Patrick C. Ryan proto-language at
Thu Feb 25 03:59:14 UTC 1999

Dear Miguel and IEists:

-----Original Message-----
From: Miguel Carrasquer Vidal <mcv at>
Date: Wednesday, February 24, 1999 5:23 PM

>"Patrick C. Ryan" <proto-language at> wrote:

Sorry about the subscript. Since I do not subscribe to the laryngeal theory
as currently formulated, I was not as careful as I should have been. H2, the
a-coloring laryngeal, which I would equate with Ha:, is what I meant.

>I guess -(e)H2 was meant.

Nope. What I meant was -H2e.

>The Latin word for "queen", regina not
>*rega, is actually good evidence for the fact that gender has
>nothing to do with vocabulary buiding.  The "vocabulary building"
>part is -in- (reg- > regin-).

As in German Koenigin?

>The gender marker -a is superfluous.

Yes, it might be redundant based on developments in certain languages, and
we often see markers for the same functions heaped together as their
original significances fade.

But the primary function of *-ino is to form secondary adjectives (in spite
of the MHG form), meaning "consisting of, related to," etc. --- not to form
feminines. Thus a Lithuanian avynas would probably be surprised to know
that, from the form, you might suspect him to be female.

Of course, you might prefer *-eno, which is more of a verbal formant, so we
would have something like "ruling" but the function of the -a: would still
be to feminize the concept, and build a new word.


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