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"narten formations" versus "narten roots"

Abstract

© 2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston. Since the existence of a PIE "acrostatic" present formation with descriptive-/é ablaut was first established by Narten (1968), there has been an ongoing debate regarding the status of this type of inflection in the overall PIE morphological system. Is it a lexically determined feature, by which certain roots consistently (at least typically) display ablaut one degree higher than "standard" roots in a given morphological category? Or do "Narten presents" represent merely another means of deriving present (imperfective) stems (originally with a specific Aktionsart), alongside well-known suffixes like? I will present further evidence for the latter viewpoint, thus supporting the independent conclusions in Kümmel 1998.

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