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PIE feminine *-eh 2 in Tocharian

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Chapter Summary

Tocharian possesses two morphological categories that have recently been invoked to claim that it preserves a more archaic gender system than the inner-Indo-European languages. In different ways both of them have been used to challenge the status of PIE *-eh2 and *-ih2 as feminine markers in Tocharian with (partially far-reaching) conjectures about the Indo-European proto-language. There are two possible ways to account for the fact that Tocharian feminine thematic adjectives show the continuant of PIE *-ih2: Tocharian preserves a more morphologically archaic state of affairs than the other Indo-European languages. The extension of the pattern to thematic adjectives in Pre-Proto-Tocharian finally eliminated almost all traces of old *-eh2 feminine adjectives, thus giving rise to the attested situation. While the reanalysis of an abstract/collective as concrete/individual noun as envisaged by Hackstein is indeed a well-attested development, it is a lexical, not a morphological change.

Keywords: inner-Indo-European languages; Olav Hackstein; PIE feminine; Pre-Proto-Tocharian; Romanian; Tocharian nominal morphology



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