World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Hirt's law

Article Id: WHEBN0018283098
Reproduction Date:

Title: Hirt's law  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Pedersen's law, Balto-Slavic languages, Indo-European sound laws, Havlík's law, Meillet's law
Collection: Balto-Slavic Languages, Sound Laws
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Hirt's law

Hirt's law, named after Hermann Hirt, who originally postulated it in 1895, is a Balto-Slavic sound law that states in its modern form that the inherited Proto-Indo-European stress would retract to a non-ablauting pretonic vowel or a syllabic sonorant if it was followed by a consonantal (non-syllabic) laryngeal that closed the preceding syllable.

Compare:

  • PIE: *dʰuh₂mós "smoke" (compare Sanskrit dhūmás and Ancient Greek thumós) > Lithuanian dū́mai, Latvian dũmi, Serbo-Croatian dȉm, Polish dym.
  • PIE *gʷriHwéh₂ "neck; mane" (compare Sanskrit grīvā́) > Latvian grĩva, Serbo-Croatian grȉva, Polish grzywa.
  • PIE *pl̥h₁nós "full" (compare Sanskrit pūrṇás) > Lithuanian pìlnas, Latvian pil̃ns, Serbo-Croatian pȕn, Polish pełny.

Hirt's law did not operate if the laryngeal preceded a vowel, or if the laryngeal followed the second component of a diphthong. Therefore, Hirt's law must be older than then the loss of laryngeals in prevocalic position (in glottalic theory formulation: to the merger of glottalic feature of PIE voiced stops who dissolved into laryngeal and buccal part with the reflexes of the original PIE laryngeals), because the stress was not retracted in e.g. *tenh₂wós (Ancient Greek tanaós, Sanskrit tanú) "thin" > Latvian tiêvs, and also older than the loss of syllabic sonorants in Balto-Slavic, as can be seen from the abovementioned reflexes of PIE *pl̥h₁nós, and also in e.g. PIE *dl̥h₁gʰós "long" (compare Sanskrit dīrghá, Ancient Greek dolikhós) > Lithuanian ìlgas, Latvian il̃gs, Croatian/Serbian dȕg.

It follows from the above that Hirt's law must have preceded Winter's law, but was necessarily posterior to Balto-Slavic oxytonesis (shift of stress from inner syllable to the end of the word in accent paradigms with end-stressed forms), because oxytonesis-originating accent was preserved in non-laryngeal declension paradigms; e.g. the retraction occurs in mobile *eh₂-stems so thus have dative plural of Slovene goràm and Chakavian goràmi (< PBSl. *-eh₂mús), locative plural of Slovene and Chakavian goràh (< PBSl. *-eh₂sú), but in thematic (o-stem) paradigm dative plural of Slovene možȇm (< PBSl. *-mús), locative plural of Slovene možéh and Chakavian vlāsíh (< PBSl. *-oysú). The retraction of accent from the ending to the vowel immediately preceding the stem-ending laryngeal (as in PBSl. reflex of PIE *gʷrH-) is obvious. There is also a strong evidence that the same was valid for Old Prussian (in East Baltic dative and locative plural accents were generalized in non-laryngeal inflections).

From the Proto-Indo-European perspective, the importance of Hirt's law lies in the strong correspondence it provides between the Balto-Slavic and Vedic/Ancient Greek accentuation (which more or less intactly reflects the original PIE state), and somewhat less importantly, provides a reliable criterion to distinguish the original sequence of *eH from lengthened grade *ē, as it unambiguously points to the presence of a laryngeal in the stem.

References

  • Hermann Hirt, Der indogermanische Akzent: Ein Handbuch, Strassburg, 1895, p. 94
  • Slavic Accentuation - A Study in Relative Chronology, Frederik Kortlandt, 1975
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.