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[זה מעולה] Confusing - I had to read it a few times to get my head around it - but interesting! I don't really have any theories on where the thingie comes from, but I'm looking forward to finding out what you (or other people) think.

Ooh look (*points at header thing*), Hebrew! I think.


[this is good]

Interesing thesis, would be great if you could prove it. A tense derived from 'now' (making it some kind of particle) also sounds very appealing to me. It would also give us insight in how the early people expressed sense for time in their speech.

good luck!

Glen Gordon

[this is good]

Considering that you yourself see that there are variants such as *-n-, *-neh2- (n.b. factitives in *-eh2- like *new-eh2- "to make new" attested in Anatolian) and *-neu-, all used in the present, it would naturally follow that the common denominator here is that cute *-n-. The connection with adverb *nu is a red herring. Do not listen to its alluring siren song.

Try instead to contemplate more pressing questions that you may not have thought of yet: Why is *n infixed at all? Why is PIE otherwise void of infixes (n.b. suffixes are most typical in SOV languages)? What typically causes infixing in languages? Then, and only then, will you start to understand why *nu has nothing to do with this. By the way, I'm pretty sure someone has already published your new "*nu theory" some four score and ten ago but I'm never good with names :( Still it's always one of those very tempting ideas that ensnare many an unsuspecting linguist.


The theory that Beekes proposes in Comparative Indo-European Linguisics: An Introduction.

is that *-n- is the infix which got infixed in words that ended either in *-h2, and in *-u. Later (especially in Greek) these forms were analogically extended with the last letter of these roots.

This is probably a much easier and clearer explanation. I just thought I'd explore the "now " theory a bit.

It's striking though, how Tocharian has picked up a great deal of that same system as Greek. Presents are generally made with extensive use of suffixes, of which na (<*nh2), nä (<*nu) and -n- infix are very common.

Correct me if I'm wrong; but in other languages besides Tocharian and Greek these suffixes aren't all that common.

Glen Gordon

I understand. It's fun to explore ;) Interests wouldn't be interesting without that.

When I was referring to how infixing starts in the first place, I was thinking further back. Waaaay further back. Back to the stage of Pre-IE Syncope (when vowels got chopped off because of a heavy stress accent). Imagine the crazy phonotactic effects unleashed on a distraught nasal suffix during those turbulent times. Consonant cluster overloading and all that. Infixing became a perfect solution for our little *n.

As for *n outside of Tocharian and Greek, how about Latin (iungô / iugum)?

Glen Gordon

By the way, what is this "[this is good] / [זה מעולה]" thing used for on these Vox blogs? Boy, Vox is weird :P


[这个好] I have no clue; I know it allows you to express your approval in sever different languages, even if you don't speak them! Which is good enough for me.

I used to have a blogspot account, but vox just looked so pretty, so I switched, haha.

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