- Working Paper (3) (remove)
- An outline of Proto-Indo-European (2010)
- Indo-European is a branch of Indo-Uralic which was radically transformed under the influence of a North Caucasian substratum when its speakers moved from the area north of the Caspian Sea to the area north of the Black Sea (cf. Kortlandt 2007b). As a result, Indo-European developed a minimal vowel system combined with a very large consonant inventory including glottalized stops, also grammatical gender and adjectival agreement, an ergative construction which was lost again but has left its traces in the grammatical system, especially in the nominal inflection, a construction with a dative subject which was partly preserved in the historical languages and is reflected in the verbal morphology and syntax, where it gave rise to new categories, and a heterogeneous lexicon. The Indo-Uralic elements of Indo-European include pronouns, case endings, verbal endings, participles and derivational suffixes. In the following I shall give an overview of the grammar of Proto-Indo-European as it may have been spoken around 4000 BC in the eastern Ukraine, shortly after the ancestors of the Anatolians left for the Balkans (for more recent developments I refer to Beekes 1995).
- Polabian accentuation (2007)
- From a synchronic point of view, the accentuation of Late Polabian has been clarified by Trubetzkoy (1929) and Olesch (1973, 1974). The stress fell on the last full vowel of a word form, which was found either in the final or in the penulti-mate syllable. In the latter instance, the final syllable contained a reduced vowel. This rule was challenged by Kurylowicz (1955), who maintained that the stress was fixed on the initial syllable of the word. The latter theory has the advantage of accounting for the absence of reduced vowels in initial syllables.
- The Indo-Uralic verb (2002)
- C.C. Uhlenbeck made a distinction between two components of Proto-Indo-European, which he called A and B (1935a: 133ff.). The first component comprises pronouns, verbal roots, and derivational suffixes, and may be compared with Uralic, whereas the second component contains isolated words, such as numerals and most underived nouns, which have a different source. The wide attestation of the Indo-European numerals must be attributed to the development of trade resulting from the increased mobility which was the primary cause of the Indo-European expansions. Numerals do not belong to the basic vocabulary of a neolithic culture, as is clear from their absence in Proto-Uralic (cf. also Collinder 1965: 112) and from the spread of Chinese numerals throughout East Asia. Though Uhlenbeck objects to the term “substratum” for his B complex, I think that it is a perfectly appropriate denomination.