Stang's law

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This article is about the sound law in Proto-Indo-European. For the accentual law in Proto-Slavic, see Ivšić's law.

Stang's law is a Proto-Indo-European phonological rule named after the Norwegian linguist Christian Stang. The law governs the word-final sequences of a vowel, followed by a laryngeal or a semivowel */y/ or */w/, followed by a nasal, and according to the law those sequences are simplified in a way that laryngeals and semivowels are dropped, with compensatory lengthening of a preceding vowel.

This rule is usually cited in more restricted form as: *Vwm > *V:m. Often the rules *Vmm > *V:m and *Vh₂m > *V:m; and also *Vyi > *V:y are added.


  • PIE *dyéwm 'sky' (accusative singular) > *dyḗm > Sanskrit dyā́m, acc. sg. of dyaús, Latin diem (which served as the basis for Latin dies 'day'), Greek Zen (reformed after Homeric Greek to Zena), acc. of Zeus
  • PIE *gʷowm 'cow' (acc. sg.) > *gʷōm > Sanskrit gā́m, acc. sg. of gaús, Greek (Homeric and dialectal) bṓn, acc. sg. of bous 'cow'
  • accusative singular of PIE *dom- 'house' is *dṓm, not **dómm̥.

See also[edit]


  • Benjamin W. Fortson (2004). Indo-European Language and Culture: An Introduction. Blackwell Publishing. p. 64. ISBN 1-4051-0316-7. 
  • Matasović, Ranko (1997). Kratka poredbenopovijesna gramatika latinskoga jezika. Zagreb: Matica hrvatska. ISBN 953-150-105-X.