Indo-European *dem(h2)- 'to build' and its derivatives. Historische Sprachforschung, 123, p.56-96.Abstract, 2011.
The root meaning ‘to build; to amass; to grow’ is customarily reconstructed as *demh2-; this paper examines the evidence pro and contra this reconstruction. In the first part of this paper it is shown that a number of nominal offshoots from this root clearly contradict the reconstruction *demh2-: 1) Gk. δμώς ‘slave’ (not †δαμώς) < *dm-ōu̯-; 2) MIr. dét ‘disposition, habitude’ (not †dmáth / †dmath), MWelsh pl. deint ‘temper, character’ < *dmto-; 3) Hitt. dametar ‘abundance’ (not †dammetar). This paper further addresses the notorious Greek forms δέμας and perf. δεδμᾱ-. For δέμας ‘body’ a reconstruction of a secondary s-stem derivative from a stem with a suffixal *-h2- is suggested: this reconstruction is supported by HLuv. tamiḫit ‘abundance, prosperity’ which matches Hitt. dam(m)etar ‘abundance’ in the meaning and the uniqueness of the suffixal vocalism (vs. usual -atar / -ann in Hittite and -aḫit in Luvian). On the evidence of these forms a hysterokinetic stem *dm ēh2-, *dm-h2-es is reconstructed; this stem is best interpreted as an internal derivative of *dem-h2 , *dm-eh2-s (cf. *k̑er-h2 ‘horn (material)’ → *k̑er-h2-s ( > κέρας) and *k̑r-e:h2 ( > κάρη). Other nominal derivatives of the same root discussed in this paper include Indo-Iranian *dmāna-, n. ‘house, dwelling place’ (analyzed here as a substantivized Romānus-type adjective *dmeh2-no-m), Lat. māteriēs ‘timber’ (traced back to *dmeh2-tes-ih2-, a devī-derivative from *dmeh2-tes- ⇐ *dm-h2-to-) and a very unclear case of Gk. (μεσό)δμη = NPhryg. (ακρο)δμαν. Lastly, reconstruction of an acrostatic stem *domh2- (subst.) can perhaps account for the enigmatic Homeric form δῶ, Myc. do(-de) via *domh2 > *dōm (Szemerényi–Nussbaum’s law) > *dōmh2 (with restored *-h2) > *dō(h2) (Brandenstein’s law). The third part of this chapter investigates the verbal system of the root *dem- and its reflexes in Greek, where we find a confusing picture: middle perfect stem δέδμη- (Ionic-Attic) / δέδμᾱ- (Doric) speaks for *demh2-, Myc. part. fut. de-me-o-te may either be a straightforward case of a “liquid” future, derived from a root *dem-, or continue a root *demh1-, while pres. δέμω, aor. ἔδειμα present a highly atypical Averbo for a root of the structure CeRH-. It is argued that the evidence of Doric δέδμανται and -δμᾱτος in melic poetry, customarily cited as the prima facie evidence in support of a reconstruction *demh2-, is in fact not airtight: δέδμανται (Theoc.15.120) has high chances of being a hyperdoricism created in order to obtain the desired literary effect via a substitution of *dedmę̄- by *dedmā- by proportional analogy: Ionic aor. ἐρρύη (perf. ἐρρύηκα): Doric aor. ἐρρύᾱ = Ionic (δέ)δμη- : X, where Χ is resolved as (δέ)δμᾱ (cf. γεγεναμένον (Pi. O. 6, 53) or μεμενακώς in Archimedes). Lastly, this paper argues that the perfect stem δέδμη- is due to analogy to semantically close verb νέμω ‘to dispense; med. to hold land’ which goes back to a seṭ-root, as can be inferred from Gk. νέμεσις < *nemh1-ti , the accentuation of Latv. (dial.) nemt ‘he takes’ and perf. νενέμημαι from old *ne-nmē- < *ne-nmh1- (with an adjustment of the root ablaut in order to avoid a metathesis to *ne-mnē-). As a result of two analogies, pres. *neme/o-, aor. neme-s-, perf. *ne-nmē- and pres. *deme/o-, aor. *dem-s-, perf. *de-də- evolve into two similar sets of forms: δέμω, ἔδειμα, δέδμημαι and νέμω, ἔνειμα, νενέμημαι.