Re‐examining Lindeman's Law

Peter Barber

in Laws and Rules in Indo‐European

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199609925
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741579 | DOI:
Re‐examining Lindeman's Law

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  • Historical and Diachronic Linguistics
  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology


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In this chapter the evidence for a rule of Vedic and Indo-European Phonology is examined from a fresh perspective. Lindeman’s Law proposes that monosyllabic words with an initial Cy- or Cv- cluster in Vedic could exhibit an alternative disyllabic form with Ciy- or Cuv-. This rule has also been attributed to Indo-European. Here it is shown that it is important to consider the role of formulaic composition in the distribution and preservation of archaisms in Vedic. The circumstances of preservation impose limits on what can be known about the original conditions for word initial alternation.

Keywords: VedicMetre; Formula; Formulaic; Indo-European; Lindeman; Edgerton; Sievers; Schindler; Sihler

Chapter.  9242 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Historical and Diachronic Linguistics ; Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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