Indo-European Sound Laws
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Indo-European Sound Laws

As the Proto-Indo-European language (PIE) broke up, its sound system diverged as well, as evidenced in various sound laws associated with the daughter Indo-European languages.

Especially notable is the palatalization that produced the satem languages, along with the associated ruki sound law. Other notable changes include:

Bartholomae's law in Indo-Iranian, and Sievers's law in Proto-Germanic and (to some extent) various other branches, may or may not have been common Indo-European features. A number of innovations, both phonological and morphological, represent areal features common to the Italic and Celtic languages; among them the development of labiovelars to labial consonants in some Italic and Celtic branches, producing "p-Celtic" and "q-Celtic" languages (likewise "p-Italic" and "q-Italic", although these terms are less used). Another grouping with many shared areal innovations comprises Greek, Indo-Iranian, and Armenian; among its common phonological innovations are Grassmann's law in Greek and Indo-Iranian, and weakening of pre-vocalic /s/ to /h/ in Greek, Iranian and Armenian.

Consonants

The following table shows the Proto-Indo-European consonants and their reflexes in selected Indo-European daughter languages. Background and further details can be found in various related articles, including Proto-Indo-European phonology, Centum and satem languages, the articles on the various sound laws referred to in the introduction, and the articles on the various IE proto-languages, language groups and language phonologies. For development of the laryngeals and syllabic consonants, see the vowels table below.

Table 1. Reflexes of Proto-Indo-European single consonants
PIE Indo-Iranian Balto-Slavic Alb. Arm. Anatol. Toch. Greek Italic Celtic Germanic
Skr. Av. O.C.S. Lith. Hitt. Latin Old Irish Gothic English
normal C+[j] normal -C- [C 1]
*p p; ph [p?] [C 2] p; f [C 3] p h;
w [C 4]
p, pp p pt p ? f;
b [?] [C 5]
f;
v, f[C 1]
*t t; th [t] [C 2] t; ?[C 3] t t? [t?] t, tt;
z [ts] [C 6]
t;
c [c] [C 6]
t s; tt/ss[C 4] t t th [?] þ [?];
d [ð]; [C 5]
th;
d; [C 5]
*? ? [?] s ? [?] th [?];
k[C 7]
s k, kk k;
? [?][C 7]
k c [k] c [k] ch [x] h;
g [?] [C 5]
h;
?;[C 1]
y [C 5]
*k k; c [t]; [C 6]
kh [k?] [C 2]
k; c [t?]; [C 6]
x[C 3]
k;
? [t?]; [C 6]
c [ts][C 8]
k k k? [k?]
*k? k;
s; [C 6]
q [c][C 8]
ku, kku p;
t; [C 6]
k[C 9]
qu [k?];
c [k] [C 10]
? [?];
gw, w [C 5]
wh;
w [C 5]
*b b; bh [C 2] b; ? [C 11] b p b pt b b [b] -[?]- p
*d d; dh [C 2] d; ? [C 11] d d;
dh [ð][C 1]
t ts;
? [?] [C 6]
d z [zd] > [z] d d [d] -[ð]- t
*? j [d];
h [?] [C 2]
z ? [?] dh [ð];
g[C 7]
c [ts] k k;
? [?][C 7]
g g g [?] -[?]- k c / k;
ch[C 8]
*g g; j [d]; [C 6]
gh; [C 2] h [?] [C 2]
g; j [d?]; [C 6]
? [C 11]
g;
? [?]; [C 6]
dz[C 8]
g g k
*g? g;
z; [C 6]
gj [?][C 8]
ku b;
d; [C 6]
g[C 9]
u [w > v];
gu [] [C 12]
b [b] -[?]- q [k?] qu
*b? bh [b?] b; ? [C 11] b b;
w[C 1]
p ph [p?] pt f;[C 13]
b
b [b];
b [?];[C 1]
f [C 14]
b;
v / f[C 15]
*d? dh [d?] d; ? [C 11] d t t;
c [c] [C 6]
th [t?] tt/ss f;[C 13]
d;
b [C 16]
d [d] -[ð]- d;
d [ð];[C 1]
þ [C 14]
d
* h [?] z ? [?] dh [ð];
d[C 7]
j [dz];
z[C 1]
k k;
? [?] [C 6]
kh [k?] h;
h / g[C 7]
g [?] -[?]- g;
g [?];[C 1]
g [x] [C 14]
g;
y / w[C 15]
*g? gh [];
h [?] [C 6]
g; j [d?]; [C 6]
? [C 11]
g;
? [?]; [C 6]
dz[C 8]
g g g;
? [d?] [C 6]
*g g;
z; [C 6]
gj [?][C 8]
ku ph [p?];
th [t?]; [C 6]
kh [k?][C 9]
f;[C 13]
g /
u [w];[C 1]
gu [] [C 12]
g;
b;[C 13]
w;[C 1]
gw [C 12]
g;
b;[C 13]
w[C 1]
*s s h [h, x] s sh [?];
gj [?];[C 17]
h[C 1]
h;
?[C 1]
? [s] s;
? [?]
h;[C 13]
s;[C 18][C 14]/
?;[C 1]
[¯] [C 19]
i s;
r[C 1]
s ? -[h]- s;
z [C 5]
s;
r [C 5]
? [?][C 20] ? [?][C 20] x [x][C 20] ? [?][C 20]
*m m in m m [m] -[w?]- m
*-m [C 14] m ? [~] n ? n n -- m [~] n ?
*n n n;
? [~] [C 14]
n n;
ñ [?]
n in n
*l r (dial. l) r l l;
ll [?][C 1]
l /
? [?
> ?]
l il l
*r r r [?];
rr [r][C 1]
r ir r
*y y [j] j [j] gj [?];
?
? y [j] z [zd] > [z] /
h;
? [C 1]
?i i [j];
? [C 1]
? j y
*w v [?] v [w] v v [?] v g / w w w > h / ? i u [w > v] f -?- w
PIE Skr. Av. O.C.S. Lith. Alb. Arm. Hitt. Toch. Greek Greek+/j/ Latin Old Irish Gothic English

Notes for table 1:

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Between vowels
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Before an original h?.
  3. ^ a b c Before a consonant or original laryngeal.
  4. ^ a b After a vowel.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Following an unstressed vowel (Verner's law).
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Before a (PIE) front vowel (*i, *e).
  7. ^ a b c d e f Before a sonorant.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Before secondary (post-PIE) front-vowels.
  9. ^ a b c Before or after a (PIE) u
  10. ^ Before or after a (PIE) rounded vowel (*u, *o).
  11. ^ a b c d e f In Younger Avestan, after a vowel.
  12. ^ a b c After n.
  13. ^ a b c d e f At the beginning of a word
  14. ^ a b c d e f At the end of a word.
  15. ^ a b Between vowels, or between a vowel and r, l (on either side)
  16. ^ After u, r or before r, l.
  17. ^ Before a stressed vowel
  18. ^ Before or after an obstruent (p, t, k, etc.; s)
  19. ^ Before or after a resonant (r, l, m, n).
  20. ^ a b c d After r, u, k, i (Ruki sound law).

Consonant clusters

Proto-Indo-European also had numerous consonant clusters, such as *st, *?s. In most cases in most languages, each consonant in a cluster develops according to the normal development given in the table above. Many consonant clusters however also show special developments in multiple languages. Some of these are given by the following table (with cases of otherwise predictable development in gray):

Table 2. Reflexes of Proto-Indo-European consonant clusters
PIE Indo-Iranian Balto-Slavic Alb. Arm. Anatol. Toch. Greek Italic Celtic Germanic
Skr. Av. O.C.S. Lith. Hitt. Latin Old Irish Gothic English
normal C+[j]
*sr sr r str sr rr [r] (a)r ?(?a)r r rh n/a fr-, -br- sr str str
*tw tv tv tv t k? [k?] ttu, ddu s-, -ss- n/a p? t þw thw
*d?w dhv ð? dv dv d ? tu, du f d dw dw
*dw dv (e)rk tu, du b tw tw
*?w ?v sp sv ?v s sk, ? n/a qu [k?] cu [k?] ? [x?] wh
*w hv zv ?v z
*?w jv q [k?] qu [kw]
*sw sv xuu [x?] sv sv v k? [k?] normal dev. h n/a su [sw] s sw sw
*sp sp sp [CC 1] sp f sp [CC 1]
/ p? [p?]
normal dev. sp [CC 1] ? sp f sp [CC 2]
*st st st [CC 1] st sht [?t] st [CC 1] normal dev. st [CC 1] s; tt/ss[CC 3] st st [CC 2]
*s? ch [t]; cch[CC 3] s? sk ?? h ?`; c`[CC 3] normal dev. sk; [CC 1]
kh [k?];[CC 4]
skh [sk?] [CC 5]
sc [sk] sc [sk] sk [CC 2] sh [?]
*sk sk, sc sk, s? [CC 1] normal dev. ? sk [CC 1] normal dev.
*sk? norm. squ [sk?] sq [CC 2]
*t+t [tst] tt; tth [CC 6] st; s?[CC 7]? st s s? zt, zza?t, zzazz [tst] ss? st ss ss / st
*pt pt ft t? pt t pt pt cht [xt] ft [CC 2]
*?t [] ?t [?t] st ?t [?t] kt ct [kt] ht [CC 2] ght [t] [CC 2]
*kt kt xt t? kt
*k?t pt ct [kt]
*ps ps ps s, ss fs ps
*?s k? ? sh [?] ks x [ks] hs x [ks]
*ks k?[CC 8] x?[CC 8] (ks)
*k?s k?s ps x [ks]
*sd ? zd zd zd st d -t- [d] st st
*sd? ?h zd zd zd Show side sth -t- [d] zd d

Notes to Table 2:

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i In contrast to *s normally giving h in Avestan, Armenian and Greek.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Germanic spirant law: *p, *t, *k, *k? remain stops when preceded by another stop or *s.
  3. ^ a b c Between vowels.
  4. ^ After r, l, m, n, t, d, possibly other consonants?
  5. ^ After (Greek) th.[clarification needed]
  6. ^ Before an original laryngeal.
  7. ^ Before a consonant or original laryngeal.
  8. ^ a b After r, u, k, i (Ruki sound law).

Vowels and syllabic consonants

This table shows the Proto-Indo-European vowels and syllabic consonants (as reconstructed both before and after the acceptance of laryngeal theory), and their reflexes in selected Indo-European daughter languages. Background and further details can be found in various related articles, including Proto-Indo-European phonology, the articles on the various sound laws referred to in the introduction, and the articles on the various IE proto-languages, language groups and language phonologies.

Trad. PIE Laryng. PIE Skr. Av. O.C.S. Lith. Arm. Alb. Toch. Hitt. Greek Latin[V 1] Proto-Celtic Gothic[V 2] Old English[V 1]
normal umlauted[V 3]
*e *e, *h?e a e je, ie, e, i; ja[V 4] ä e, ?e, i e i; [?][V 5] e; eo[V 6] i; ie[V 6]
*a (*a[V 7]), *h?e o a a ha, a ? ha, a a a æ; a;[V 8] ea[V 6] e; ie[V 6]
*o *h?e o, a a a, e a o
*o a; ?[V 9]
*?[V 10] *h?[V 10] i i, ? ? a, ? ? ? e a a, ?
*h?[V 10] ? a
*h?[V 10] ? o
*- *h?-[V 11] ? e (a?) ? a, ? e (o) ?
*h?-[V 11] a ?a a
*h?-[V 11] a, ha o
*? *?, *eh? ? ? ? i o, ua a/e?; ??[V 12] ?, e, i ? ? ? ?
*? (*?[V 7]), *eh? a o [o:] a a/o? a, ah ? > ?[V 13] ? ? ? ?
*? *?, *eh? uo u e a/??; ??[V 12] a, ? ? ?; ?[V 12]
*i *i i ? i i i; e[V 14] ä i, ? i i; [?][V 5] i
*? *ih? ? i y [i:] i i ? ? ei [i:] ?
*ih? i
or (j)a?[V 15]
y? ? or (j)??[V 15]
*ih? ? or (j)??[V 15]
*ei *ei, *h?ei ai > ? ai > ?i,
?i > a?[V 9]
ei; ie[V 16] i e ? ei ? ?a; ?[V 17]
*oi *oi, *h?ei ? ai; ie[V 16] e e, ai ?, ai oi ? oe ái ? ?
*ai (*ai[V 7]), *h?ei ai ae ae
*?i *?i ai; ?[V 12] ?i; ?(i)[V 12] i i ? ?i ?? ei [i:] ?
*?i *?i (*oei) y; u[V 12] ai; ui[V 12] e, ai ai ?i ? u[V 12] ái ? ?
*?i *eh?ei ? ai ?i > ?i[V 13] ae
*u *u u ? u u u; y[V 18] ä u u u u; o[V 19] u; [?][V 5] u; o[V 20] y
*? *uh? ? y ? y; i[V 12] u ? ? ?
*uh? u
or (w)a?[V 15]
w? ? or (w)??[V 15]
*uh? ? or (w)??[V 15]
*eu *eu, *h?eu ? u; ao[V 9] ju iau oy e u eu ? ?a; ?[V 21] iu ?o ?e
*ou *ou,*h?eu u au a o, au ou áu ?a
*au (*au[V 7]), *h?eu aw au au
*?u *?u ?u u iau e ?? iu ?o
*?u *?u a au ? áu ?a
*m? *m? a ? im?; um?[V 22] am a äm a, un a em em, am um um ym
*m *mh? ? ìm; ùm[V 22] ama m? m? m?
*mh? m? > m?[V 13]
*mh? m?
*m?m *m?m am ?m/?m im; um[V 22] am am em am
*n? *n? a ? ; [V 22] an än an a en en, an un un yn
*n *nh? ? ìn; ùn[V 22] ana n? n? n?
*nh? n? > n? [V 13]
*nh? n?
*n?n *n?n an ?n/?n ; [V 22] an an en an
*l? *l? ? ?r? l?/l? il?; ul?[V 22] al il, li; ul, lu äl al la ol li;[V 23] al ul ul; ol[V 20] yl
*l *lh? ?r; ?r[V 24] ar? ìl; ùl[V 22] ala al l? l? l?
*lh? l? > l?[V 13]
*lh? l?
*l?l *l?l ir; ur[V 24] ar ?l/?l il; ul[V 22] al, la al el al
*r? *r? ? ?r? r?/r? ir?; ur?[V 22] ar ir, ri; ur, ru är ar, ur ra or ri;[V 23] ar aúr [?r] ur; or[V 20] yr
*r *rh? ?r; ?r[V 24] ar? ìr; ùr[V 22] ara ra r? r? r?
*rh? r? > r?[V 13]
*rh? r?
*r?r *r?r ir; ur[V 24] ar ?r/?r ir; ur[V 22] ar ar ar ar
Trad. PIE Laryng. PIE Skr. Av. O.C.S. Lith. Arm. Alb. Toch. Hitt. Greek Latin[V 1] Proto-Celtic Gothic[V 2] normal umlauted[V 3]
Old English[V 1]

Notes:

  1. ^ a b c d In initial syllables only.
  2. ^ a b In non-final syllables only.
  3. ^ a b Before i, ?, or /j/ in the next syllable in Proto-Germanic (i-umlaut).
  4. ^ In a closed syllable.
  5. ^ a b c Before r, h. Gothic, but not other Germanic languages, merges /e/ and /i/.
  6. ^ a b c d Before h, w, or before r, l plus a consonant ("breaking").
  7. ^ a b c d The existence of PIE non-allophonic a is disputed.
  8. ^ Before a back vowel in the next syllable (a restoration).
  9. ^ a b c In open syllables (Brugmann's law).
  10. ^ a b c d Between consonants, or at the end of a word after a consonant.
  11. ^ a b c At the beginning of a word, followed by a consonant.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i In a final syllable.
  13. ^ a b c d e f ? > ? in Attic and Ionic dialects only.
  14. ^ Before ? in the following syllable.
  15. ^ a b c d e f The so-called breaking is disputed (typical examples are *proti-h?k?o- > Ved. prát?kam ~ Gk. ; *g?ih?u?o- > Ved. j?vá- ~ Arm. keank', Gk. ?; *duh?ro- > Ved. d?rá- ~ Arm. erkar, Gk. )
  16. ^ a b Under stress.
  17. ^ Before palatal consonants.
  18. ^ Before i in the following syllable.
  19. ^ Before wa.
  20. ^ a b c Before a non-high vowel in the next syllable (a-mutation).
  21. ^ Before velars and unstressed
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l In the neighbourhood of labiovelars.
  23. ^ a b Before a stop or m.
  24. ^ a b c d In the neighbourhood of labials.

Examples

See the list of Proto-Indo-European roots hosted at Wiktionary.

*p

*p?ds, ~ *ped-, "foot".[1]

*t

*tréyes, "three".[1]

*?

*?m?tóm, "hundred" (from earlier *dk?m?tóm)[1]

*k

*kréwh?s, "raw flesh"[1]

Sound laws within PIE

A few phonological laws can be reconstructed that may have been effective prior to the final breakup of PIE by internal reconstruction.

See also

Further reading

  • "Voiceless high vowels and syncope in older Indo-European" (PDF). Martin Kummel, department of Indo-European linguistics, University of Jena.
  • "Uvular Stops or a Glottal Fricative? Theory and Data in Recent Reconstructions of PIE "Laryngeals"" (PDF). Martin Kummel, department of Indo-European linguistics, University of Jena.

References

  1. ^ a b c d Meier-Brügger, Michael; Gertmenian, Charles (translator) (2003). Indo-European linguistics. Berlin [u.a.]: de Gruyter. pp. 101-131. ISBN 3-11-017433-2.
  2. ^ Hock, Hans Heinrich (1986). Principles of historical linguistics. Berlin; New York: Walter de Gruyter. p. 132. ISBN 3-11-010600-0.

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