21 July 2014

A Great Indo-European *Bʰlog

It is vacation time, so I finally have a little time to kill. I solemnly declare I will start posting again soon. Meanwhile, let me recommend a terrific new blog devoted to Indo-European linguistics, culture, and mythology. As you may know, there is some disagreement among historical linguists as to quite a few details of the Proto-Indo-European reconstruction, and consequently there are several different dialects of Proto-Indo-European. One of the reasons why I like The *Bʰlog is that I use practically the same dialect as its author, so there is nothing I can disagree with in matters of pronunciation and word inflection. I can read it without having to shake my head disapprovingly every now and then as I mentally correct the reconstructions. But of course there are lots of other reasons to like it, as you will find out for yourselves if you visit it:

The *Bʰlog

4 comments:

  1. As a postscript to my recommendation: has anyone figured out what *bʰlog- would have meant as a PIE root noun (of course with appropriate inflections)? I'm not asking the Bhlogger, who obviously intended to pun on the potential interpretation of blog in Indo-European terms.

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  2. It looks like my first comment was lost, so I'll try once more. A reflex of a PIE *bhlog- could be found in Greek phloks, phlog- 'flame' (IEW 124-125 *bheleg-). But I doubt that people would project the Greek word all the way back to PIE. And any pun in that is over my head.

    Or are there better alternatives?

    Anyway, great that you'll continue your blog soon, I've been considering a hammer for quite some time now :-)

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    Replies
    1. Well, the heading of the welcome message is *Dʰu̯órom *Bʰl̥gés, where the second word can only be the genitive of a root noun similar to Greek pʰlóks, pʰlogós (and presumably with roughly the same meaning), so I suppose this is the offcial interpretation of the name of the *Bʰlog. I would take issue with the inflection, though: a root noun with *o in the strong cases would normally have been acrostatic (at least in PIE proper), so the genitive should be something like *bʰléks. Actually, if the root-final consonant is a "plain" velar, I would expect a-colouring in the weak cases (*bʰláks), but this is my private hypothesis, not yet published. Anyway, the zero grade of the genitive must be late and secondary ;-)

      I also wonder why a thematic *dʰworóm is used for 'door, gate'. It's clear that the PIE prototype was a consonantal stem (*dʰwor-/*dʰur-), quite probably a collectivum or plurale tantum, and the derivative *dʰworóm had a related but different meaning ('court, area behind the door'), cf. Latin forum and OCS dvorъ 'court' vs. forēs, dvьrь 'door'. I suppose Andrew Byrd would argue that the heading still makes sense as a late "dialectal" phrase.

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    2. Oops, I mean *dʰwórom. I have no problem with the accent.

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