During the century and a half of IE investigations, the lexicon has been thoroughly studied. A comprehensive summary of these studies was made by Alois Walde and Julius Pokorny (1927-1932; usually referred to as WP); it was based on earlier dictionaries, notably that inaugurated by August Fick (1890-1909). Pokorny's later dictionary (1959-1969) is essentially a rearrangement of the data in WP in accordance with the order of the Latin alphabet. Dictionaries for individual branches of IE and for individual dialects contain more recent findings than does WP. But like it they concentrate on etymologies and lexical meanings. They do not discuss the roles of individual lexical elements in syntactic units; WP, for example, does not indicate the cases accompanying verbs. While these dictionaries are indispensable for IE syntactic studies, they lack information which a comprehensive lexicon should include and which a subsequent compilation will presumably contain.
Information concerning some lexical features of direct importance to syntactic studies is, on the other hand, included in grammatical treatments, notably Delbrück's second volume of 1897; as its bibliography indicates, this volume in turn is based on earlier studies. Subsequent studies, such as Meillet's of the root *
WP includes a long entry for this root, written as
|‘until a year in the course of time is completed’|
Further examples will permit us to describe its meanings in greater detail.
When listing the root WP gives as its “base-forms”:
With its intransitive, punctual meaning, the simple root
|‘And your roaring rises powerfully like the thundering of the heavens.’|
Rather than the analysis of Delbrück (1897:94-95), according to which such aorists might be derived from perfects, the assumption that PIE roots might be inflected either in the
|γer- ‘move, rise’ ___ Agent (K)|
This entry would require an agent noun, as in Example 2. If the agent generated the first- or second-person pronoun, this would be indicated in the verb form, as in the following passage from a Strophic hymn to Agni:
|‘I rose up as if summoned.’|
Number, whether plural, dual, or the unmarked singular, would also be introduced as a property of nouns lexically inserted in sentence strings through the K nodes. For early PIE, number was not significant, as the reconstructible forms indicate (Lehmann 1958). In late PIE and the dialects, number was indicated in the verbal phrase as well as the nominal phrase, by a congruence rule requiring number and person agreement of verbs with subjects. The well-known use of singular verb forms with neuter plural subjects provides insight into this development.
The definition ‘move, rise’ should be analyzed for its lexical features. Such analysis is a task of the future. At present, in IE studies as well as in general linguistic studies, it is being carried out for selected nominal sets, such as the kinship terms and the names of trees (Wordick 1970; P. Friedrich 1970). In the future, similar studies should be carried out for verbs. For the time being we can indicate specific features associated with verbs, such as the requirement for
|γer- ____ Agent (K)||gwem- ____ Agent (K)|
|‘move, rise, reach’||‘move, come’|
|<+Human agent>||<-Human agent>|
These roots accordingly are highly similar. Both differ from
In an OV language, roots are commonly followed by suffixes. Examples of such possibilities may be found in dictionaries like Grassmann's for the Rigveda (1872) or Ananthanarayana's for the Taittirīya Brāhmaṇa (1970a). The forms for the root ṛ listed by Ananthanarayana (1970a: 7-8) are as follows:
|Present indicative:||Class 3||iyarti|
|Classes 6 and 1||ṛchati|
|árchati, archanti, archataḥ|
|Causative, Class 10||arpáyati|
In addition to the “indicative”, three imperative forms are attested: ṛṇvatu, ṛchatu, arpayatu. As noted in § 4.1.6, the imperative was marked with affixes, such as
Moreover, four optative forms are attested: ṛchét, ṛchéran, archeyuḥ, arpayet. The optative affix, like the imperative affix and other affixes which survived into the inflectional system of late PIE and the dialects, was placed after those affixes which indicated Q categories, like the causative; the difference in position and in frequency led to the subsequent distinction between derivational categories and inflectional categories.
In addition, two perfect forms of ṛ are attested: ārimá and an “imperfect” ārchat. The form ārchat illustrates the development from a verbal system with forms made from the root to a system in which forms were based on the “present” stem. This development is even more notable in dialects with late materials, such as Latin; its reflexes of the root γer may be illustrated with the principal parts: orior, ortus sum, orīrī ‘arise’. The deponent inflection of orior recalls the intransitive lexical meaning of the PIE root, though its structure of inflections differs greatly from that of PIE; as its principal parts indicate, it is inflected as a deponent throughout the six tense forms of the Latin verb.
Affixed forms of roots illustrate the PIE verbal system, such as forms with
γr-ew- ‘move/tear down’ ___ Agent Target (K)
plus its lexical features. The extended form is most widely maintained with an n infix, as in Skt. ṛṇóti, Gk. órnumi, Hitt. arnuzi, as in the following passage from the Hittite Laws, in which the object is implicit (J. Friedrich 1959:20, § 19):
|‘He makes him go to his own house.’|
The n forms add to the extended root a factitive or causative notion; but the transitive characteristic of the form is conveyed by the
Reduplicated forms of the root have an iterative and often an intensive meaning (Delbrück 1893:16-26). Thus íyarti means ‘to move back and forth’, whether or not it is transitive, as it probably is in all of its occurrences in the Rigveda, such as the marked sentence pattern in the Strophic hymn of dialogue between Varuna and Indra, who says:
|‘I stir up the dust [in battles].’|
The same meaning, though in a transferred sense and intransitive, is found with an alternate reduplicated form:
|‘Are you aroused, O warrior?’|
Reduplicated forms of the root, however remodeled phonologically, would then have the lexical entry:
γir-γer- ‘move back and forth’ ___ Agent Target (K)
One further suffixed form of the root will be noted here, with
|‘But now you are going on your way to the domains of Hades, beneath the depths of the earth.’|
The lexical entry of the root with this suffix would then be:
γer-sk- ‘move steadily to’ ___ Agent (Target) (K)
To such extended forms, as well as roots, the affixes could be added which expressed the meanings introduced through the Q component. Examples of such forms were cited above from the Taittirīya Brāhmaṇa. One further example is cited here, a middle form from Hittite, where the reflexive meaning ‘move oneself, place oneself’ often simply corresponds to ‘stand’, as in the following Old Hittite sentence from Otten and Souček (1969:18-19):
|‘But I remain standing.’|
The combination of Q categories with verb forms and their meanings in combination with lexical items have also been discussed in Chapter 5. The Q categories simply added nuances of meaning to the lexical meanings, which could however be modified by other lexical elements.
Already in PIE, combinations of roots and preverbs have special lexical characteristics and are to be treated as individual lexical items. For example, in the Rigveda twelve preverbs may be used with the root
|‘Your wagon, swift as thought, moves ahead.’|
But a passage in a neighboring Strophic hymn illustrates a distinct “idiomatic” meaning for the combination and its particular syntactic construction, accompanied by an accusative and a dative:
|‘The far-famed pious poet sends [addresses] to you his hymn, O Mitra and Varuna.’|
In both of these passages the preverb occupies initial position in the clause, in accordance with marked order. But in Example 10 it must be taken as a member of the compound lexical item, which would be stated as follows, in addition to its lexical features:
pra ṛ ‘send’ ___ Agent Target Receptor (K)
It is noteworthy that such compound verbal expressions are accompanied by more than one case node, in contrast with the syntactic patterning of most simple roots, as pointed out in Chapter 2 (see also Gaedicke 1880:35-36).
The history of such lexical combinations is well known. In the course of time they came to be units, as the dialects became SVO in structure. Thus Greek has a separate lexical item proérkhomai ‘advance’, attested in post-Homeric materials, though even in Homer many such combinations were already units. And among the compounds of Goth. rinnan ‘run’, presumably a reflex of PIE
|‘But then the betrayer gave them a sign.’|
See also § 4.3.1 b. Accordingly, in PIE, combinations of preverbs and verbs must still be viewed as morphologically and phonologically distinct; but they must be treated as lexical units, much as is
Among the lexical elements which may fill the K categorial positions are nouns. As noted above, Indo-Europeanists have long insisted on assuming a strict distinction between nouns and verbs. The distinction is expressed most clearly in derivation; as Benveniste pointed out (1935), nouns may have more suffixes added to roots than may verbs.
Whether or not Gk. órnis, órnīthos ‘bird’ and cognates such as OE earn ‘eagle’ are derived from the root
Another noun derived from the root
|γorn- ‘eagle’||γern- ‘sea’|
Nouns thus would be specified for gender, as common or proper, for concreteness or abstractness, as animate or inanimate, as count or mass nouns, and for specific lexical features.
One set of lexical items which has been thoroughly described is that of the kinship terms. The most recent description is given by Frank Wordick in his doctoral dissertation (1970). When semantic study is further developed, additional sets of nominal elements will be described with thoroughness similar to that applied by Wordick, whose work may be used as a pattern for such study. As did Wordick in accordance with his lengthy bibliography, such lexical studies will make use of many admirable treatments of the PIE vocabulary, such as Benveniste's “Vocabulary of IE institutions” (1969). Like Delbrück's monograph of 1889 on the PIE kinship terms, these treatments contain excellent information on the IE lexicon, though it is not analyzed in the detail found in the studies of Paul Friedrich (1970) and Wordick.
The so-called personal pronouns provide us with insights into the earlier nominal system. The separate lexical elements for singular and plural forms, as well as for the oblique cases, given above, § 5.4.3, indicate that the sets of pronouns were made up of individual lexical items rather than members of a close-knit paradigm. Such a situation is also found in the r/n nominal stems, with their distinction between r forms in the nominative/accusative and n forms in the oblique cases, as in Hitt. uttar ‘word, thing’, Gen. uddanaš; Nom. Acc. pl. uddār, Gen. uddanaš We assume that personal pronouns, like nouns, were introduced through the K nodes.
Presumably, at an early stage of PIE, person was not a syntactic category. When a person was to be specified, a lexical element was used, e.g., *
The lexical entries for pronouns would then be similar to those for nouns, though they would contain very few features. The lexical entry for *
Adjectival modifiers in early PIE were simply nominal elements preposed to nouns, as noted with the example of Hittite kurur above (§ 5.3.2; see also J. Friedrich 1960:116-117). The lexical entries of the PIE etyma of works like Hitt.
The lack of distinction between adjectival substantives and nominal substantives in PIE is reflected in further characteristics of the early dialects. One such characteristic is the late introduction of gender inflection in the adjectives, as noted above (§ 5.3.2). Another is the possibility of affixes indicating comparison on nouns as well as adjectives in Sanskrit, as in the following Strophic passage:
|‘No one is a better charioteer than you, O Indra, when you rein in the fallows.’|
Further evidence for the earlier lack of distinction between nominals used attributively and those used as nouns is provided by the cardinal numerals, which for the most part are uninflected. Accordingly, lexical entries would not distinguish between PIE nouns and adjectives; these two differing functions would be indicated in the early period by order and only later by special inflections and thus distinct selectional characteristics.
As Brugmann has indicated (1911:667-758), adverbs are words that are used in the first instance to modify verbs, though they may also be used to modify adjectives and nouns. Moreover, while they may have suffixes comparable to those of substantives, they are not inflected in paradigms; even though a frozen genitive autoȗ is used in Attic and a frozen locative auteȋ in Doric Greek to indicate the adverb ‘here’, the two forms and other similar forms cannot be associated in a productive paradigmatic set. Adverbs then are frozen forms, some of which came to be disassociated from paradigms.
Adverbs are constantly being “renewed” from other elements in the language, and accordingly it is difficult to reconstruct specific forms for PIE. Hitt. parā ‘forward, away’ and Skt. parā ‘away’, however, as well as Lat. prō ‘forward’, permit the reconstruction of PIE *prō, with alternate forms *pṛrō, and *perō. As generally assumed (WP:II, 29-40), the adverbial forms are derived from a word *per, homonymous with the root *
|‘And we go away.’|
The Hittite adverb parā is similar in form to other prominent adverbs in Old Hittite: anda ‘in’, appa ‘back’, šara ‘upward’, and also (a)šta ‘away’ (see the excellent discussion in Otten and Souček 1969:82, 86-88). Its lexical entry would be parallel with that of other adverbs such as Hitt. anda, which is related to Skt. ánti, Gk. antí ‘towards’ (WP:I, 58-59, 65-67).
Further lexical characteristics are facultative, like the last given here. Selection of them would vary with the verb of the clause and accompanying nominal forms; these modified considerably the meanings of adverbs as the discussions of Delbrück (1893) illustrate.
In their discussion of parā and other adverbs, Otten and Souček point out the difficulty of distinguishing such words from preverbs and postpositions (1969:88). Actually the occurrences of parā in the Rigveda are all interpreted as preverbal by Grassmann (1872:782). The following example may illustrate the problems involved in distinguishing whether such words are to be interpreted as adverbs or preverbs.
|‘Don't go away.’|
When the adverbial element generally combined with the verbal to form a unit with distinct meaning and syntactic construction, it would be considered a preverb, and the combination would be treated as are the items in § 6.3.
|‘To whatever region did she go?’|
Indo-Europeanists have long noted this development and also the further development of such postpositions to prepositions (Delbrück 1893:643-774). The use of preverbs as postpositions can be understood on the basis of recurrent patterning in the OV period of PIE; their further development to prepositions resulted as the dialects came to be VO.
In a similar way, preverbs could be used to introduce clauses, and they then developed into conjunctions (Brugmann 1904a:666). The Greek particle per may provide an example (Denniston 1966b:481-490); the various uses of per cannot be discussed here, but an illustration of its concessive force as a postposed particle is found in the following line:
|‘But they, though troubled, laughed heartily at him.’|
Although Denniston accepts the etymology of Brugmann, by which per developed an intensive meaning, ‘completely’, from the meaning ‘around’, and further a contrastive force, as illustrated in Example 16, the steps in such developments are difficult to construct in the absence of earlier records. The particles reconstructed for PIE (Brugmann 1916:969-1009) must be described to the extent permitted by our evidence and our understanding of the uses of particles; see above, § 5.5. They were ancillary elements indicating relationships between the primary words in sentences or between sentences, and in this way they developed a wide variety of uses.
Their role in the sentence structure of PIE presumably was similar to that in early Indic prose, as illustrated in Example 64 of Chapter 3. Particles, such as ha and vai of the first sentence of that example, and preverbs, such as prá and sám in Sentences 6 and 7, specified the relationships between nouns and verbs. Still other particles introduced sentences, such as átha in Sentence 9 and sá in Sentence 7, to which the sentence-introductory pronominal elements of sentences 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, and 12 are related. In Vedic, the particles were placed in accordance with their role in the clause, initially when modifying the entire clause, medially when modifying nouns and verbs. In Hittite, on the other hand, they came to be grouped initially, as indicated in § 5.5.3. The difference in arrangement resulted from different syntactic principles, presumably introduced into Hittite by the influence of neighboring languages in Asia Minor, as suggested in § 5.5.3. Though ultimately distinct in their uses, many of the particles, preverbs, and adverbs developed from the same lexical elements, as the variety of their uses in the early dialects suggests.
The PIE roots are to be regarded like the roots of OV languages, such as Turkish, e.g., Turkish
As a result of such changes, forms that are listed as roots do not necessarily have the canonical shape of PIE roots: CeC-. For example, the widely attested root *
Their effect may be best determined by thorough study of the forms in the early dialects. Thus Elmar Seebold has made a detailed investigation of the root *
Other difficulties result from phonological losses. Thus roots with initial laryngeal, like *
To be sure, borrowings are included in the earliest reconstructible corpus of the lexicon. Some of these may be indistinguishable from the native vocabulary and accordingly subject to false analysis. The nominal borrowings are most readily recognized. Thus the apparent archaic word for ‘axe’, Skt. paraśús, Gk. pélekus, may be a borrowing from Akkadian pilaqqu; though since this apparently means ‘spindle’, the borrowing would have been made in some sort of ceremonial context (Mayrhofer 1953:213-214). Another word which may have been borrowed through cultural contact with the Mesopotamian area is that for cattle, *gwōus, cf. Sumerian gu (Pokorny 1959-1969:482-483).
Whatever the source of such words, they must have contributed to changes in the rules of derivation for the IE lexicon. Like that of any language, this was undergoing modification. Even the lexicons of early dialects, like Vedic and Greek, contain words which differ considerably in their structure from those that must be assumed for PIE.