Greek question

Birgit Anette Olsen bao at
Tue Feb 23 08:31:42 UTC 1999

On Sat, 6 Feb 1999 manaster at wrote:

> On Thu, 4 Feb 1999, Patrick C. Ryan wrote:

> > I am under the impression that though Kurylowicz and others have been
> > interested in extending the "law" back to PIE times, this has not met
> > general acceptance but perhaps I am not privy to the latest information.

> > If  *ne(u)k(h)-to- had already become compounded in PIE, Bartholomae's Law
> > would not have come into play, would it?

> Hey, we do agree about something.  The BL issue is not closed
> by any means.  Sihler in his book argues that it had to be
> PIE because he can see no other way to explain the
> variation between *-tlo- and *-dhlo- instrument derivational
> suffixes.  But if I am not mistaken the Copenhagen school
> has a better theory for this than BL (Jens, Benedicte, anybody?).


Actually I have an alternative theory for the instrument suffix. In my
opinion the suffixes are not *-tlo- (*-tro-) and *-dhlo- (*-dhro-), but
rather *-tlo- (*-tro-) and *-thlo- (*-thro-) where *-thlo- (*-thro-) is
the result of "pre-aspiration" by a preceding voiceless consonantal
laryngeal, *h1 or *h2, e.g. *stah2-tlom > *stathlom > stabulum vs.
*poh3(i)tlom > po:culum. In the oldest layer the -l-variants seem to be
unmarked and the r-variants connected with roots containing a liquid (e.g.
the word for "plough"), so we arrive at one basic suffix, *-tlo-.

Birgit Olsen

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