proto-Indo-European (PIE) verbal inflection. This pdf is a culmination of many of the posts I've already pushed out on this blog.

As a recap, I had come to a couple of major revelations on PIE that diverge from the "mainstream" but problematic view:
One: The unlikely phonological system can finally be rationalized by turning palatal stops to plain ones and plain stops to uvular ones while shifting phonation to a contrast between creaky and plain voice rather than plain versus breathy.

Two: The traditional "present-aorist-perfect" verb model (which is notorious for being an inadequate model representative only of a post-IE stage) can be reworked into an earlier two-dimensional system of subjective/objective versus progressive/non-progressive to now explain why Anatolian & Tocharian verbs behave so differently.
Now, I use the term progressive to specifically refer only to an affirmative, ongoing action in the realis mood while non-progressive covers everything else, including negative actions regardless of aspect or tense. I've modeled this system partly on what I know of the pecularities of the Mandarin verb which is also tenseless.

This makes for a very different PIE but these drastic changes are unavoidable if we are to solve some problems that have thus far gone unsolved. I've dared to theorize, if anything, for the sake of my own personal understanding and exploration, but hopefully my summary will also help anyone else interested to understand at a glance what I'm getting at and/or inspire others to blog their own insights and innovative solutions.


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