TANAKA, Toshiya (March 2011). A Morphological Conflation Approach to the
Historical Development of Preterite-Present Verbs: Old English, Proto-Germanic,
and Proto-Indo-European (The Faculty of Languages and Cultures Library II),
xiii + 320 pages.
Preterite-present verbs show morphological peculiarities: their present singular typically exhibits the o-grade radical vocalism, to conform with the preterite singular of a strong verb, whilst their preterite is formed with a dental suffix, which accords with the preterite of a weak verb. English and Germanic philologists have construed these characteristics as the result of an original o-grade perfect having been reinterpreted as the new present, along with the suppression of the original e-grade present, and of the PGmc. dental or weak preterite having been newly adopted for the preterite formation; this standpoint may be labelled the ‘strong verb origin’ theory. The present work calls this view into question by focusing on its inherent difficulties.
Indo-European studies have taken the present tense formations of the OE or
PGmc. preterite-presents to be reflexes of the PIE stative perfects. Whilst
this understanding, dubbed the ‘stative perfect origin’ theory, provides a far
better explanation than the ‘strong verb origin’ theory, several significant
issues remain to be resolved. First, how did the PGmc. preterite-present verbs
lose their original reduplication? Second, the IE comparative evidence does not
guarantee that all the preterite-presents unequivocally refer back to a PIE stative
perfect. Third, how can the PGmc. 3 pl. ending *-un be explained, given that the PIE 3 pl. perfect should develop
into PGmc. *-
The current work adopts the ‘h2e-conjugation theory’ advocated by Jay H. Jasanoff and demonstrates that the same theory, remarkable in its explanatory power in treating the origin of the Anatolian hi-verbs, is also effective when giving a historical account of the OE or PGmc. preterite-present verbs. The core members of the preterite-present group have arisen from what is called a PIE stative-intransitive system within the framework of the h2e-conjugation theory, whilst there are also other preterite-present members which to some extent deviate from this pattern.
This work is reviewed by
Ringe, Don 2011, The Journal of Indo-European Studies Volume 39 Numbers 3 & 4 (Fall/Winter 2011), pp.503-507.
Kim, Ronald I. 2012. Kratylos: Kritisches Berichts- und Rezensionsorgan für indogermanische und allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Jahrgang 57, 2012, pp.204-208.
Frotscher, Michael 2014. International Journal of Diachronic Linguistics and Linguistic Reconstruction Volume 11 Number 1, pp.67-78.
It is also referred to by
Harðarson, Jón Alex 2017 “The morphology of Germanic”, In Klein, Jared, Brian Joseph, and Matthias Fritz (eds.) 2017 Handbook of Comparative and Historical Indo-European Linguistics, Vol. 2, Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter, pp.913-954; see p.939 §6.3.3 Preterite-presents.