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Lithuanian ankstì, artì, tolì and Baltic and Slavic Auslautgesetze

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The termination of the Lithuanian adverbs ankstì“early”, artì“near”, tolì“far”< EBl. *- has not been satisfactorily explained. In this paper it is proposed that it goes back to the Indo-European ā-stem loc. sg. *-ah2i by regular sound change: the sequence *-EHi/u was syllabified as *-EHi/u in word-final position (just as in internal position) and gave a Balto-Slavic acute diphthong *-ā´, *-ái or *-ái. In Lithuanian this is mildly supported by the ā-stem nom.-acc. du. rankì (< *-ah2-ih1 ) and the fossilized loc. du. pusiáu (< *-oh1u?). This account has important consequences for other issues of Balto-Slavic historical grammar: i) the double treatment of *-ai in Slavic (> -ě, -i); ii) the development of the ā-stem paradigm in both branches; iii) the origin of the adverb ending Lith. lab-aĩ, OCS dobr-ě; iv) the realization of word-final (long?) acute and long circumflex diphthongs; v) the sources of East Baltic *ē.
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Keywords: Baltic; Lithuanian; Slavic; final syllables; morphology; phonology

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania

Publication date: July 2, 2016

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