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Proto-Indo-European Root Extensions




Call for papers


            The conference “Back to the Root – The Structure, Function, and Semantics of the PIE Root’’ (15. Fachtagung der Indogermanischen Gesellschaft) will host the workshop “Proto-Indo-European Root Extensions’’ in Vienna on Saturday, September 17th.


            The phenomenon of root extensions received some attention (e.g. by Emile Benveniste 1935) after the pioneering study by Persson (1891), but has not been studied in extenso. Under ‘enlarged roots’ one no longer acknolwedges roots that exceed the minimal bi-consonant scheme, such as *prek’ ‘ask’ = *pr- + -ek’ (according to Benveniste). A root extension can rather be assumed when a primary suffix is added to enlarged bases, e.g. Vedic varū-tár- ‘defender’, fem. várutrī- (*ver- ‘defend’ LIV2 684-695) or Latin uolūmen ‘roll of a book’ (*vel- LIV2 674). Likewise the appearance of shorter and longer shapes of a root may indicate the presence of an enlargement, e.g. *delh1- in Slavic pro-dliti ‘extend’ versus *delh1gh- in Vedic dīrghá- ‘long’ and a comparative drā́ghīyas- derived directly from the root. The role of such pairs in word formation is of particular interest, e.g. *dolh1-i-gh- in Greek dolikhós ~ *dolh1-u-gh-i- or *dlh1-u-gh-i- in Hittite daluki- ~ *dlh1-gh-ó- in Indo-Iranian and Balto-Slavic. Whether complex roots have phonological constraints similar to those of simple roots is another issue that deserves thorough investigation. All aspects of root-extensions---their form, functions and meaning---pose many questions to be answered.


The following programmatic issues have been selected for consideration:


  •     root extensions and the root structure
  •     root extensions - traces of archaic morphology, archaic innovation, or both?
  •     root extensions in word formation and inflectional morphology
  •     root extensions and lexical identification of roots
  •     root extensions and etymology


The workshop is intended to provide a platform for discussion for both experienced researchers and young scientists working in different methodological paradigms and different IE language branches who would like to share their views on the proposed issues.  


A joint publication of the proceedings is planned. 


We invite you to submit a short abstract (of max. 1 page) until May 2nd 2016 to rootextensions2016@univie.ac.at.



The organizers



Heiner Eichner

  Nikolai Kazansky

Katsiaryna Ackermann

Andrej Shatskov

Petr  Kocharov




15. Fachtagung der Indogermanischen Gesellschaft 2016

Zurück zur Wurzel - Struktur, Funktion und Semantik der Wurzel im Indogermanischen

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