Indo-European sound laws

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Map showing some major isoglosses between the branches of Indo-European (at around 500 BC).
  Blue: centum languages
  Red: satem languages
  Orange: languages with augment
  Green: languages with PIE *-tt- > -ss-
  Tan: languages with PIE *-tt- > -st-
  Pink: languages with instrumental, dative and ablative plurals (and some singulars and duals) in *-m- rather than *-bh-

As the Proto-Indo-European language (PIE) broke up, its sound system diverged as well, according to various sound laws in the daughter Indo-European languages.

Especially notable is the palatalization that produced the satem languages, along with the associated ruki sound law. Other notable changes are Grimm's law and Verner's law in Proto-Germanic; an independent change similar to Grimm's law in Armenian; loss of prevocalic *p- in Proto-Celtic; Brugmann's law in Proto-Indo-Iranian; Winter's law and Hirt's law in Balto-Slavic; and merging of voiced and breathy-voiced stops, and /a/ and /o/, in various "northern" languages. Bartholomae's law in Indo-Iranian, and Sievers' law in Proto-Germanic and (to some extent) various other branches, may or may not have been common Indo-European features. A number of innovations, both phonological and morphological, represent areal features common to the Italic and Celtic languages; among them are the development of labiovelars to labial consonants in some Italic and Celtic branches, producing "p-Celtic" and "q-Celtic" languages (likewise "p-Italic" and "q-Italic", although these terms are less used). Another grouping with many shared areal innovations is Greek, Indo-Iranian, and Armenian; among the common phonological innovations are Grassmann's law in Greek and Indo-Iranian, and weakening of pre-vocalic /s/ to /h/ in Greek, Iranian and Armenian.

Consonants[edit]

The following table shows the Proto-Indo-European consonants and their reflexes in selected Indo-European daughter languages. Background and further details can be found in various related articles, including Proto-Indo-European phonology, Centum and satem languages, the articles on the various sound laws referred to in the introduction, and the articles on the various IE proto-languages, language groups and language phonologies. For development of the laryngeals and syllabic consonants, see the vowels table below.

Table 1. Reflexes of Proto-Indo-European single consonants
PIE Indo-Iranian Balto-Slavic Alb. Arm. Anatol. Toch. Greek Italic Celtic Germanic
Skr. Av. O.C.S. Lith. Hitt. Latin Old Irish Gothic English
normal C+[j] normal -C-8
*p p; ph [pʰ] [C 1] p; f17 p h;
w [C 2]
p pt p Ø f;
b [β] [C 3]
f;
v, f8
*t t; th [t̪ʰ] [C 1] t; θ17 t tʿ [tʰ] t;
z [ts] [C 4]
t;
c [c] [C 4]
t s; tt/ss[C 2] t t th [θ] þ [θ];
d [ð]; [C 3]
th;
d; [C 3]
*ḱ ś [ɕ] s š [ʃ] th [θ];
k9
s k k;
ś [ɕ]9
k c [k] c [k] ch [x] h;
g [ɣ] [C 3]
h;
Ø;8
y [C 3]
*k k; c [t͡ɕ]; [C 4]
kh [kʰ] [C 1]
k; c [tʃ]; [C 4]
x17
k;
č [tʃ]; [C 4]
c [ts]10
k k kʿ [kʰ]
*kʷ k;
s; [C 4]
q [c]10
ku p;
t; [C 4]
k6
qu [kʷ];
c [k] [C 5]
ƕ [ʍ];
gw, w [C 3]
wh;
w [C 3]
*b b; bh [C 1] b; β [C 6] b p b pt b b [b] -[β]- p
*d d; dh [C 1] d; δ [C 6] d d;
dh [ð]8
t ts;
ś [ɕ] [C 4]
d z [zd] > [z] d d [d] -[ð]- t
j [d͡ʑ];
h [ɦ] [C 1]
z ž [ʒ] dh [ð];
g9
c [ts] k k;
ś [ɕ]9
g g g [ɡ] -[ɣ]- k c / k;
ch10
*g g; j [d͡ʑ]; [C 4]
gh; [C 1] h [ɦ] [C 1] 5
g; j [dʒ]; [C 4]
γ [C 6]
g;
ž [ʒ]; [C 4]
dz10
g g k
*gʷ g;
z; [C 4]
gj [ɟ]10
ku b;
d; [C 4]
g6
u [w > v];
gu [ɡʷ] [C 7]
b [b] -[β]- q [kʷ] qu
*bʰ bh [bʱ] b; β [C 6] b b;
w8
p ph [pʰ] pt f;21
b
b [b];
b [β];8
f [C 8]
b;
v / f24
*dʰ dh [dʱ] d; δ [C 6] d t t;
c [c] [C 4]
th [tʰ] tt/ss f;21
d;
b [C 9]
d [d] -[ð]- d;
d [ð];8
þ [C 8]
d
*ǵʰ h [ɦ] z ž [ʒ] dh [ð];
d9
j [dz];
z8
k k;
ś [ɕ] [C 4]
kh [kʰ] h;
h / g9
g [ɡ] -[ɣ]- g;
g [ɣ];8
g [x] [C 8]
g;
y / w24
*gʰ gh [ɡʱ];
h [ɦ] [C 4]
g; j [dʒ]; [C 4]
γ [C 6]
g;
ž [ʒ]; [C 4]
dz10
g g g;
ǰ [dʒ] [C 4]
*gʷʰ g;
z; [C 4]
gj [ɟ]10
ku ph [pʰ];
th [tʰ]; [C 4]
kh [kʰ]6
f;21
g /
u [w];8
gu [ɡʷ] [C 7]
g;
b;21
w;8
gw [C 7]
g;
b;21
w8
*s s h [h, x] s sh [ʃ];
gj [ɟ];12
h8
h;
Ø8
š [s] s;
[ʂ]
h;21
s;22, 13
Ø;8
[¯] [C 10]
i s;
r8
s [s] -[h]- s;
z [C 3]
s;
r [C 3]
[ʂ]11 š [ʃ]11 x [x]11 š [ʃ]11
*m m in m m [m] -[w̃]- m
*-m [C 8] m ˛ [˜] n Ø n -- m n Ø
*n n n;
˛ [˜] [C 8]
n n;
ñ [ɲ]
n in n
*l r (dial. l) r l l;
ll [ɫ]8
l /
ɫ
> ɣ]
l il l
*r r r [ɾ];
rr [r]8
r ir r
*i̯ y [j] j [j] gj [ɟ];
Ø
Ø y [j] z [zd] > [z] /
h;
Ø 8
?i i [j];
Ø 8
Ø j y
*u̯ v [ʋ] v [w] v v [ʋ] v g / w w w > h / Ø i u [w > v] f -Ø- w
PIE Skr. Av. O.C.S. Lith. Alb. Arm. Hitt. Toch. Greek Greek+/j/ Latin Old Irish Gothic English

Notes for table 1:

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Before an original laryngeal.
  2. ^ a b After a vowel.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Following an unstressed vowel (Verner's law).
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Before a (PIE) front vowel (*i, *e).
  5. ^ Before or after a (PIE) rounded vowel (*u, *o).
  6. ^ a b c d e f In Younger Avestan, after a vowel.
  7. ^ a b c After n.
  8. ^ a b c d e At the end of a word.
  9. ^ After u, r or before r, l.
  10. ^ Before or after a resonant (r, l, m, n).

Consonant clusters[edit]

Proto-Indo-European also had numerous consonant clusters, such as *st, *ḱs. In most cases in most languages, each consonant in a cluster develops according to the normal development given in the table above. Many consonant clusters however also show special developments in multiple languages. Some of these are given by the following table (with cases of otherwise predictable development in gray):

Table 2. Reflexes of Proto-Indo-European consonant clusters
PIE Indo-Iranian Balto-Slavic Alb. Arm. Anatol. Toch. Greek Italic Celtic Germanic
Skr. Av. O.C.S. Lith. Hitt. Latin Old Irish Gothic English
normal C+[j]
*sp sp sp [CC 1] sp f sp [CC 1]
/ pʿ [pʰ]
normal dev. sp [CC 1]  ? sp f sp [CC 2]
*st st st [CC 1] st sht [ʃt] st [CC 1] normal dev. st [CC 1] s; tt/ss[CC 3] st st [CC 2]
*sḱ ch [t͡ɕʰ]; cch[CC 3] s? sk š? h ?? č`; c`[CC 3] normal dev. sk; [CC 1]
kh [kʰ];19
skh [skʰ] [CC 4]
sc [sk] sc [sk] sk [CC 2] sh [ʃ]
*sk sk, sc sk, sč [CC 1] normal dev. ? sk [CC 1] normal dev.
*skʷ norm. squ [skʷ] sq [CC 2]
*t+t [tst] tt; tth [CC 5] st; 17? st s s? zt [tst] ss? st ss ss / st
*pt pt ft t pt pt cht [xt] ft [CC 2]
*ḱt ṣṭ [ʂʈ] št [ʃt] kt ct [kt] ht [CC 2] ght [t] [CC 2]
*kt kt xt
*kʷt pt ct [kt]
*ps ps ps s, ss fs ps
*ḱs kṣ š sh [ʃ] ks x [ks] hs x [ks]
*ks kṣ11 11 (ks)
*kʷs kʷs ps x [ks]
PIE Skr. Av. O.C.S. Lith. Alb. Arm. Hitt. Toch. Greek Greek+/j/ Latin Old Irish Gothic English

Notes to Table 2:

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i In contrast to *s normally giving h in Avestan, Armenian and Greek.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Germanic spirant law: *p, *t, *k, *kʷ remain stops when preceded by another stop or *s.
  3. ^ a b c Between vowels.
  4. ^ After (Greek) th. [clarification needed]
  5. ^ Before an original laryngeal.
Notes:
  • 6 Before or after a (PIE) u.
  • 8 Between vowels.
  • 9 Before a sonorant.
  • 10 Before secondary (post-PIE) front-vowels.
  • 11 After r, u, k, i (Ruki sound law).
  • 12 Before a stressed vowel.
  • 17 Before a consonant or original laryngeal.
  • 19 After r, l, m, n, t, d, possibly other consonants?
  • 21 At the beginning of a word.
  • 22 Before or after an obstruent (p, t, k, etc.; s).
  • 24 Between vowels, or between a vowel and r, l (on either side).

Vowels and syllabic consonants[edit]

This table shows the Proto-Indo-European vowels and syllabic consonants (as reconstructed both before and after the acceptance of laryngeal theory), and their reflexes in selected Indo-European daughter languages. Background and further details can be found in various related articles, including Proto-Indo-European phonology, the articles on the various sound laws referred to in the introduction, and the articles on the various IE proto-languages, language groups and language phonologies.

Trad. PIE Laryng. PIE Skr. Av. O.C.S. Lith. Arm. Alb. Toch. Hitt. Greek Latin18 Proto-Celtic Gothic19 Old English18
normal umlauted20
*e *e, *h₁e a e je, ie, e, i; ja12 ä e, i e i; [ɛ]2 e; eo21 i; ie21
*a (*a3), *h₂e o a a ha, a ā ha, a a a æ; a;22 ea21 e; ie21
*o *h₃e o, a a a, e a o
*o a; ā4
16 *h₁16 i i, Ø Ø a, Ø ā a e a a, Ø
*h₂16 h a
*h₃16 o
*- *h₁-17 Ø e (a?) Ø a e (o) Ø
*h₂-17 a ha a
*h₃-17 a, ha o
, *eh₁ ā ě ė i o, ua a/e?; ā?8 e, i ē ī ē ǣ
(3), *eh₂ a o [oː] a a/o? a, ah ā > ē15 ā ā ō ē
, *eh₃ uo u e a/ā?; ū?8 a ō ā; ū8
*i *i i ь i i i; e10 ä i i i; [ɛ]2 i
*ih₁ ī i y [iː] i i ī ī ei [iː] ī
*ih₂ i
or (j)a?7
ī or (j)ā?7
*ih₃ ī or (j)ō?7
*ei *ei, *h₁ei ai > ē ai > ōi,
āi > aē4
ei; ie5 i e ei ei ī īa; ē6
*oi *oi, *h₃ei ě ai; ie5 e e, ai ay oi ū oe ái ā ǣ
*ai (*ai3), *h₂ei ai ae ae
*ēi *ēi āi; ā8 āi; ā(i)8 i i ēi ī? ei [iː] ī
*ōi *ōi (*oei) y; u8 ai; ui8 e, ai ai ōi ō u8 ái ā ǣ
*āi *eh₂ei ě āi > ēi15 ae
*u *u u ъ u u u; y11 ä u u u u; o1 u; [ɔ]2 u; o23 y
*uh₁ ū y ū y; i8 u ū ū ȳ
*uh₂ u
or (w)a?7
ū or (w)ā?7
*uh₃ ū or (w)ō?7
*eu *eu, *h₁eu ō ə̄u; ao4 ju iau oy e u eu ū ūa; ō9 iu ēo īe
*ou *ou,*h₃eu u au a o, au ou áu ēa
*au (*au3), *h₂eu aw au au
*ēu *ēu āu u iau e ū? iu ēo
*ōu *ōu a ō áu ēa
*m̥ *m̥ a ę im̃; um̃14 am a äm am a em em, am um um ym
*m̥̅ *mh₁ ā ìm; ùm14 ama
*mh₂ mā > mē15
*mh₃
*m̥m *m̥m am ьm/ъm im; um14 am am em am
*n̥ *n̥ a ę ; 14 an än an a en en, an un un yn
*n̥̄ *nh₁ ā ìn; ùn14 ana
*nh₂ nā > nē 15
*nh₃
*n̥n *n̥n an ьn/ъn ; 14 an an en an
*l̥ *l̥ ərə lь/lъ il̃; ul̃14 al il, li; ul, lu äl al la ol li24; al ul ul; ol23 yl
*l̥̄ *lh₁ īr; ūr13 arə ìl; ùl14 ala al
*lh₂ lā > lē15
*lh₃
*l̥l *l̥l ir; ur13 ar ьl/ъl il; ul14 al, la al el al
*r̥ *r̥ ərə rь/rъ ir̃; ur̃14 ar ir, ri; ur, ru är ar ra or ri24; ar aúr [ɔr] ur; or23 yr
*r̥̄ *rh₁ īr; ūr13 arə ìr; ùr14 ara ra
*rh₂ rā > rē15
*rh₃
*r̥r *r̥r ir; ur13 ar ьr/ъr ir; ur14 ar ar ar ar
Trad. PIE Laryng. PIE Skr. Av. O.C.S. Lith. Arm. Alb. Toch. Hitt. Greek Latin18 Proto-Celtic Gothic19 normal umlauted20
Old English18
Notes
  • 1 Before wa.
  • 2 Before r, h. Gothic, but not other Germanic languages, merges /e/ and /i/.
  • 3 The existence of PIE non-allophonic a is disputed.
  • 4 In open syllables (Brugmann's law).
  • 5 Under stress.
  • 6 Before palatal consonants.
  • 7 The so-called breaking is disputed (typical examples are *proti-h₃kʷo- > Ved. prátīkam ~ Gk. πρόσωπον; *gʷih₃u̯o- > Ved. jīvá- ~ Arm. keank‘, Gk. ζωός; *duh₂ro- > Ved. dūrá- ~ Arm. erkar, Gk. δηρός)
  • 8 In a final syllable.
  • 9 Before velars and unstressed
  • 10 Before ā in the following syllable.
  • 11 Before i in the following syllable.
  • 12 In a closed syllable.
  • 13 In the neighbourhood of labials.
  • 14 In the neighbourhood of labiovelars.
  • 15 ā > ē in Attic and Ionic dialects only.
  • 16 Between consonants, or at the end of a word after a consonant.
  • 17 At the beginning of a word, followed by a consonant.
  • 18 In initial syllables only.
  • 19 In non-final syllables only.
  • 20 Before i, ī, or /j/ in the next syllable in Proto-Germanic (i-umlaut).
  • 21 Before h, w, or before r, l plus a consonant ("breaking").
  • 22 Before a back vowel in the next syllable (a restoration).
  • 23 Before a non-high vowel in the next syllable (a-mutation).
  • 24 Before a stop or m.

Examples[edit]

See the list of Proto-Indo-European roots hosted at Wiktionary.

*p[edit]

*pṓds, ~ *ped-, "foot".[1]

  • Vedic Sanskrit: pád-
  • Avestan: pâdha
  • Slovenian: pòd, "floor"
  • Lithuanian: pėda, "foot bottom"
  • Armenian: otn
  • Tocharian: A pe, B pai
  • Luwian: pa-da-, pa-ta-
  • Greek: poús, podós
  • Latin: pēs, pedis
  • Scottish Gaelic: edh, "pace"
  • Gothic: fotus (*p -> f by Grimm's Law)

*t[edit]

*tréyes, "three".[1]

  • Vedic Sanskrit: tráyas
  • OCS: trьje
  • Lithuanian: trỹs
  • Albanian: tre
  • Greek: treĩs
  • Latin: trēs
  • Irish: trí
  • Arm.ere
  • Old Norse: þrir (*t -> þ by Grimm's Law)

*ḱ[edit]

*ḱm̥tóm, "hundred" (from earlier *dk̂m̥tóm)[1]

  • Vedic Sanskrit: śatám
  • Later Avestan: satəm
  • OCS: sьto
  • Lithuanian: šimtas
  • Tocharian: A känt, B känte
  • Greek: hekatón
  • Latin: centum (i.e., kentum)
  • Welsh: cant
  • Gothic: hund- (from proto-Germanic *xund)[2]

*k[edit]

*kreuh₂, "raw flesh"[1]

  • Vedic Sanskrit: kravíṣ-, "raw meat"
  • Lithuanian: kraûjas, "blood"
  • OCS: krьvь, "blood"
  • Greek: kréas, "meat"
  • Latin: cruor, "raw blood"
  • Irish: cró, "blood, gore"
  • Old English: hrō, "raw"

Sound laws within PIE[edit]

A few phonological laws can be reconstructed that may have been effective prior to the final breakup of PIE by internal reconstruction.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Meier-Brügger, Michael; Gertmenian, Charles (translator) (2003). Indo-European linguistics. Berlin [u.a.]: de Gruyter. pp. 101–131. ISBN 3-11-017433-2. 
  2. ^ Hock, Hans Heinrich (1986). Principles of historical linguistics. Berlin; New York: Walter de Gruyter. p. 132. ISBN 3-11-010600-0.