- Indogermanische Sprachen (3) (remove)
- The Proto-Germanic pluperfect (2007)
- The Germanic perfect presents (Präteritopräsentien) form a past tense by adding the endings of the weak preterit to the stem of the past participle, e.g. Go. wissa ‘knew’. This is a recent formation (cf. Kortlandt 1989). We may therefore ask ourselves if we can reconstruct the earlier formation which was ousted by the weak preterit. We may also try to recover the motivation for the replacement.
- From Serbo-Croatian to Indo-European (2005)
- The history of Slavic accentuation is complex. As a result, the significance of the Slavic accentual evidence is not immediately obvious to the average Indo-Europeanist. In this contribution I intend to render the material more easily accessible to the non-specialist. I shall focus on the Serbo-Croatian dialectal area, where the Proto-Slavic accentual system is better preserved than elsewhere. The main point of reference will be the neo-Štokavian system which was codified in the 19th century as a basis for the standard languages.
- C. C. Uhlenbeck on Indo-European, Uralic and Caucasian (2008)
- In his early years, C. C. Uhlenbeck was particularly interested in the problem of the Indo-European homeland (1895, 1897). He rejected Herman Hirt’s theory (1892) that the words for ‘birch’, ‘willow’, ‘spruce’, ‘oak’, ‘beech’ and ‘eel’ point to Lithuania and its immediate surroundings and returned to Otto Schrader’s view (1883, 1890) that the original homeland must rather be sought in southern Russia and may have included some of the later Germanic and Iranian territories. It is clear that the Mediterranean region and the area around the North Sea can safely be excluded because the arrival of the Indo-Europeans was comparatively recent here, as it was in Iran and the Indian subcontinent. It is difficult to be more specific within the limits of central and eastern Europe and central Asia. Uhlenbeck was impressed by the lexical correspondences between Indo-European and Semitic which had been adduced in favor of an eastern homeland but pointed out that borrowings from Semitic may have reached the Indo-Europeans through an intermediary. He agrees that the Indo-European words for trees and animals point to a moderate climate but questions the possibility of a more specific localization as well as the concept of homeland itself.