Retroflexion in IA (was Re: Munda in Early NW India)

David L. White dlwhite at
Wed Apr 25 02:15:29 UTC 2001

> Just when I finished writing the above, I got the message in which
> Pat Ryan wrote:

>> [...] Modifying some apicals to a retroflex articulation helped disambiguate
>> somewhat since they indicated a Nostratic root with [o] not [a] or [e];

> Huh? You mean contrast of `Nostratic [o] vs Nostratic [a]/[e]' (whatever they
> are) was preserved till the split of IA so the speakers could decide when to
> change `apicals' to retroflex? Or do you mean PIE *o vs PIE *a/*e (that is
> demonstrably false).

        Just a brief note before returning to pretending to be dead ...
        How is it, if dentals before or possibly after /o/ in PIE
(presumably Nostratic had to get through PIE in order to arrive at Sanskrit)
become retroflexes, that PIE /tod/, clearly the ancestor of Greek /to/ and
OE /thaet/ (among others) appears as Sanskrit /tat/?  Would not one or the
other (or perhaps both) of the dentals in question be expected to become
        Back to dutiful slogging ...

Dr. David L. White

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