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Sievers's Law and IE. Weak-Grade Vocalism

Franklin Edgerton
Language
Vol. 10, No. 3 (Sep., 1934), pp. 235-265
DOI: 10.2307/409474
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/409474
Page Count: 31
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Sievers's Law and IE. Weak-Grade Vocalism
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Abstract

IE prevocalic iy and y, uw and w, after a consonant, were each a single phoneme, varying automatically under fixed phonetic conditions (essentially, y and w after a light syllable, iy and uw after a heavy). This was equally true of liquids and nasals (r̥r:r, etc.). The i, u (r̥ etc.) in such cases was a vowel of the quality of the following semi-vowel and cannot have been 'schwa secundum'. From this it can be indirectly but convincingly inferred that the weak-grade forms of dissyllabic bases contained preconsonantal IE (not only ī, ū but also) ṝ, ḹ, ṃ̄, ṇ̄.

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