This book examines the operation of laws, rules, and principles in Indo-European, the language family which includes the Celtic, Germanic, Italic/Romance, and Baltic/Slavic subfamilies as well as the predominant languages of Greece, Iran, parts of Southern Asia, and ancient Anatolia. Laws and rules are crucial to Indo-European studies: they constrain the reconstructions and etymologies on which knowledge of the history and prehistory of Indo-European in particular and ancient languages more generally is based, and which allow processes of morphological change, semantic shift, and borrowing to be identified. But these laws and rules require constant reassessment in the light of new evidence, theory, and method. Through a series of case studies re-examining specific laws and rules in the Indo-European language family, this book explores the implications of new insights into language change andof increasing opportunities for attention to chronology and detail in the treatment of primary material. The languages and language families under consideration include Celtic, Germanic, Italic and Romance, Armenian, Greek, and Indo-Iranian languages as well as Proto-Indo-European.
Laws and Rules in Indo-European brings together leading scholars from all over the world. It makes a valuable contribution to the understanding of the history of ancient languages and the reconstruction of their ancestors, as well as to research methods.
Philomen Probert is University Lecturer in Classical Philology and Linguistics at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Wolfson College. She has written A new short guide to the accentuation of Ancient Greek (Duckworth 2003) and Ancient Greek accentuation: synchronic patterns, frequency effects, and prehistory (OUP 2006). Andreas Willi is Diebold Professor of Comparative Philology at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Worcester College. He has written The Languages of Aristophanes: aspects of linguistic variation in classical Attic Greek (OUP 2003) and Sikelismos: Sprache, Literatur und Gesellschaft im griechischen Sizilien (Basel, Schwabe 2008) and edited The Language of Greek Comedy (OUP 2002).
1. Introduction ; PART I: LINGUISTICS 'LAWS' IN PRE-MODERN THOUGHT ; 2. Fern do frestol na. u. consaine: Perceptions of sound laws, sound change, and linguistic borrowing among the medieval Irish ; PART II: RULES OF LANGUAGE CHANGE AND LINGUISTIC METHOLOGY ; 3. Cladistic Principles and Linguistic Reality: The case of West Germanic ; 4. Older Runic Evidence for Northwest Germanic a-umlaut of u (and 'the converse of Polivanov's Law') ; 5. A Law Unto Themselves? An Acoustic Phonetic Study of 'Tonal' Consonants in British Panjabi ; 6. Kurylowicz's First 'Law of Analogy' and the Development of Passive periphrases in Latin ; 7. Phonetic Laws, Relative and Absolute Chronology, Language Diffusion and the Drift: The loss of sibilants in the Greek dialects of the first millennium BC ; PART III: SEGMENTAL SOUND LAWS: NEW PROPOSALS AND REASSESSMENTS ; 8. A Rule of Deaspiration in Ancient Greek ; 9. Regular Sound Change and Word-initial in Armenian ; 10. Schrijver's Rules for British and Proto-Celtic *-o- and *-u- Before a Vowel ; PART IV: ORIGINS AND EVOLUTIONS ; 11. Origins of the Greek Law of Limitation ; 12. Re-examining Lindeman's Law ; 13. Exon's Law and the latin Syncopes ; PART V: SYSTEMIC CONSEQUENCES ; 14. Brugmann's Law: The problem of Indo-Iranian thematic nouns and adjectives ; 15. Kiparsky's Rule, Thematic Nasal Presents and Athematic verba vocalia in Greek ; PART VI: SYNCHRONIC LAWS AND RULES IN SYNTAX AND SOCIOLINGUISTICS ; 16. Praetor urbanus - urbanus praetor: Some aspects of attributive adjective placement in Latin ; 17. The Rules of Politeness and Latin Request Formulae ; References ; General Index ; Index of Words