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 (PIE) phonological rule named after the Norwegian linguist Christian Stang. The law governs the word-final sequences of a vowel, followed by a semivowel (*y or *w) or a laryngeal (*h₁, *h₂ or *h₃), followed by a nasal. According to the law these sequences are simplified such that laryngeals and semivowels are dropped, with compensatory lengthening of a preceding vowel.

This rule is usually cited in more restricted form as: *Vwm > *Vːm and *Vh₂m > *Vːm (*V denoting a vowel and * a long vowel).

Often the rules *Vmm > *Vːm and also *Vyi > *Vːy are added:[1]

  • 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'
  • acc. sg. of PIE *dom- 'house' is *dṓm, not **dómm̥.
  • acc. sg. of PIE *dʰoHn-éh₂ 'grain' after laryngeal colouring is the disyllabic *dʰoHnā́m, not trisyllabic **dʰoHnáh₂m̥ > **dʰoHnā́m̥

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Benjamin W. Fortson (2004). Indo-European Language and Culture: An Introduction. Blackwell Publishing. pp. 63–64. ISBN 1-4051-0316-7.