Indo-European Morphophonemics

This project aims at a handbook presentation of Indo-European morphophonemics where Rasmussen will treat the vocalism, while Olsen deals with the consonants.

Rasmussen’s contribution will concern the ablaut rules with a critical inspection of the following basic tenets: The main factors are quantity and accent, giving two basic types: I é ~ zero, II é: é. Productive rules of initial accent and of reduction e > o > zero explain the core examples. Special rules are needed for: the thematic vowel e/o, the infixal -o- of consonantal origin, accent in reduplicated forms, and the contrastive accent. The original accent placement is on the last vowel of a given word.

Olsen’s treatment of the consonantism goes hand in hand with her work on nominal word formation, since the allomorphy of certain noun suffixes often leads to assume an original complementary distribu­tion, ultimately reflecting one single “archi­phoneme”, e.g. the alternation between *l and *r in agent and instrument nouns or that between *s and *t in the active perfect participle.

Scholars in charge

Jens Elmegård Rasmussen
Birgit Anette Rasmussen (Olsen)