The First Person Singular of the Athematic Middle Optative in Vedic and Indo-Iranian

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Dieter Gunkel



In the first person singular of the athematic middle optative in the R̥ gveda, there is strong metrical evidence that the poets knew and used forms in *-iy-a along- side the morphologically regular forms in -īy-a. I argue that the forms in *-iy-a are older and developed from PIE *-ih1-h2e by regular sound change, whereas the younger ones in -īy-a result from morphological regularization (analogy). The phonological development of *-ih1-h2e > *-iy-a provides further evidence for the historical phonology of “laryngeals” and geminate consonants in the Indo-Iranian branch of Indo-European.

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