Indo-European sound laws

Indo-European sound laws

As the Proto-Indo-European language (PIE) broke up, its sound system diverged as well, according to various sound laws in the daughter languages. Notable among these are Grimm's law in Proto-Germanic, loss of prevocalic "*p-" in Proto-Celtic, loss of prevocalic "*s-" in Proto-Greek, Brugmann's law in Proto-Indo-Iranian, and Winter's law and Hirt's law in Balto-Slavic. Grassmann's law and Bartholomae's law may or may not have been still common Indo-European.

;Note - these draught tables need to be completed, verified, and the allophones explained.


*1 After vowels.
*2 Before a plosive (PIE|p, t, k).
*3 Following an unstressed vowel (Verner's Law).
*4 After a (Proto-Germanic) fricative (PIE|s, f).
*5 Before a (PIE) front vowel (PIE|i, e).
*6 Before or after a (PIE) PIE|u.
*7 Before or after a (PIE) PIE|o, u.
*8 Between vowels.
*9 Before a resonant.
*10 Before secondary (post-PIE) front-vowels.
*11 After PIE|r, u, k, i (Ruki sound law).
*12 Before a stressed vowel.
*13 At the end of a word.
*14 After PIE|u, r or before PIE|r, l.
*15 After PIE|n.

Vowels and syllabic consonants

*1 Before "wa".
*2 Before "r, h".
*3 The existence of PIE non-allophonic "a" is disputed.
*4 In open syllables (Brugmann's law).
*5 Under stress.
*6 Before palatal consonants.
*7 The so-called breaking is disputed (typical examples are PIE|*proti-h₃kʷo- > Ved. "prátīkam" ~ Gk. Polytonic|πρόσωπον; PIE|*gʷih₃u̯o- > Ved. "jīvá-" ~ Arm. "keank‘", Gk. Polytonic|ζωός; PIE|*duh₂ro- > Ved. "dūrá-" ~ Arm. "erkar", Gk. Polytonic|δηρός)
*8 In a final syllable.
*9 Before velars and unstressed
*10 Before "ā" in the following syllable.
*11 Before "i" in the following syllable.
*12 In a closed syllable.
*13 In the neighbourhood of labials.
*14 In the neighbourhood of labiovelars.


See the hosted at Wiktionary.


PIE|*, ~ PIE|*ped-, "foot". [Meier-Brügger (2003), p. 128]
* Vedic Sanskrit: "pád-"
* Slovenian: "pòd", "floor"
* Lithuanian: "pėda", "foot bottom"
* Luwian: "pa-da-", "pa-ta-"
* Greek: "poús", "pod-"
* Latin: "pēs", "ped-"
* Gothic: "fotus" (*p -> f by Grimm's Law)


PIE|*, "three". [Meier-Brügger (2003), p. 127]
* Vedic Sanskrit: "tráyas"
* OCS: "trьje"
* Lithuanian: "trỹs"
* Greek: "treĩs"
* Latin: "trēs"
* Old Norse: "þrir" (*t -> þ by Grimm's Law)


PIE|*, "hundred" (from earlier PIE|*dk̂m̥tóm) [Meier-Brügger (2003), pp. 101-102]
* Vedic Sanskrit: "śatám"
* Later Avestan: "satəm"
* Lithuanian: "šimta-s"
* Greek: "hekatón"
* Latin: "centum" (i.e., "kentum")
* Gothic: "hund-" (from proto-Germanic *"xund") [cite book
first=Hans Heinrich
title=Principles of historical linguistics
publisher=Walter de Gruyter
location=Berlin; New York
pages=p. 132


PIE|*kreuh₂, "raw flesh" [Meier-Brügger (2003), p. 131]
* Vedic Sanskrit: "kravíṣ-", "raw meat"
* Lithuanian: "kraûjas", "blood"
* OCS: "krьvь", "blood"
* Greek: "kréas", "meat"
* Latin: "cruor", "raw blood"
* Old High German: "hrō", "raw"

ound laws within PIE

A few phonological laws can be reconstructed that may have been effective prior to the final breakup of PIE by internal reconstruction.
* Sievers' Law (Edgerton's Law, Lindeman's option)
* Bartholomae's Law
* Szemerényi's law
* Stang's law
* Siebs' law



* cite book
last= Meier-Brügger
coauthors=Matthias Fritz, Manfred Mayrhofer, Charles Gertmenian (trans.)
title=Indo-European Linguistics
location=Berlin; New York
publisher=Walter de Gruyter

ee also

*Centum-Satem isogloss
*Indo-European s-mobile

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