AUTHOR:   Alexander Lehrman  
Indo-Hittite Redux. Studies in Anatolian
and Indo-European Verb Morphology.
Paleograph Press
YEAR:   Moscow, 1998
LANGUAGE:   English
ISBN:   5-89526-003-9
FORMAT:  15.5 × 23.5 cm
PAPER:  Offset paper, 100 gram
COVER:   332 pages, includes index.
PAGES:   Hardcover, cloth
WEIGHT:   2 kg / 4.44 lbs
PRICE:   Euro 33.00


Alexander Lehrman reexamines the fundamental theoretical tools of language history and comparison, and demonstrates that the Indo-Hittite theory, according to which the proto-language of the Anatolian family is collateral with the proto-language of the Indo-European family, is the only logically correct theory of subgrouping that does justice to the evidence. The failure of the mainstream Indo-Europeanists to recognize the truth of the Indo-Hittite theory and to revise the reconstruction of Indo-European in its light is caused by their neglect of important theoretical principles. The book presents an additional powerful morphological argument in support of the Indo-Hittite theory, describes its implications for the reconstruction of Indo-European, Anatolian, and Indo-Hittite, and on the basis of the new evidence proposes an explanation for the full-grade simple thematic imperfectives as shared innovation of extra-Anatolian Indo-European.

The opening chapter discusses the principles and procedures of subgrouping with reference to the Anatolian and Indo-European languages. The theory currently dominant in the field continues to insist on subgrouping Anatolian within Indo-European. The author shows that to be a grave error comparable, e.g., to the error of considering Armenian to be an Indo-Iranian language, instead of regarding it as a separate subbranch of the Indo-European family — a «sibling,» not a «daughter,» to Indo-Iranian.

One of the consequences of the Indo-Hittite theory is the need to place the reconstruction of the «laryngeals» in Anatolian, where there is some prima facie evidence for them, while eliminating them from Proto-Indo-European, where there is no such evidence. The important question of what constitutes the evidence for reconstructing a sound of a proto-language is considered in detail. Lehrman stresses that structural pressures, i.e., a priori notions such as «elegance» and «symmetry,» cannot be allowed to prevail over prima facie evidence. Evidence must not be tampered with for structural, i.e., cosmetic, reasons. The language historian should be interested in reconstructing historical truth, however untidy it may look, rather than in  forcing his reconstructions to conform to structural pressures or typological considerations.

Chapters 2 and 3 contain an annotated collection of attestations of the vocalic verb stems of Old and Middle Hittite, Palaic, Cuneiform Luwian, Hieroglyphic Luwian, Lycian, and Lydian, incorporating the latest material published in the field.

Chapter 4 presents a detailed historical and comparative overview of the material laid out in chapters 2 and 3, including the evidence of word-formational Aktionsart distinctions in Anatolian, which prefigure, while being very different from, the Indo-European paradigmatic aspectual distinction of present (imperfective) vs. aorist (perfective). The carefully analyzed data show that the Anatolian languages have no trace of any inherited simple thematic imperfective class, whether full-grade or zero-grade, contrary to the claims of Oettinger’s 1979 study accepted in bulk by the communis opinio. The Proto-Indo-European class of full-grade simple thematic present form thus constitutes yet another significant innovation shared by the (extra-Anatolian) Indo-European languages.

Chapter 5 reaffirms the importance of reconstructing whole words rather than disjointed suffixes and endings. If a morphological reconstruction is to make any claims to historical accuracy, and propose a theory of the development of the full-grade simple thematic present class in Proto-Indo-European.

Excursus I, focusing on J. Jasanoff’s interpretation of Hittite ga-ne-eš- ‘recognize’, offers a critique of the excesses of the laryngealist theory. Excursus II reestablishes some important principles of reconstruction while presenting and discussing the evidence for reconstructing laryngeals in Indo-Hittite. Excursus III briefly discusses the origins of the Hittite -ḫḫi- conjugation.

The book ends with a bibliography and with a valuable index of forms, including the reconstructed ones.

Table of Contents:

Special Signs and Conventions.

Chapter 1: Indo-Hittite Redux.
Chapter 2: Thematic Verb Stems of Hittite.
Chapter 3: Vocalic (Possibly Thematic) Verb Stems of Other Anatolian Languages.
Chapter 4: Thematic and Pseudo-Thematic Verb Stems of Anatolian.
Chapter 5: The Origins of the Full-Grade Simple Thematic Stems and of the Subjunctive in Proto-Indo-European.
Excursus I: Hittite ga-ne-eš-+ and the Laryngeal Theory.
Excursus II: The "Laryngeals" of Proto-Indo-Hittite.
Excursus III: The Hittite -ḫḫi- Congugation.

Index of forms.

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