S-aorist meaning

Jens Elmegaard Rasmussen jer at cphling.dk
Tue Aug 10 19:19:13 UTC 1999

On Thu, 5 Aug 1999, petegray wrote:

> [...]
>   The evidence from Vedic root presents and -s- aorists
> is especially helpful.   Incidentally, how does this fit with your
> suggestion that -s- aorists and -sk presents go together?

Well, the language could have been nicer: The productivity of the s-aorist
of course bleeds the old pattern with some of its persuasive power. Still,
the link between -s- and -sk^e/o- seems inescapable in the derivative

If Hittite forms ingressive de-adjectival verbs in -es- meaning 'become'
(idalaw-es- 'become evil'), and Lat. sene:sco: 'is growing old' has the
same semantic shade, the connection is established. And, since the stative
("be") is expressed by the *-eH1- (of "e:-verbs"), while -s- is a known
aorist marker, and *-sk^e/o- is a known present-stem morpheme, the
mathematical result is that *-s- and *-sk^e/o- are both inchoative
morphemes. The longer, present, form is of course durative,
situation-elaborating, which, with an inchoative, would mean something
like an uncompleted change of situation: "be in the process of beginning
to be -", i.e. "be developing into -, become more and more -". And on that
background it is nice to find that a handful or more sk-presents do have
s-aorists beside them (as Ved. pr.ccha'ti : aor. a'pra:ks.am, a'pra:t.).
Need I mention that Tocharian examples (B -sk-, A -s- by phonetic
development) has a strong predilection for the s-preterite (pre. III), in
Toch. A without exceptions?


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