Chronology of the breakup of Common Romance [long]

Patrick C. Ryan proto-language at
Wed Aug 11 13:47:41 UTC 1999

Dear Ed and IEists:

 ----- Original Message -----
From: Eduard Selleslagh <edsel at>
Sent: Sunday, August 08, 1999 9:10 PM

> [Ed]

> I am still in my vacation home in Spain, so I don't have my references here.
> Maybe I should have said 'ending'. I have seen '-age' mentioned as a
> variant of '-ak'. I'll have to look it up after Aug. 20. May be I was
> confused. Can you clarify for the time being?

Pat responds:

To the best of my knowledge, there is, per se, no ending or suffix -age.

There is a suffix -ak which indicates the genitive (derived, IMHO, from
ak(a), 'make, do', which I believe is better translated as '*have,
*possess'[related to IE *e:ik-]).

According to current Sumerological opinion, -ak appears simply as -a when it
is *not* followed by a vocalic suffix. But, for example, if a genitive
phrase is in a syntactic position which requires a vocalic suffix, such as
lug~al kalam-a (king of the land) + -e (ergative), the final consonant
reappears: lug~al kalam(m)ak-e. The final syllable is frequently
written -ke{4}, a sign for which another reading is ge{2}. There is no
serious suggestion of which I am aware that -k- is voiced (or de-aspirated)
to -g- intervocalically so that the likeliest reading of the compound suffix
is -ak-e (though usually written Ca-ke{4}.


PATRICK C. RYAN (501) 227-9947; FAX/DATA (501)312-9947 9115 W. 34th St.
Little Rock, AR 72204-4441 USA WEBPAGES: and PROTO-RELIGION: "Veit
ek, at ek hekk, vindga meipi, nftr allar nmu, geiri undapr . . . a ~eim
meipi er mangi veit hvers hann af rstum renn." (Havamal 138)

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