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Pre-Greek is Non-Indo-European

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Chapter Summary

Our knowledge of Indo-European has expanded so much, especially in the last thirty years (notably because of the laryngeal theory) that in some cases we can say almost with certainty that an Indo-European reconstruction is impossible. In order to explain the -a- of this word, we need to introduce an h2. The conclusion is that no Indo-European proto-form can be reconstructed, and that the word cannot be of Indo-European origin. An example is the word χρημνός, 'overhanging bank', for which a connection with χρέμαμαι, 'to hang (up)' used to be evident. However, it is now known that most long vowels go back to a short vowel plus a laryngeal, and that long vowels cannot be postulated at random. Positively, one can say that landscape terms are frequently borrowed from a substrate language. The inevitable conclusion is that the word is Pre-Greek.

Keywords: Indo-European proto-form; laryngeal theory; long vowel; overhanging bank; Pre-Greek; short vowel

10.1163/9789004279445_006
/content/books/b9789004279445_006
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