Proto-(Indo)-Mesopotamian (IE diachronic lang)

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Proto-(Indo)-Mesopotamian (IE diachronic lang)

Post by Davush » 16 Jan 2020 01:25

This is an experiment in PIE diachronics and also partially an alt-history. The initial idea was to have an IE language spoken somewhere in Mesopotamia and/or the Arabian Peninsula, with lots of Semitic contact and borrowing. I will develop this idea as I go along.

The first stage of this language is Proto-Indo-Mesopotamian (or Proto-IM), although pre-Proto-Mesopotamian is described briefly in this post covering 4000BC-3000BC.

My knowledge of PIE and its diachronics are limited at best, so if you spot something which seems implausible, or if my assumptions seem unfounded, please do say so! I want to keep it vaguely within the realm of plausibility while also having fun with the idea.

Background

Proto-IM splits from IE at around the same time as the Anatolian branch. 4000BC seems to be cited as a common date for this, so I will assume a similar timeframe unless anyone with more knowledge on this can point to a more specific/alternate date.

It is unclear whether Proto-Mesopotamian should accurately be classified Anatolian, or as its own branch. It shares several features in common with Anatolian, but is also distinct in many ways by its earliest stages. By the time of Common Anatolian, the two are more accurately sister languages. Some shared features could also be areal features as the the two will have been in close contact. The most likely scenario is that it split off from pre-proto-Anatolian (which could be called proto-Anatolian-Mesopotamian), but remained in contact. Therefore Mesopotamian is perhaps better considered a separate branch. So PIE > Proto-Anatolian-Mesopotamian > Proto-Mesopotamian.

There seems to be no real consensus on whether Proto-Anatolian arrived via a Caspian Sea route, or via the Balkans, but I suppose this doesn’t really matter either way for Proto-IM. Whatever the case, Proto-IM was present in Upper Mesopotamia by at least 3000BC, probably earlier. More specifically, the Upper Mesopotamian Plains between the Euphrates and Tigris.

Its neighbouring Semitic language was Eblaite at this point (3000BC), spoken to the West in/around the Levant. There were likely other early Semitic languages in the vicinity too, so there was lots of early contact with Semitic, more so than the Anatolian branch given proto-Mesopotamians' more southerly position. Hurrian is attested by around 2000BC and was likely present a bit earlier too. Proto-Mesopotamian speakers will be very close to the Hurrian area, so there is significant Hurrian influence. Sumerian was far further south, and I can't find evidence that it was spoken that far north, so Sumerian influence is unlikely at this early stage.


Changes from IE to pre-Proto-Mesopotamian

These describe the changes between early IE and (pre)-proto-IM, so probably between 4000-3000BC. Several of these are shared with Anatolian, or are very similar. Some features seem to be motivated by Semitic/Eblaite in particular.

Stops merge into a fortis / lenis (geminate/singleton) distinction, with the voiced and voiced-aspirate series always becoming lenis. Unvoiced stops also become lenis between unaccented vowels and after long vowels. The split is shared with Anatolian, but the outcome might be different as the situation could actually be a voiced/unvoiced series in Anatolian. Nonetheless, it shares the merger of voiced-voiced aspirates. Whatever the case for Anatolian, proto-IM developed a fortis / lenis series.

The *ḱ k kʷ series remain distinct, although show different reflexes from Proto-Anatolian, becoming /k q qʷ/.

*h1 mostly disappears as with Anatolian. Word-initial /h/ exists but is most likely non-etymological, due to avoidance of vowel-initial roots (perhaps via Semitic influence), so /h/ would actually be prothetic and not a direct reflex of *h1.

*h2 is preserved, but as /ħː~ʕ/ in Proto-IM (assumed to be /χː~x/ or /qː~q/ or similar in Proto-An.) It shows the same fortis-lenis distinction as in PA.

*h3 in PA seems to merge with lenis *h2 or delete entirely. The outcome in proto-Mesopotamian is still unclear, but likely also pharyngeal.

The laryngeals seems to have been preserved more or less in the same context as Anatolian, albeit with pharyngeal realisation. Possibly influenced by neighbouring Semitic with its plentiful pharyngeals. Note that Akkadian was not yet established (or in its early stages), and neighbouring Semitic languages likely still had pharyngeals by 3000BC.

Affrication of *t > /ts/ before *y shared with PA.

*r and *l merge into /r/ or /l/. The exact realisation is disputed. /l/ is perhaps more likely, as Eblaite and Akkadian seem to also only have /l/ with Proto-Semitic *r becoming uvular, so possibly an areal influence. This is unique to proto-Mesopotamian.

*eh1 > /æː/ as in PA
*ey > /eː/ as in PA
*eu > /o:/ (unlike > /u:/ in PA)

Otherwise vowels are mostly intact. Status of phonemic /ə/ in pre-Proto-IM unclear.

This gives a tentative phonological inventory of:

pː p tː t kː k qː q qʷː q
s ħː~ʕ *ħʷ (h)
m n
r~l
y w

a i u e o (ə)
aː æː iː uː eː oː

Of course, there will be conditioning factors and sporadic changes and other fun stuff, but this is just an overview.

I hope to take the language forward into a 'modern' (contemporary) stage eventually, in an alt-history where its speakers will have survived (and maybe flourished). It remains to be see where they end up. I did originally want to have some Sumerian substrate, although that would mean its speakers move to Lower Mesopotamia very early on, and somehow manage to avoid becoming completely Sumerian-ised or Akkadian-ised, so perhaps not...

The Semitic influence will probably grow as time passes, so expect more templatic-type morphology. It will also share with Anatolian heavy use of sentence initial clitic-chains, at least in its early stages.

Some example words of (pre)-Proto-Mesopotamian:

*nókʷts > nóqqʷəts~nóqquts: *kʷ has become fortis /qqʷ/. Epenthetic schwa breaks up the cluster. The sequence /ʷə/ might alternate with /u/ from an early stage. This comes to mean 'twilight', as in Anatolian.

*péh2wṛ > páħħʷᵊr~páħħur 'Fire': h2w > ħʷ (i.e. merges with h3), and again /ʷə/ > /u/. This looks very similar to Hittite at this stage.

*h2ṛtḱo- > ħᵊrkko- 'Bear': *tḱ simplifies to /kk/.

*wḷkʷo > hʷᵊrqqo~húrqqo 'Wolf': *wḷ > wər~ur, with prosthetic /h/ added due to vowel-initial. *kʷo *ko merge into /qqo/.
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Re: Proto-(Indo)-Mesopotamian (IE diachronic lang)

Post by Zekoslav » 16 Jan 2020 18:03

From what I've read Akkadian's development from Proto-Semitic seems to mirror that of Indo-European languages from PIE. in that most "gutturals" are lost but leave traces in coloring a neighboring vowel. It only has a velar/uvular series (voiceless is inherited, voiced possibly from *r), no pharyngeals. Of all Semitic languages it's probably the weakest source of "gutturals" in an IE. language, but your Hittite-like system is nonetheless possible.
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Re: Proto-(Indo)-Mesopotamian (IE diachronic lang)

Post by WeepingElf » 16 Jan 2020 18:13

This all looks perfectly fine and reasonable, and 4000 BC is a more reasonable guess for Early PIE than Renfrew's 7000 BC, though I'd personally put it a bit later, perhaps 3500 BC (Late PIE may have been as late as about 3000 BC, as the great Yamnaya migrations apparently did not start earlier, and Early PIE, which shows a different morphology but essentially the same phonology, is about 500 years earlier).

And for such an "experiment", you don't really need an elaborate alternative timeline. You can just as well assume that such a language existed "in the real world" and is spoken somewhere where it could have held out, such as the Caucasus or the Zagros mountains. I use this kind of setting for my own conlangs. Yet, it is of course more entertaining to work out a fictional great civilization speaking your conlang, and that is a valid reason for an alternative history. With my own Old Albic, I place such a civilization in a "blank spot" in the historical atlas, namely the British Isles around 600 BC. This pushes the limits of the plausible somewhat, as one would expect relics of such a civilization to have been found by archaeologists, and they haven't yet.
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Re: Proto-(Indo)-Mesopotamian (IE diachronic lang)

Post by Davush » 16 Jan 2020 19:22

Zekoslav wrote:
16 Jan 2020 18:03
From what I've read Akkadian's development from Proto-Semitic seems to mirror that of Indo-European languages from PIE. in that most "gutturals" are lost but leave traces in coloring a neighboring vowel. It only has a velar/uvular series (voiceless is inherited, voiced possibly from *r), no pharyngeals. Of all Semitic languages it's probably the weakest source of "gutturals" in an IE. language, but your Hittite-like system is nonetheless possible.
Thanks - yes indeed the early loss of pharyngeals in Akkadian did make me question having them in Proto-Mesopotamian. However, the period I've described is 4000-3000BC, so Akkadian was probably only just spreading. I can't find any evidence on whether Eblaite, the neighbouring Semitic language, had pharyngeals but in this early stage it's probably not too crazy to believe they were present. Also Amorite seems to have been more conservative in its phonology, so it's at least semi-plausible that they become pharyngeal in the early stages, although of course they may be lost later on under Akkadian or other influences...
WeepingElf wrote:
16 Jan 2020 18:13
This all looks perfectly fine and reasonable, and 4000 BC is a more reasonable guess for Early PIE than Renfrew's 7000 BC, though I'd personally put it a bit later, perhaps 3500 BC (Late PIE may have been as late as about 3000 BC, as the great Yamnaya migrations apparently did not start earlier, and Early PIE, which shows a different morphology but essentially the same phonology, is about 500 years earlier).
Thanks! Yes 7000BC seems very early...having Proto-Mesopotamian be contemporary with Late PIE sounds about right!

Although this is still in 'experiment' phase, I might make a more fully-fledged alt-hist to go along with it, so it's useful (and fun) to consider these things.

Also...

I'm trying to avoid going too deep into the whole ''What/How many were the PIE laryngeals" debates, but there is one point in particular which struck me as odd, so any theories on it would be very welcome.

Notably, Anatolian seems to mostly preserves the laryngeal in *h2e and *h3e, but they are lost in *h2o and *h3o according to Kloekhorst, which Kortlandt also agrees with. I can't understand why *o would trigger deletion but not *e...any thoughts? (or even conjectures?)

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Re: Proto-(Indo)-Mesopotamian (IE diachronic lang)

Post by Zekoslav » 16 Jan 2020 21:30

If this consoles you, the conditions for preservation/loss of initial laryngeals are uncertain and this is just one of the possible explanations. As for why *e and *o trigger different developments, this depends on how you reconstruct the difference between *e and *o which is yet another can of worms (Spoiler: some (Kortlandt, Kloekhorst) think *e < *a and *o < *ə, so that *o is the weak grade of *e, others (Kümmel, Gąsiorowski) think *e < *a and *o < *aː so that *e is the weak grade of *o).
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Re: Proto-(Indo)-Mesopotamian (IE diachronic lang)

Post by Davush » 17 Jan 2020 12:12

Zekoslav wrote:
16 Jan 2020 21:30
If this consoles you, the conditions for preservation/loss of initial laryngeals are uncertain and this is just one of the possible explanations. As for why *e and *o trigger different developments, this depends on how you reconstruct the difference between *e and *o which is yet another can of worms (Spoiler: some (Kortlandt, Kloekhorst) think *e < *a and *o < *ə, so that *o is the weak grade of *e, others (Kümmel, Gąsiorowski) think *e < *a and *o < *aː so that *e is the weak grade of *o).
Thanks - that is helpful. I'm still not totally settled on the outcome of h3, so we'll see...

T-Stem Nouns

T-Stem Nouns remain in Proto-Mesopotamian, and also possibly enlarge slightly.
The following examples show the pre-proto-Mesopotamian to Proto-Mesopotamian stages:

*nókʷt-s > nóqqʷət-s > náqquts 'evening' (stressed *ó only lengthens before lenis consonants, Anatolian seems to have more widespread lengthening.)
*dyew-t-s > tsyōt-s > tsiōts 'day' (*dy > tsy, and monopthongization of *ew > ō. Compare with Proto-Anatolian *díwot-)
*pōd-s > pāt-s > pāts 'foot'
*sóg-t-s > sóqət-s > sāqits 'belt, buckle' (*ó > ā before lenis q, epenthetic *ə > i, unless next to labials, when > u)
*mélit-s > mélits > mílit-s (*e > i)
*sépit-s (?) > séppit-s > síppits 'wheat' (séppit is some sort of grain in Hittite, unsure of etymology but Mesopotamian shares it nonetheless)
*gʰew-t-s > qōt-s > qōts 'wall' (Hitt.: kutt-/kūtt-. *gʰew- meant 'to pour' or similar)
*ǵrei-t-s > krēt-s > krēts 'flood' (Hitt.: karaitt-. *ǵrei- meant 'to extend' or similar)

The pre-proto-Mesopotamian accusative -ṃ seems to vary between -an and -am in the early stages:

pāts / pātan~pātam 'foot'
qōts / qōtan~qōtam 'wall'
krēts / krētan~krētam 'flood'
tsiōts / tsiōtan~tsiōtam 'day'

mílits / míltan~míltam 'honey'(*méritṃ > míritan > deletion of medial vowel > mírtan)
síppits / síppᵊtan~síppᵊtam 'wheat'

náqquts / náqqᵊtan~náqqᵊtam 'evening' ( the -u- is epenthetic, so it deletes: *nóqqʷətṃ > nāqqutṃ > náqqutam > nāqqᵊtam)
sāqits / sāqtan 'belt'

For the development of the genitive singular, it is likely that the ending will always become stressed. The details are unclear at this stage, but the stem will always become weak, giving rise to a more Semitic-style alternation which is generalised onto all nouns:

E.g. This pattern becomes generalised:
PIE *mélit ~ *mlités
PM: mílits ~ mlitás

síppits ~ spitás
krēts ~ kritás (showing the *ǵrei~*ǵri alternation)
tsiōts ~ tsiutás (*dyew-t~*diw-t-és)
qōts ~ qutás
pāts ~ ptás (or perhaps pitás)

*nékʷts becomes via analogy *nekʷtés (or similar) > neqʷətás > niqutás (stops become lenis between unstressed vowels) > nqutás. Similarly, sāqits > sqitás.

So, the nom-acc-gen paradigm (ignoring gender/animacy for now) would be:

pāts / pātan / ptas
qōts / qōtan / qutás
krēts / krētan / kritás
tsiōts / tsiōtan / tsiutás

mílits / míltan / mlitás
síppits / síppᵊtan / spitás

náqquts / náqqᵊtan / nqutás
sāqits / sāqtan / sqitás

I'm unsure whether the generalised 'weak' genitives should occur at the early Proto-Mesopotamian stage (around 3000BC), or if this should be a later development (say around 2000BC), with older style genitives persisting until then? If it happens later, it will probably need revising because some other sound changes will have occurred by then.

Update: It seems that *nókʷts was actually from earlier *nógʷts based on Anatolian evidence indicating voicing assimilation in some roots occurred after Anatolian split, in which case the proto-Mesopotamian form would go: nógʷts > nó:qʷəts > > na:quts <nāquts>.

A comparison of Common Anatolian and early Proto-Mesopotamian nom-acc-gen forms might show how they were actually diverged by this point, yet sharing similarities. Using *nógʷts as an example: (Note Anatolian /g/ could also represent singleton /k/).

Anatolian / Mesopotamian:
nógʷts~nóguts / nó:qʷəts
nógʷtm̥~nógutm̥/ nó:qʷətm̥
négʷts~néguts / néqʷəts


Although the two genitive then diverge, with Anatolian seeming to generalise the *os suffix, and Mesopotamian doing something else. Hittite <nekuz> /nekuts/ gen. "of/in the evening" might be a fossilised form based on what I can see.
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Re: Proto-(Indo)-Mesopotamian (IE diachronic lang)

Post by KaiTheHomoSapien » 17 Jan 2020 22:41

Very cool! I love IE-langs with archaic features. [:D]

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Re: Proto-(Indo)-Mesopotamian (IE diachronic lang)

Post by Davush » 18 Jan 2020 18:53

KaiTheHomoSapien wrote:
17 Jan 2020 22:41
Very cool! I love IE-langs with archaic features. [:D]
Thanks!

Some Updates

For clarification on classification and divergence from PIE, the development was:

-Early PIE (4000BC)
--Proto-Anatolo-Mesopotamian (c. 3500BC) -
--- Proto/Common Anatolian (c. 3000BC)
--- Proto/Ancient Mesopotamian (c. 3000BC)

I'll refer to Proto-Mesopotamian as Ancient Mesopotamian for now.

*r and *l now remain distinct in Ancient Mesopotamian. There is insufficient evidence for a widespread uvular /r/ in Akkadian, plus any Akkadian influence would come later. Neighbouring languages all seem to have a r/l distinction. Of course Ancient Mesopotamian could develop a uvular realisation independently, but for now the main thing is that *r *l remain distinct.

BUT the sporadic loss of final *-r in unstressed syllables attested in Anatolian becomes more firmly established in Ancient Mesopotamian.

*we (including *Cʷe) becomes /wa/ when stressed, and /u~o/ when unstressed.

R/N Stems
Stems with an r/n alternation remain in Mesopotamian. They were very productive in Hittite, but some sound changes have obscured them in Mesopotamian. Additionally Luwian seems to have regularised these stems, and given Luwian's more Southerly position, it might expected that later Luwian influence on Mesopotamian is greater than Hittite.

Anyway, final unstressed -r is lost, including syllabic *r becoming /a~ə/:

*wódr̥ > wó:ta
*péh2wr̥ > páħħʷa
*méih2wr̥ > mé:ʕʷa (long vowel causes lenis *h2)

The genitive of R/N stems leads to the following forms. The resulting complicated paradigm with its various stem changes and stress placement will no doubt quickly regularise by analogy.

*wódr̥ ~ *wédn̥s > wōta ~ wétans 'water'
*péh2wr̥ ~ ph2wéns > paħħʷa ~ pəħħʷáns 'fire'
*méih2wr̥ ~ méih2wn̥s > mḗʕʷa ~ mḗʕuns 'time'

(wétans will likely have become wátans by this point if *wé > wa is a consistent change)

Similar forms appear in Hittite, although Mesopotamian seems to have greater tolerance of final *Cs clusters.

How these will further develop remains to be seen, but in Ancient Mesopotamian they seem to have retained the PIE pattern pretty much intact, minus sound changes.

As these nouns now essentially end in -a, the accusative -m/-n began to be applied to them, unlike in PIE and Anatolian where they have -r in both Nom./Acc. This is a Mesopotamian innovation.

wōta - wōtam
paħħʷa - paħħʷam
mēʕʷa - mēʕʷam


I have kept this post limited to (early) Ancient Mesopotamian, so o: > a: and e > i haven't happened yet.
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Re: Proto-(Indo)-Mesopotamian (IE diachronic lang)

Post by Davush » 20 Jan 2020 13:48

Summary of Sound Changes from PIE > Ancient Mesopotamian

So far we have:

eh1 > æː
we > wæ/wa
ye > yæ/ya (Anatolian loses *y before *e)

Chain shift:
ē > ī
ō > ū
ei > ē
eu > ō

e > i in closed syllables

Development of epenthetic vowel before certain initial clusters

Stops:
Voiced and Aspirates > Lenis
Unvoiced > Fortis, but Lenis between unstressed vowels and after long vowels/diphthongs.

h2 > ħħ~ʕ
h3 > outcome still unclear, but was likely ħʷ~ʕʷ~ʕ

t > ts before *y *i
t > ts before *wé *wó (Mesopotamian innovation)

Ch2 > ħC where C is a stop, e.g. weth2-r̥ > waḫta(r)

r > -h or lost in unstressed final syllables

Some more R/N stems

hésḫah / isḫáns *h1ésh2-r˳ 'blood'
paḫtah / paḫtáns *péth2-r˳ 'wing / basket'
waḫtah / uḫtáns *wéth2-r˳ 'word' (cognate with Hittie uttar)
lómah~lúmah / lumáns possibly from *nóm-r̥ 'moment, time, hour'

The genitive of those which take the root shape VCC-áns might compete with CVC-áns:
e.g. isḫáns~siḫáns, uḫtáns~ḫutáns

Note that lost final -r is now likely /ɦ/ due to some sandhi effects which will be discovered, indicating it left some after-effects.

R Stems

Apparently, there are only two ‘real’ R-stems attested in Hittite according to Kloekorst:

kessar ‘hand’ and ḫaster(za) ‘star’.

It seems that kessar might have even become thematic early on (or was all along), as when placed after numerals, the writing system would sometimes only indicate the root with no other inflectional elements, copying Akkadian. The thematic kessaras seems to be attested.

In Mesopotamian, this is further complicated by the loss of final -r:

ǵʰés-r̥ > késah ‘hand’
Héwp-r̥ > hōpah ‘bowl, cup’

ǵʰés-r̥ was hysterodynamic, preserved in Ancient Mesopotamian:

ǵʰés-r̥ : késah
ǵʰs-ér-m: ikséram
ǵʰs-ró-s: kisrás

However, the genitive probably competes with a form that shows metathesis of PIE -rós to -órs: kisrás ~ ksárs, in line with R/N stems in -áns. R Stems are probably mostly neuter, so the accusative form is unclear at this stage.

so:
késah - (ikséram) - kisrás~iksárs

The etymology of ḫōpah is unclear, but probably cognate with Hittite ḫuppar. A possible etymology has it as originally an R/N stem, linking it to Greek ipnós and ultimately English oven, via: Héwp-r̥ Hup-n-ós. In Mesopotamian *pn tn kn clusters > pr, tr, kr, obscuring the R/N stem if this was the case:

ḫōpah ~ ḫuprás (possibly with a competing form *ḫupáns retaining the R/N stem).

h2stēr, however, retains final -r due to stress and remains hysterodynamic:

ḫastī́r - ḫastéram ~ ḫastrás

Another R Stem of unclear etymology is kurur 'hostility, enmity', also appearing as kurur in Hittite. A possible etymology is from the root *ǵʰwér- 'wild', which shows accented zero-grade in the nominal form, which is quite common in PIE, so the stem may be *ǵʰwŕ̥-wr̥, if not a loan from a nearby language. This is neuter. It also complicates the development of -wr̥ > -wa, as seen in paḫḫwa < *péh2wr̥. A possible explanation is that Hwr̥ > Hwa, but otherwise wr̥ > ur, without loss of -r.

kúrur ~ kúruras (> kúrras ?)

Of the "kinship -ter" nominals, only *dʰwégh2tr̥ is attested in Anatolian. In Mesopotamian, this would become: tswáqaḫtah - tuqaḫtéram - tuqaḫtrás, although this word might not survive.

Another interesting development are the PIE "instrumental nominals" in -trom/s, which retain final -r in Mesopotamian. Presumably via metathesis of unstressed -trom > tərm > tər/tar, after loss of final -r was no longer productive. The metathesis of -rom/s > -orm also accords with the competing genitive forms seen in kisrás - iksárs, indicating it might happen regardless of stress.

L Stems
L stems seem mostly to derive from IE words with a *lo suffix or similar, although this often seems to become *wl̥ in pre-Proto-Mesopotamian. They are mostly inanimate/neuter.

ustaḫḫúl 'sin, offence'
The IE root is obscure, but it is cognate with Hittite wastúl, presumably from something like *usth2-ló- > ustaħwĺ̥ > utsaħħúl.

tsiksúl 'peace'
The IE root seems to derive from *téḱs- 'to join', via *tks-ló- > tikswĺ̥ > tsiksúl

súppal 'cattle'
The root is again obscure, although probably reflects something like *súp-lo > súpəl > súppal. Kloekhorst posits a possible connection of Hittite suppal to Latin suppus 'with bowed head'.

isḫiyúl 'treaty, contract'
Another obscure root, but the word would suggest something like *sh2ei-ló- > sh2i-wĺ̥ > isħiyúl.

ḫāḫal 'greenery, vegeation'
All of these L-stems seem to have obscure roots. It is most likely some form of reduplication of an unknown root *h2el, i.e. *h2e-h2el > *ħa-ħal > ħaːħal.

Those with accented -úl retain the accent: ustaḫḫúlas, tsiksúlas, isḫiyúlas. The others show syncope: suplas, ḫaḫlas (stress undetermined).

As in Hittite, Mesopotamian makes productive use of the genitive to form associated nouns, although the stress likely retracts as these are re-analysed as stems.

tsiksúlas 'of peace' > tsíksulas 'friend' (i.e. a person of peace)
ustaḫḫúlas 'of sin' > ustáḫḫulas 'sinner' (i.e. a person of sin)
súplas 'of cattle' > súplas (maybe analogised into súppalas) 'cattle herder'

I've again limited this post to diachronic changes, as synchronic developments and levelling will come later once the main diachronic paradigms are established. R-stems will probably enlarge in Mesopotamian, and not become thematic. Perhaps *r *r̥ *wr̥ are quite productive in pre-Ancient-Mesopotamian.

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Re: Proto-(Indo)-Mesopotamian (IE diachronic lang)

Post by Davush » 22 Jan 2020 13:05

N/M Stems

Nearing the end of the various nominal stems...!

N stems seem to show a lot of ablaut and stress change.

tḗqam~tāqam 'earth, land'
This root would more regularly have become tēkan, due to the palato-velar, however these sometimes show a sporadic change to /q/. The uvular may further lower ē > ā.

NOM: *dʰéǵʰ-m > tēqam (probably later > tēqan due to -m being associated with acc. and paucity of nouns in -m)
GEN: *dʰǵʰ-m-ós > taqmás (m is retained elsewhere, however)

ʕwáran 'eagle'
NOM: *h3éron > ʕwáran (initial *h3é is preserved as ʕwa in Mesopotamian, compare Anatolian ḫara(n)s)
GEN: *h3r̥n-és > ʕurnás (ablaut is preserved)

isḫḗman 'cord, rope'
This is likely also from the root *seh2- 'to join, unite'. For the noun, it was *sh2éi-mn̥. Anatolian seems to prefer CC-ói derivations, whereas Mesopotamian shows CC-éi. E.g. Mesopotamian *ǵréi-t-s > ikrēts (Hittite karaitt- from *ǵrói-t).

NOM: *sh2éi-mn̥ > isḫēman
GEN: *sh2i-mn-é/ós > isḫimnás (ablaut preserved)

sáḫḫan 'fief-dues'
NOM: *séh2n > sáḫḫan
GEN: *sh2én-s > asḫáns (ablaut preserved)

náḫḫan 'fear'
NOM: *nóh2-n > náḫḫan
GEN: *nh2én-s > anḫáns (ablaut preserved)

ʕwákkan 'death, plague'
The etymology is unclear, but likely cognate with Hittite henkan. It is possible the Hittite form shows a nasal infix to *h3eḱ- or similar.

NOM: *h3éḱ-n > ʕwákkan
GEN: *h3ḱén-s > ʕukkáns OR *h3ḱn-ós > ʕuknás

hérman 'illness'
The root is somewhat unclear, but likely related to *h1or-mo 'moon', thereby *h1ér-mn̥.

NOM: *h1ér-mn̥ > hérman
GEN: *h1r-méns > harmáns OR *h1r-mn-ós > haramnás

Nouns in -n which show a genitive -áns are effectively the same as R-Stems.

I am somewhat unclear as to when/why nouns are either acrostatic/proterokinetic/other. I would like Mesopotamian to make ablaut processes more regular/productive somehow, but it seems that nouns simply inherited their accent/ablaut class from PIE? Are there any correlations to how ablaut is used for derivations, semantically or otherwise?

E.g. the root *seh2- 'to join', various appears as *sh2ei-, *sh2oi-, *sh2i- in derivations. What determines which one is used? And in *séh2-n, the Hittite genitive shows *sh2én-s. Is this 'é' taken to be a thematic 'é', or is it the vowel from the root which has been 'moved'?

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Re: Proto-(Indo)-Mesopotamian (IE diachronic lang)

Post by Davush » 23 Jan 2020 14:03

Taking a break from nominals, let's look at some pronouns and the verb 'to be'

Nominative Pronouns

This section only looks at the nominative/subject pronouns. There will likely also be several other forms as Mesopotamian will have lots of cliticised forms, similar to Anatolian.

1sg: hūk

This is clearly cognate with Hittite uk/ūk, with a rather unexpected <ū>. The PIE form was likely *h1éǵH or similar, which would ordinarily yield *hēk~hīk. The <u> is believed to have come via analogy of the 2sg accusative forms, and is also likely an areal feature of Anatolian-Mesopotamian. As is usual, Mesopotamian generally disallows vowel-initial words (excluding epenthetic vowels), so the h in hūk is likely only semi-etymological.

2sg: tsīk~tūk

Again this is similar to Hittite zīk /tsiːk/. The <ī> is also quite unexpected, and was likely analogised into the nom. form via oblique cases. The final -k was likely added via analogy with hūk. It alternates with tūk in the early stages, and it remains to be seen which one will win out.

3sg: (ha)pās

Clearly cognate with Anatolian-style apās/ápa type 3rd singulars. This also functions as a regular demonstrative. The etymology is somewhat obscure, although Anatolian apā is usually reconstructed as something like *Hobʰó-(s). It probably alternates between hapās~pās in Mesopotamian, maybe even becoming pāk via analogy with hūk, tūk.

1pl: wēyas

Compare Hittite wēs. This is clearly from the usual root *uéi > *uéi-s or *uéi-es. The sequence *éies alternates between ēyas and īyas (> wēyas ~ wīyas) in the early stages.

2pl: swēyas~tswēyas

Compare Hittite sumēs. Hittite regularly inserts /m/ after /u/, which is less frequent in Mesopotamian. The etymology is also unclear, but a link to the reflexive pronoun root *sue has been proposed and seems quite likely I think, so the Proto-Mesopotamian form might have been *suéi-es. The initial sw- vs tsw- might be due to analogy with the 2sg forms. swīyas~tswīyas are also seen.

3pl: Unkown at present

Plurals have not been covered yet, so this remains to be seen.

To Be

Mesopotamian uses the PIE root h1es-. Ordinarily, this would become hés/hís-, but the singular forms show *h1é > há. This could either be a sporadic change where *é > á in some closed syllables, and/or later Luwian influence.

*h1és-mi > hásmi
*h1és-si > hássi
*h1és-ti > hástsi

The plural suffixes show a stem alternation in his-. This is somewhat usual for HC initials, where an epenthetic a/i/u is inserted depending on surrounding consonants and vowels. /i/ being preferred in the absence of h2/h3, or labials. The 1pl and 2pl endings -māni and -tāni have unclear etymology. While Anatolian tends to have pl. forms in -wāni/wēni/unni/, Mesopotamian has -m. This indicates the Anatolian branch might have had an early change of -m > -w which Mesopotamian did not undergo. The origin of the -ni is particularly mysterious. The 3pl. forms shows the expected -antsi suffix.

*h1s-méh1-ni (?) > hismāni
*h1s-té1h-ni (?) > histāni
*hs1-énti > hisántsi

The Seasons

Mesopotamian uses the following words for the seasons:

ḫmāsḫas 'spring' < *h2meh1s-h2o- (h2meh1s- meaning 'to mow' or similar)
qwáras 'summer' < gʷéros ('heat', cognate with Greek theros)
tsyānas 'autumn' < *tieh1-no (where *tieh1- is something like 'to finish', i.e. the closing of the season)
kēman 'winter' < *ǵʰéim-n ('winter')

So we can make our first sentence...

Kimnáh ʕwákkan hástsi 'It is the plague of winter'

Where kēman has the ablating genitive form kimnás. In GEN-NOM phrases, the final -s of the genitive is removed, causing gemination sandhi. In this case, it would also cause the ʕw to devoice to ħw So kimná(s) ʕwákkan would be realised /kimnáħ-ħʷákkan/.

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