Proto-Indo-Iranian language

Proto-Indo-Iranian or Proto-Indo-Iranic[1] is the reconstructed proto-language of the Indo-Iranian/Indo-Iranic branch of Indo-European. Its speakers, the hypothetical Proto-Indo-Iranians, are assumed to have lived in the late 3rd millennium BC, and are often connected with the Sintashta culture of the Eurasian Steppe and the early Andronovo archaeological horizon.

Proto-Indo-Iranian was a Satem language, likely removed less than a millennium from the late Proto-Indo-European language, its ancestor, and in turn removed less than a millennium from the Vedic Sanskrit of the Rigveda, its descendant. It is the ancestor of the Indo-Aryan languages, the Iranian languages, and the Nuristani languages.

Descriptive phonology

Proto-Indo-Iranian consonant segments
Labial Coronal Palatal Velar Laryngeal
dental/alveolar post-alveolar first second
Plosivevoiceless *p *t *ĉ *č *k
voiced *b *d *ĵ *ǰ *g
aspirated * * *ĵʰ *ǰʰ *
Fricative

voiceless

*s *š *H
voiced (*z) (*ž)
Nasal *m *n
Liquid (*l) *r *r̥
Semivowel *y *w
PII vowel segments
High *i *ī*u *ū
Low *a *ā

In addition to the vowels, *H, and * could function as the syllabic core.

Two palatal series

Proto-Indo-Iranian is hypothesized to contain two series of stops or affricates in the palatal to postalveolar region.[2] The phonetic nature of this contrast is not clear, and hence they are usually referred to as the primary or first series (*ĉ *ĵ *ĵʰ, continuing Proto-Indo-European palatovelar *ḱ *ǵ *ǵʰ) and the second or secondary series (*č *ǰ *ǰʰ, continuing Proto-Indo-European plain and labialized velars, *k, *g, *gʰ and *kʷ, *gʷ, *gʷʰ, in palatalizing contexts). The following table shows the most common reflexes of the two series (Proto-Iranian is the hypothetical ancestor to the Iranian languages, including Avestan and Old Persian):[3][4]

PII Sanskrit Proto-Iranian Avestan Old Persian Nuristani
*ĉ ś ([ɕ]) *ts s θ ċ ([ts]) / š
*ĵ j ([ɟ]) *dz z d j ([dz]) / z
*ĵʰ h ([ɦ])
*č c *č č č č
*ǰ j ([ɟ]) *ǰ ǰ ǰ ǰ / ž
*ǰʰ h ([ɦ])

Laryngeal

Proto-Indo-European is usually hypothesized to have had three to four laryngeal consonants, each of which could occur in either syllabic or non-syllabic positions. In Proto-Indo-Iranian, the laryngeals merged as one phoneme /*H/. Beekes suggests that some instances of this /*H/ survived into Avestan as unwritten glottal stops.[5]

Accent

Like Proto-Indo-European and Vedic Sanskrit (and also Avestan, though it was not written down[6]), Proto-Indo-Iranian had a pitch accent system similar to present-day Japanese, indicated by an acute accent over the accented vowel.

Historical phonology

The most distinctive phonological change separating Proto-Indo-Iranian from Proto-Indo-European is the collapse of the ablauting vowels *e, *o, *a into a single vowel, Proto-Indo-Iranian *a (but see Brugmann's law). Grassmann's law, Bartholomae's law, and the Ruki sound law were also complete in Proto-Indo-Iranian.

A fuller list of some of the hypothesized sound changes from Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Indo-Iranian follows:

  • The Satem shift, consisting of two sets of related changes. The PIE palatals *k̂ *ĝ *ĝʰ are fronted or affricated, eventually resulting in PII *ĉ, *ĵ, *ĵʰ, while the PIE labiovelars *kʷ *gʷ *gʷʰ merge with the velars *k *g *gʰ.[7]
PIE PII Sanskrit Avestan Latin
*k̂m̥tóm *ĉatám śatám satəm centum "hundred"
*ĝónu *ĵā́nu jā́nu zānu genū "knee"
*ĝʰimós *ĵʰimás himá ziiā̊ hiems "winter" / "snow"
*kʷós *kás ka quis "who?, what?"
*gʷṓws *gā́wš gao bōs "cow"
*gʷʰormós *gʰarmás gharmá garəma formus "warmth, heat"
  • The PIE liquids *l *r *l̥ *r̥ merge as *r *r̥.[8]
PIE PII Sanskrit Avestan Latin
*ḱléwos *ĉráwas śrávas srauua clueō "fame, honor, word"
*wĺ̥kʷos *wŕ̥kas vŕ̥ka vəhrka lupus "wolf"
  • The PIE syllabic nasals *m̥ *n̥ merge with *a.[8]
PIE PII Sanskrit Avestan Latin
*déḱm̥ *dáĉa dáśa dasā decem "ten"
*n̥bʰrós *abʰrás abhrá aβra imber "rain, cloud"
  • Bartholomae's law: an aspirate immediately followed by a voiceless consonant becomes voiced stop + voiced aspirate. In addition, dʰ + t > dᶻdʰ.[9]
PIE PII Sanskrit Avestan
*ubʰtós *ubdʰás sámubdha ubdaēna "woven" / "made of woven material"
*wr̥dʰtós *wr̥dᶻdʰás vr̥ddʰá vərəzda "grown, mature"
*dʰéwgʰti *dáwgdʰi dógdhi *daogdi "to milk"
  • The Ruki rule: *s is retracted to *š when immediately following *r *r̥ *u *k or *i. Its allophone *z likewise becomes *ž.[8]
PIE PII Sanskrit Avestan Latin
*wisós *wišás víṣa viša vīrus "poison, venom"
*dr̥ḱtós *dr̥štás dr̥ṣṭá dərəšta "seen, visible, apparent"
*ǵéwseti *ĵáwšati jóṣati zaošō gustus "to like, taste"
*kʷsép- *kšáp- kṣáp- xšap- "darkness"
*plúsis *plúšiš plúṣi *fruši pūlex "flea, noxious insect"
*nisdós *niždás nīḷá/nīḍá *nižda nīdus "nest"
  • Before a dental occlusive, *ĉ becomes *š and *ĵ becomes *ž. *ĵʰ also becomes *ž, with aspiration of the occlusive.[10]
PIE pre-PII PII Sanskrit Avestan Latin
*oḱtṓw *oĉtṓ *aštā́ aṣṭá ašta octō "eight"
*mr̥ǵt- *mr̥ĵd- *mr̥žd- mr̥ḷ-/mr̥ḍ- mərəžd- "to forgive, pardon"
*uǵʰtós *uĵʰtós *uždʰás ūḍhá *užda vector "carried"
  • The sequence *ĉs was simplified to *šš.[11]
PIE pre-PII PII Sanskrit Avestan Latin
*h₂ék̂s- *Háĉsos *Háššas ákṣa aša axis "axle, shoulder"
  • The "second palatalization" or "law of palatals": *k *g *gʰ develop palatal allophones *č *ǰ *ǰʰ before the front vowels *i, *e.[9] through an intermediate *kʲ *gʲ *gʲʰ.
PIE pre-PII PII Sanskrit Avestan Latin
*-kʷe *-kʲe *-ča -ca -ča -que "and"
*gʷih₃wós *gʲíHwós *ǰiHwás jīvá juuō vīvus "alive, living"
*gʷʰénti *gʲʰénti *ǰʰánti hánti jaiṇti -fendō "slays"
PIE pre-PII PII Sanskrit Avestan Latin
*deh₃tór-m *deHtṓrm *dātā́ram dātā́ram dātārəm datōrem "giver" (accusative singular)
  • The vowels *e *o merge with *a. Similarly, *ē, *ō merge with *ā. This has the effect of giving full phonemic status to the second palatal series *č *ǰ *ǰʰ.
PIE PII Sanskrit Avestan Latin
*dédeh₃ti *dádaHti dádāti dadāiti "to give"
*h₃dónts *Hdánts dát dantan dēns "tooth"
*bʰréh₂tēr *bʰráHtā bhrā́tr̥ brātar frāter "brother"
*wṓkʷs *wā́kš vā́k vāxš vōx "voice"
  • In certain positions, laryngeals were vocalized to *i. This preceded the second palatalization.[13][14]
    • Following a consonant, and preceding a consonant cluster
PIE PII Sanskrit Avestan Latin
*ph₂tréy *pitráy pitré piθrē patrī "father" (dative singular)
  • Following a consonant and word-final
PIE PII Sanskrit Avestan
*-medʰh₂ *-madʰi -mahi -maidī/-maiδi (1st person plural middle ending)
  • The Indo-European laryngeals all merged into one phoneme *H, which may have been a glottal stop. This was probably contemporary with the merging of *e and *o with *a.[15]
PIE PII Sanskrit Avestan Latin
*ph₂tḗr *pHtā́ pitā́ ptā pater "father"
  • According to Lubotsky's Law, *H disappeared when followed by a voiced nonaspirated stop and another consonant:[16]
PIE PII Sanskrit Avestan
*bʰéh₂geti *bʰáǰati bhájati bažat̰ "to divide, distribute"


Subsequent sound changes

Among the sound changes from Proto-Indo-Iranian to Indo-Aryan is the loss of the voiced sibilant *z, among those to Iranian is the de-aspiration of the PIE voiced aspirates.

Proto-Indo-European and Indo-Iranian Phonological Correspondences[17]
PIEOInd/VSAvPIEOInd/VSAv
*p>pp*ph̥₂tḗr "father"pitā́ "father"pitar- "father"
*b>bb*bél- "strong"bálam "strength"
*bʰ>bhb*réh₂tēr "brother"bhrā́tār- "brother"brātar- "brother
*t>tt*tuHóm "thou"tuvám "thou"tvəm "thou"
*d>dd*dóru "wood"dā́ru "wood"dāru- "wood"
*dʰ>dhd*oHnéh₂- "grain"dhānā́- "grain"dāna- "grain"
*ḱ>śs* "ten"śa "ten"dasa "ten"
>jz*ǵónu "knee"jā́nu "knee"zānu- "knee"
*ǵʰ>hz*ǵʰimós "cold"himá- "cold, frost"zəmaka- "winterstorm"
*k>k ~ cx ~ č*kruh₂rós "bloody"krūrá- "bloody"xrūra- "bloody"
*ket "may he run"tačat̰ "may he run"
*g>g ~ jg ~ ǰ*h₂éuges- "strength"ójas- "strength"aoǰah "strength"
*h₂ugrós "strong"ugrá- "strong"ugra- "strong"
*gʰ>gh ~ hg ~ ǰ*dl̥Hós "long"dīrghá- "long"darəga- "long"
*dleHistos "longest"draǰišta- "longest"
*kʷ>k ~ ck ~ č*ós "who"káḥ "who"kō "who"
*e "and"ca "and"́ča "and"
*gʷ>g ~ jg ~ ǰ*ou- "cow"gav- "cow"gau- "cow"
*ih₃wós "alive"jīvá- "alive"OPer: ǰīva- "living"
*gʷʰ>gh ~ hg ~ ǰ*gʷʰnénti "strike" (pl.)ghnánti "strike" (pl.)
*gʷʰénti "strikes"hánti "strikes"ǰainti "strikes"
*s>ss ~ h*septm̥ "seven"saptá "seven"hapta "seven"
*h₁ésti "is"ásti "is"asti "is"
*y>yy*yugóm "yoke"yugam "yoke"yuga- "yoke"
*w>vv*wéǵʰeti "drives, rides"váhati "drives"vazaiti "travels"
*m>mm*méh₂tēr "mother"mātár- "mother"mātar- "mother"
*n>nn*nós "us"nas "us"nō "us"
*l>l ~ rr*kʷeleti "moves"carati "moves"caraiti "moves"
*r>rr*réh₂tēr "brother"bhrā́tār- "brother"brātar- "brother
*n̥>aa*- "un-"a- "un-"a- "un-"
*m̥>aa*tóm "hundred"śatám "hundred"satəm "hundred"
*l̥>ərər*wĺ̥kʷos "wolf"vŕ̥ka- "wolf"vəhrka- "wolf"
*r̥>ərər*ŕ̥d- "heart"hŕ̥d- "heart"zərəd- "heart"
*i>ii*linékʷti "leaves"riṇákti "leaves"irinaxti "releases"
*e>aa*déḱm̥ "ten"dáśa "ten"dasa "ten"
>āā*h₂nr "man"nā "man"nā "man"
*a>aa*h₂éǵeti "drives"ájati "drives"azaiti "drives"
>āā*méh₂tēr "mother"mātā́ "mother"mātar- "mother"
*o>a ~ āa ~ ā*ǵómbʰos "tooth, peg"jā́mbha- "tooth, tusk"
*ǵónu "knee"jānu "knee"zānu- "knee"
>āā*oHnéh₂- "grain"dhānā́- "grain"dāna- "grain"
*u>uu*yugóm "yoke"yugám "yoke"yuga- "yoke"
>ūū*mū́s "mouse"mū́ṣ- "mouse" NPer mūs "mouse"
*h₁>*h₁ésti "is"ásti "is"asti "is"
*h₂>*h₂ŕ̥tḱos "bear"ŕ̥kṣa- "bear"arəša- "bear"
*h₃>*h₃ókʷs(i) "eye"ákṣi "eye"aši "eye"
*h₄>*h₄órǵʰis "testicle"ərəzi- "testicle"
Proto-Indo-IranianOld Iranian (Av, OP)Vedic Sanskrit
*Háĉwas "horse"Av aspa, OP asaáśva
*bʰaHgás "portion, share"Av bāgabhāgá
*bʰráHtā "brother"Av, OP brātarbhrā́tr̥
*bʰúHmiš "earth, land"OP būmišbhū́mi-
*mártyas "mortal, man"Av maṣ̌iia, OP martiyamártya
*mā́Has "moon"Av mā̊, OP māhamā́s
*wásr̥ "spring"Av vaŋharvásara "morning"
*Hr̥tás "truth"Av aṣ̌a, OP artar̥tá
*dʰráwgʰas "lie"Av draoγa, OP draugadrógha "using malicious words"
*sáwmas "pressed (juice)"Av haomasóma-

See also

References

  1. Peter Bellwood; Immanuel Ness (10 November 2014). The Global Prehistory of Human Migration. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-118-97059-1.
  2. Burrow, pp. 78-79
  3. Ramat, Anna Giacalone (1998). The Indo-European Languages (illustrated ed.). London ; New York: Routledge,. p. 134. ISBN 0-415-06449-X.
  4. Cardona, George; Dhanesh Jain (2003). The Indo-Aryan Languages. London ; New York: Routledge. p. 24. ISBN 0-7007-1130-9.
  5. Beekes (1988), p. 50
  6. Beekes, p. 55
  7. Burrow, pp. 74-75
  8. 1 2 3 Fortson, p. 182
  9. 1 2 Fortson, p. 181
  10. Burrow, p. 91
  11. Burrow, pp. 92-94
  12. Fortson, p. 183
  13. Beekes, pp, 85-86
  14. Lubotsky, p. 53
  15. get ref
  16. Beekes, pp. 88-89
  17. "Indo-Iranian Languages." Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture. Ed. J.P. Mallory and D.Q. Adams. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997. pp. 305.

Bibliography


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