Three-Way Contrast of Secondary Articulations in PIE

proto-language proto-language at
Sat Mar 3 00:41:47 UTC 2001

Dear Miguel and IEists:

----- Original Message -----
From: "Miguel Carrasquer Vidal" <mcv at>
Sent: Saturday, February 24, 2001 6:38 AM

> On Tue, 20 Feb 2001 22:44:14 -0600, "David L. White"
> <dlwhite at> wrote:

>> I don't know about Tocharian (the only source available to me here
>> speaks of a two-way contrast), but for Old Irish the idea that there was a
>> three-way contrast has certainly been disputed, notably by Green.  Green
>> notes that such a system is not attested (as far as I know this is true)
>> among living languages

> Campbell's "Compendium of the World's Languages" (a far from perfect
> book, but it's what I have here at hand), gives palatalized *and*
> labialized consonants for the very first language decribed in it:
> Abkhazian.  Labialization together with palatalization occurs in
> North-West-Caucasian in general, together with a very poor vowel
> inventory (/@/ vs. /a/).  Here too, *i and *u yielded *y@ and *w@,
> while *a > *@ (and presumably *i: > *ya, *u: > *wa, *a: > *a).
> Something similar is assumed for Proto-(North-)Afro-Asiatic.

Some may want to look at:

Kuipers,Aert H. 1960. Phoneme and Morpheme in Kabardian (Eastern Adyghe). Janua
Linguarum. Studiae Nicolai van Wijk Dedicata. Nr. VIII., ed. by Cornelis H. van
Schooneveld.  's-Gravenhage: Mouton & Co.

He maintained that Kabardian had only one vowel, for which he was severely

Also, John Colarusso's comments may be of interest:


PATRICK C. RYAN | PROTO-LANGUAGE at (501) 227-9947 * 9115 W. 34th
St. Little Rock, AR 72204-4441 USA WEBPAGES: PROTO-LANGUAGE: and PROTO-RELIGION: "Veit ec
at ec hecc, vindgá meiði a netr allar nío, geiri vndaþr . . . a þeim
meiþi, er mangi veit, hvers hann af rótom renn." (Hávamál 138)

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