Root aorists vs. marked presents

Vidhyanath Rao vidynath at
Sun Aug 29 11:40:02 UTC 1999

[ moderator re-formatted ]

<ECOLING at> wrote:

> Did anyone compile the examples being offered for
> Primary root-aorists with marked present stems
> vs.
> Primary present stems with marked sigmatic (etc?) aorists

I guess the original list is from Brugmann, refined by others. Unfortunately,
Brugmann and his contemporaries did not distinguish aspect from aktionsart.

In general outline, and using the Vendler classification, the argument is that
root presents refer to activities and root aorists to achievements. [Of course,
only Indic and Hittite matter for root presents. The picture is also clouded by
polymorphism, especially as this is rather frequent in Vedic. One bone of
contention between Jens and me is whether this polymorphism is primary or
secondary. If the stem formants were derivational, I have a hard time
understanding why polymorphism cannot be original] Now we can revisit the
arguments over the category of accomplishments is real (:-) and, if so, how
they were represented in PIE.

> Perhaps much of this has already been done?
> Is it done in Rix: Lexikon der indogermanischen Verben?

> (By the way, I would like to get a copy of that book in any event, can anyone
> tell me an easy way?  I think I found it once somewhere on the web, don't
> remember where now, cannot seem to find it again, could not find it recently
> at and Barnes & Noble do not seem to list books from publishers without
a presence in the US. Is there a comparable service in Europe. [Harrasowitz,
who is usually used by libraries for such books, does not seem to deign to talk
to mere individuals.]

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