The University of Texas at Austin; College of Liberal Arts
Hans C. Boas, Director :: PCL 5.556, 1 University Station S5490 :: Austin, TX 78712 :: 512-471-4566
LRC Links: Home | About | Books Online | EIEOL | IE Doc. Center | IE Lexicon | IE Maps | IE Texts | Pub. Indices | SiteMap

Proto-Indo-European Syntax

Winfred P. Lehmann

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data
Lehmann, Winfred Philipp, 1916-
Proto-Indo-European syntax.
1. Proto-Aryan language—Syntax. I. Title. P671.L4 417'.7 74-10526 ISBN 0-292-76419-7
Copyright © 1974 by Winfred P. Lehmann All Rights Reserved
Printed in the United States of America




Syntax, the study of sentences, is generally held to be the heart of grammar. Whether or not, with students of language like Rudolf Carnap and Noam Chomsky, one takes semantics to be interpretive, phonology must be so viewed; and morphology deals with a subcomponent of syntax. Morphological and phonological studies must therefore be provisional unless carried out on the basis of a syntactic description. Yet most investigations dealing with the early Indo-European dialects and the reconstructed parent language are concerned with these subsidiary components of grammar. Proto-Indo-European Syntax has been written to remedy this shortcoming of Indo-European linguistics and to provide a syntax of the parent language.

Yet Proto-Indo-European Syntax is itself only a preliminary work. In spite of Berthold Delbrück's excellent monographs and his syntax in the first edition of the Brugmann-Delbrück Grundriss, and in spite of excellent discussions of syntactic problems, such as those in Jacob Wackernagel's Vorlesungen, no syntactic description of Proto-Indo-European has yet been written. In this situation a large-scale treatment did not seem desirable, but rather one which can lead to examination of major problems and individual syntactic constructions.

In attempting to understand and describe Indo-European grammar a linguist must rely on scholars in many disciplines besides linguistics. One of his chief debts is to the editors and interpreters of texts and to the producers of dictionaries. It would be impossible to give individual credit to even the most important such scholars. Moreover, even basic scholarly materials, like the transcribed Hittite texts, cannot be cited. If an Indo-Europeanist wishes to contribute to a field which attracted some of the best minds of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, he must draw not on such detailed, fundamental philological accomplishments but rather on the widely available editions of texts in the various dialects. Moreover, in order to provide accessibility for judgments of his linguistic interpretations, he must refer to standard, readily available editions. Nonetheless Indo-Europeanists are greatly indebted to the dedicated philologists who are making accessible the materials in the Anatolian, Tocharian, and other dialects that have been made known recently, such as Mycenaean Greek; they are also greatly in debt to their painstaking predecessors who produced the basic texts, grammars, and dictionaries for the various Indo-European dialects.

The debt this book owes to other scholars is evident on every page. I would like especially to thank R. P. Lehmann and Ladislav Zgusta, and students who investigated particular problems, H. S. Ananthanarayana, Eugene Grace, Solveig Pflueger, Carol Raman among others. I also acknowledge research support, in large part for such investigations. A grant from the American Council of Learned Societies provided the initial support for a computerized concordance of the Rigveda and other materials. Grants RO-5120-72-128 from the National Endowment for Humanities and GS-3081 from the National Science Foundation supported numerous individual studies in Indo-European linguistics and related fields. I owe special thanks to the Guggenheim Foundation for the grant which provided the opportunity to complete Proto-Indo-European Syntax.

W. P. Lehmann