This book "asserts that the origin and spread of languages must be examined primarily through the time-tested techniques of linguistic analysis, rather than those of evolutionary biology" and "defends traditional practices in historical linguistics while remaining open to new techniques, including computational methods" and "will appeal to readers interested in world history and world geography."
Date: Thu, 8 Jan 2004 22:35:29 +0900 From: Mike Morgan Subject: Hittite and the Indo-European Verb
Jasanoff, Jay H. (2003) Hittite and the Indo-European Verb, Oxford University Press.
Michael W. Morgan, Kobe City University of Foreign Studies
Key to typographical symbols used in this review: * = reconstructed form < derives from, goes back to a_, e_, o_ = a, e, o with macron a^, e^, u^ = a, e, u with breve u" = u with umlaut a', e', i', o' = a, e, i, o with acute accent o> = o with right (Polish) hook i#, u# = i, u with subscript arch c^, s^ = c with wedge, s with wedge r^ = r with under-ring (i.e. syllabic r) h^ = h with subscript breve h1, h2, h3 = h plus subscript 1, 2, 3
Modern discussion of Indo-European (IE) linguistics, be it phonology, morphology or even syntax, must take the data provided by Hittite into account. While too much discussion of IE simply appends the data of Hittite to the traditional framework obtained on the basis of the 'inner IE' languages (i.e. the state of the art before Hittite and Tocharian were discovered and analyzed), making only relatively minor modifications to this framework, the monograph under discussion is a thorough rethinking of the IE verbal system, taking the data of Hittite as a starting point.
The current monograph is clearly intended for specialists in IE verbal morphology, but could potentially be used by (very) advanced students of IE Studies (someone with a thorough grasp of the sections on verbal morphology provided by the modern standard handbooks, such as Beekes (1995), Lehmann (1993) and Szemere'nyi (1987), for example), especially if they had a reasonable background in Hittite as well.
Chapter One examines the problem of Hittite h^i- conjugation, and its relation to IE verbal conjugation. Hittite has two conjugation classes: the -mi class and the -h^i class. While the former corresponds directly to the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) primary active endings, the latter class lacks close counterparts in the other IE languages. From a purely formal point of view Hittite possesses the following active system:
Present endings: First person singular: -(h^)h^i < PIE *-h2e+i Second person singular: -(t)ti < PIE *-th2e+i (with analogization) Third person singular: -i < PIE *-e+i or *-o+i First person plural: -wen(i) < -mi conjugation Second person plural: -(t)ten(i) < -mi conjugation Third person plural: -anzi < -mi conjugation
Preterite endings: First person singular: -(h^)h^un pre-Hittite *-(h^)h^a + mi-conjugation ending -un Second person singular: -(t)ta < PIE *-th2e Third person singular: -s^ First person plural: as above Second person plural: as above Third Person plural: -er < PIE *-e_r
Theories of the origin of the -h^i conjugation can be divided into the following groups: (1) the perfect theory (the majority view), which derives the h^i-conjugation from classical PIE perfect (PIE present singular endings *-h2e, *-th2e and *-e, as well as third plural ending *-e_r in the above derivations are all perfect endings), (2) the middle theory, which derives the h^i-conjugation from the PIE middle (by meaning, verbs with h^i-conjugation in Hittite often correspond to verbs that inflect as middles elsewhere in IE; also present conjugation third person singular could derive from PIE middle *-o+i rather than perfect *-e+i), (3)the Indo-Hittite theory, which sees the h^i- conjugation as a purely Hittite innovation outside of IE, (4) a mixed theory, which derives the h^i-conjugation from a 'sister' of both the perfect and the middle, all of which go back to an early IE proto- middle, and (5) the thematic conjugation theory, which derives the first person singular *-o_ from PIE *-o-h2 and the third person singular from PIE perfect *-e. Jasanoff argues against each of these theories, and that a large number of Hittite h^i-conjugation verbs "correspond in root etymology and stem structure to ORDINARY ACTIVE PRESENTS OF A VARIETY OF FORMAL TYPES" (p. 28; emphasis in original).
Chapter Two provides morphological preliminaries to the discussion provided in subsequent chapters. In this preliminary, Jasanoff discusses the perfect and middle and their relation to the h2e- conjugation (Hittite -(h^)h^i). Jasanoff argues that the ancestor of the perfect, at some time in the prehistory of the parent language, was neutral as to tense, conveying both present and past stative meanings. Later in the parent language the two meanings were formally distinguished, by, for example, addition of secondary active ending in the third singular and accent shift and root apophony in the third plural. The perfect in the prehistory of IE is linked both formally (derivationally) and semantically with the middle. This link is attributed by Jasanoff to a common ancestor in the prehistory of PIE, where the third persons differed (*-e in the perfect and *-o in the middle) and the other forms were largely identical. This 'proto-middle' was "at least broadly comparable in function to the middle endings" of later IE languages (p. 59). In the subsequent history of PIE it is almost entirely the forms of the middle that undergo innovation, while those of the perfect remain largely unchanged. Jasanoff closes this chapter with a discussion of the thematic first singular form *-o-h2, a form closely linked with the prehistory of the perfect and middle.
The complete set of PIE forms involved can be reconstructed as follows: Perfect Sg. 1 *-h2e 2 *-th2e 3 *-e Pl. 1 *-meH (?) 2 *-(H)e (?) 3 *-e_r (< **-ers), *-r^(s)
In Chapter Three Jasanoff discusses the link between the h2e- conjugation and root presents in PIE. 'Molo_- presents' (< PIE *melh2- 'grind') form a group with etymological links to Hittite h^i- conjugation presents (malla/i-, malliya/i-). Verbs of this group often have an 'expressive' character, and "the majority fall into two semantic groups: verbs of motion ..., and verbs of vigorous or violent activity" (p. 76). This group, Jasanoff argues, was probably considerable in size in PIE. Also among root presents are the class containing Hittite s^a_kk-/s^a^kk- /s^ekk- 'know' which is linked to the PIE Narten present *se_kH-/*sekH-. Verbs in this group are notable for their shared apophonic behavior, a behavior not shared by molo_- presents. Jasanoff closes the chapter with a discussion of how PIE differentiated the present proper from the imperfect/injunctive.
In Chapter Four Jasanoff discusses the link between the h2e-conjugation and i-presents. Molo_-presents were not the only active presents that inflected with the h2e-series of endings; another group is the i- presents. A standard example is Hittite da_i/tiyanzi 'put', which has a strong stem in -ai- and a weak stem in -i- or -iya-. Like the molo_- presents, this is a sizeable group of verbs; the vast majority whose etymology is known go to PIE roots of the form *(C)CeH- (where H is most commonly *h1). The -i of the third person singular in Hittite seems to go back to a PIE *-i- or *-i#-; again most of those whose etymology is known go to an i#e/o-present somewhere outside of Anatolian, "precisely the sequence that would have resulted from the thematization of a stem-final element *-i-" (p. 97). Jasanoff's conclusion is that the ancestors of this group in the parent language were athematic i-presents with h2e- conjugation inflection. Another type of i-inflection is represented by Hittite mema/i- 'say'. This type has: (1) a strong stem in -a-, usually with shortened -ai-, (2) a weak stem in -i-, and (3) a preference for sigmatic endings, including second and third singular preterite -is^/-es^ or -is^ta/-es^ta. The final, and by far most numerous group of i-presents is the 'duratives' in -anni/a (e.g. iyannai/iyanniyanzi 'start marching, get underway'). This group would seem to derive from a group with an *-nh2-i (and corresponding inner-IE *-nh2-i#e'/o') suffix. The reason for derived h2e-conjugation i-presents may lie in an iterative or durative nuance given to the stem by the h2e- conjugation endings.
In Chapter Five Jasanoff traces the connection between the h2e- conjugation and other characterized presents. One such group of characterized presents is the reduplicated class represented by Hittite mimma- 'refuse', which can be set up with an athematic h2e-conjugation paradigm. Closely related is the class of iteratives in -s^s^(a)-, a closed class represented by such verbs as h^alzis^s^a- 'call'. The last major group of h^i-conjugation verbs with clear etymological ties to characterized presents in the parent language are denominative factitive type, e.g. Hittite newah^h^- 'make new'. Jasanoff also sees u-presents, such as PIE *dhe'nh2-u- 'move off' as likely candidates for h^i- conjugation type. These presents share with i-presents the tendency to become thematic in the later languages.
In Chapter Six and Seven Jasanoff examines aorists of the h2e- conjugation. If PIE h2e-conjugation presents (and imperfects) are 'denatured protomiddles', then we should expect to find similar h2e- conjugation aorists, which present themselves in Hittite as ordinary h^i-verbs. That is to say, they are simply h^i-conjugation root presents in Hittite, but with etymological links to root aorists elsewhere in the IE family. Outside Anatolian, the root aorists in question should be identifiable based on their *o:*e ablaut (and, less likely, by the h2e-conjugation reflexes). The first such type found is the 'stative- intransitive' type, as for example PIE *logh-/*legh- 'lay down', Hittite lak- 'knock out, bend'. The second h2e- conjugation aorist type is the 'presigmatic' aorist, exemplified by nai- 'turn, direct'. This group was a mixed category, with the non-third singular endings being non- sigmatic and taking the perfect endings. The creation of a fully sigmatic active indicative is a common innovation of the inner-IE (i.e. non-Anatolian, non-Tocharian) languages, which thus form a proper subgroup of IE as a whole.
Chapter Eight is a retrospective of the argumentation provided in the monograph. Jasanoff argues that the post- h2e-conjugation model of the verb is extremely conservative: three persons, three numbers, active and mediopassive, fully grammaticalized contrast of present/imperfect and aorist, a perfect (with both active and middle, and four moods (indicative, imperative, optative and subjunctive). The new system is novel on the formal level; grammatical actives could have either the normal active mi-conjugation endings, or the perfect h2e- conjugation endings. Which it had was determined by its IE-internal history; the distinction was functionally opaque (like the distinction in English between strong and weak verbs), and thus unstable in the later languages. Jasanoff closes with a list of new problems raised by the h2e-conjugation theory.
This appendix provides a prehistory of the thematic conjugation. We have already seen the h2e-conjugation connection with the first singular o-h2 ending. The entire thematic paradigm for the presents are exemplified by bhe'r- e-h2e (> o-h2), bhe'r-e-si, bhe'r-e-ti, etc. For thematic presents correlated with presigmatic aorists, such as *ne'iH- e/o- 'lead', Jasanoff opts for a subjunctive origin.
This appendix treats the IE perfect u#o'id-e. In particular, the lack of reduplication in any of the IE language reflexes is accounted for as an inner-IE neologism, a back-formation from its own middle.
Jasanoff's monograph is a very welcome addition to IE studies. Argumentation is both thorough and convincing. A wealth of forms from the full range of IE languages is provided in course of the argumentation. The approach is both comparative and empirical; through Jasanoff's arguments the forms speak for themselves, and we see the descriptive situation of the parent language. While too difficult a text to be used in an introductory course on the IE verbal system, as stated at the outset, it might recommend itself to the more advanced student (and certainly to the IE scholar).
One quibble over terminology. In Chapter One, Jasanoff presents numerous reasons for not arguing against a perfect-based origin for the h2e-conjugation. In part this is due to the lack of reduplication in the Hittite h^i- conjugation, a reduplication which is so much a part of the perfect in inner-IE languages as Greek or Sanskrit. Also Jasanoff argues that a perfect origin would mean that the h^i- conjugation had spread to an apparently arbitrary set of present stems. While arguing against positing a meaning function for the form of the IE -h2e conjugation, Jasanoff then goes on to call it a 'protomiddle' or Urmedium (p. 146), thus taking sides in the perfect versus middle argument. He argues that, due perhaps to its special functional position, the perfect parted company with the main line of development of the h2e-conjugation. As opposed to the protomiddle, the perfect is seen as neoactive.
We, however, would rather see the h2e-conjugation as a 'protoperfect'. It is, after all, the middle which is formally remodeled; the perfect remains largely unmodified. Additionally, although generalized in Greek and Indo- Iranian, reduplication is spotty at best in the other inner- IE languages. On this basis we could equally well assume a PIE reduplication with reduced range (something like the case of Latin with a relatively few reduplicated forms), which subsequently became generalized in some groups, and lost in others. Hittite would be one of the latter groups (with such as wewakk- 'demand' remaining as rare holdovers of the original PIE situation). As Perel'muter (1977) shows, most perfects of Homeric Greek are without corresponding presents (or else with derived, rather than root, presents); many have present meaning. There seems to be an almost complementary distribution between perfect and present stems; a given stem has either one or the other set of endings. Such a situation would be exactly like what we find in Hittite.
The most notable shortcoming of the book is its absence of a topical index, or of an index of authors cited. It does, however, possess an index of forms cited. This shortcoming makes it extremely doubtful that the text could be managed by anyone without a comfortable knowledge of most of the pertinent literature, and of the terminology which has grown up around the IE verbal system which Jasanoff uses repeatedly (e.g. Narten present, tuda'ti presents, etc.)
Although it was impossible and impractical to check all the forms cited by Jasanoff, one mistake was noted in passing. In the Old Church Slavonic reflex of IE u#edh- given on page 225, the form of the present is given as vezo> rather than vedo>. (The correct form is, however, given on page 174.)
This monograph is clearly must reading for anyone seriously interested in PIE verbal morphology, and is doubtlessly destined to become a standard reference in the field for years to come.
Beekes, R. S. P. (1995). Comparative Indo-European Linguistics: An Introduction. John Benjamins.
Lehmann, W. P. (1993). Theoretical Bases of Indo-European Linguistics. Routledge.
Perel'muter (1977). Obs^c^eindoevropejskyj I grec^eskij glagol. Nauka.
Szemere'nyi, O. (1987). Introduccio'n a la Lingu"i'stica Comparativa. Editorial Gredos. [Spanish translation of Szemere'nyi (1970). Einfu"hrung in die vergleichende Sprachwissenschaft. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.]
ABOUT THE REVIEWER:
ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Michael W. Morgan has a doctorate in Slavic Linguistics, and currently teaches at Kobe City University of Foreign Studies, Kobe, Japan. An Indo-Europeanist by training, he has been involved in sign language research for the past ten years, but also continues to conduct research on Indo- European languages as well.