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> Date:         Mon, 12 Jun 2000 20:44:44 +0100
> From: Raymond Brown <[log in to unmask]>

> At 7:18 pm +0200 12/6/00, Lars Henrik Mathiesen wrote:
> >But as far as I know, that function is ancient
> >in IE, shared by at least Indo-Aryan, Germanic, Celtic, and Italic.
>
> Yep - but the details are not the same in all languages; cf. German:   Er
> nimmt es weg ~ Ich weiß, daß er es wegnimmt.

That is actually not a good example. German has a class of
inseparable, unstressed verbal prefixes (ge-, be-, ver-, zer-, and one
or two more that I forget) which seem to be cognate with old adverbs
like con- (Latin) and apo-, peri- (Greek). (There is some disagreement
about exactly which Germanic prefixes are or are not cognate with
what, but I don't think the general idea is disputed).

The other class has stressed separable prefixes, like ein-, um-, hin-,
weg-, usw. These were formed later.

> It seems to me that at the time of IE dispersion there was a tendency to
> prefix these particles to verbs, but that the different groups developed
> this tendency in their own (similar) ways.

That may well be. Since most of the really old texts are poetry,
another possibility is that the verb-prefixed position was well
established in speech before the breakup, but more free (freeer?) in
verse.

Lars Mathiesen (U of Copenhagen CS Dep) <[log in to unmask]> (Humour NOT marked)