Cowgill's Law

Larry Trask larryt at
Sat Feb 27 12:41:01 UTC 1999

The moderator writes:

> [ Moderator's comment:

>   But the stem in question has a labiovelar, not a palatal+labial
>   cluster.  And
>   Cowgill's Law explains the development of *o > u quite nicely.
>   --rma ]

Sorry; I don't know Cowgill's Law.  Could you explain it briefly?

Larry Trask
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QH

larryt at

[ Moderator's reply:
  In brief, Cowgill's Law states that in the environment next to a labiovelar,
  PIE *o > Greek u (> y).  I see that it does not appear in Collinge, though I
  have seen reference to it relatively recently, most probably in Sihler; it
  appears as an hypothesis mentioned in my class notes from 1975-77.
  --rma ]

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