Pelasgians, Greek /ooi/

David L. White dlwhite at
Fri Apr 13 16:42:57 UTC 2001

         As for the Pelasgians being a "right fork" of the IE-Anatlions who
passed into Greece, if their language had phonetically aspirated /t/s (and
presumably /p, k/), which is necessary to explain how Anatolian /t/ could
appear as Greek /th/, would we not find "Chorinthos", "Pharnassos", and even
(farther afield) "Tharthessos"?  To invoke aspiration merely to explain the
Greek /th/ for Anatolian /t/ (or even /d/), conveniently ignoring unwanted
side effects, is not acceptable.  What language in the world aspirates /t/
only after /n/?  None that I ever heard of.  In any event, the Pelasgians
seem to have been a rather suspiciously well-traveled lot, for Pelasgian
place-names appear from Spain to Iran, and up to the Danube.  Is it not
likely that some of the more marginal of these were merely modeled on true
Pelasgian place-names, rather than being true Pelasgian place-names?  We do
not conclude that Mongolia, Somalia, and Australia were Roman territory
merely because we find them designated by in effect fake Roman place-names.
        How does Greek /ooi/ develop? (By "oo" I mean omega.)  I have been
led to believe that /troiaa/ is from shortening of earlier /trooiaa/. but
/ooi/ does of course appear in Greek, notably in the M dative singular of
V-stems.  Likewise there are cases like /ooixeto/.  What rule accounts in a
principled manner for shortening in /troia/?  /troo-es/ etc. is a C-stem,
which begs the question of what the lost consonant was.  In other words of
this declensional type (as far as I know) the lost consonant is /w/, but
/troow-/ (or even troosw-) would seem to be otherwise unmotivated.  (Though
/sw/ in an original /trosw-/ with short /o/ would make later long /oo/
regular in an independently verifiable way.  And perhaps, since /s^/ often
has secondary labialization, /sw/ might be a way that this could be borrowed
into a language without /s^/.   But I digress, however interestingly, or
not.)   The obvious (to me) candidate for Lost Consonant here is /y/, but it
is less than blindingly ovbvious why /trooyes/ and so on should have
developed in a different way from /trooya/ (or /trooiaa/).  I await

Dr. David L. White

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