Jens Elmegaard Rasmussen jer at
Thu Aug 26 23:53:59 UTC 1999

On Mon, 9 Aug 1999, Vidhyanath Rao wrote:

- a very full mail, of which I can reply to only a small fragment at

>> [Jens:]
>> The PIE function of the different derivative categories must be at least
>> compatible with that of their later reflexes, and the simplest solution is
>> that wherever we find non-trivial correspondences between the daughter
>> languages we have a relatively direct reflexion of the protolanguage.

> The perfect was rolled into the (perfective) past in Germanic, Italic,
> Tocharian and possibly Celtic. Does that mean that the Perfect was
> originally a past, and Indic and Greek innovated that into a
> resultative/perfect? Or should we pay attention to the fact that the
> development is typically the other way?

By the time PIE broke up, the perfect and the aorist must have been
functionally close in enough instances to make this development natural.
The aorist is in a sense a perfective past, and when the perfect was used
as a past, this too must have had a perfective note to it, so a clash
looks quite threatening.

I may take up some of the other points you raised at a later time.


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