William R. Schmalstieg (Pennsylvania State University)
I dispute the view of Zinkevičius (1980, Lietuvių kalbos istorinė gramatika. I. Vilnius: Mokslas, p. 242) that the contemporary Lithuanian nom. sg. endings -uõ, -ė̃ developed from Indo-European *-ōn or *-ōr, *-ēr, where n, r were stem-final. Examples are said to be Lith. nom. sg. šuõ ‘dog,’ akmuõ ‘stone,’ sesuõ ‘sister,’ duktė̃‘daughter,’ (early writings) mótė ‘wife,’ but in Zinkevičius’ view cognate with the retained stem-final -n or -r attested in nom. sg. Gk. κύων (kúōn) ‘dog,’ ἄκμων (ákmōn) ‘stone,’ θυγάτηρ (thugátēr) ‘daughter,’ μήτηρ (m´ētēr) ‘mother.’ The view expressed by Zinkevičius is certainly widely shared, going back at least to Brugmann and Delbrück. 1897. Grundriss der vergleichenden Grammatik der indogermanischen Sprachen. Vol. I. p. 346). I claim, however, that in word-final sandhi position before a word beginning with a consonant Indo-European **-on > *-ō, **-or > *-ō, *-er > *-ē, whereas in word-final sandhi position before a word beginning with a vowel there was no change, viz. **-on > *-on, **-or > *-or, **-er > *-er. I propose that the Greek forms which apparently represent *-ōn or *-ōr, *-ēr are, in fact, the result of a contamination of word final *-on and *-ō, *-or and *-ō, *-er and *-ē. The Lithuanian forms šuõ, akmuõ, sesuõ, duktė̃,mótė representing only a word-final long vowel *-ō or *-ē respectively are then more representative of the original Indo-European situation than are the Greek forms.