Initial *sp- in Hittite and šip(p)and- ‘to libate’
Craig H. Melchert (University of California,
Journal of Language Relationship, № 14/3-4, 2016 - p.187-195
The Proto-Indo-European source of Hittite šip(p)and- ‘to libate’ has been the subject of much discussion, due to its implications for the treatment of initial clusters of sibilant plus stop in Hittite and potential implications for the much larger question of the status of the verbal category of the “perfect” in Anatolian: was the perfect, which in the oldest non-Anatolian IE languages expresses an attained state, inherited also in Anatolian and lost there, or is it an “Indo-Hittite” feature, i.e., a common innovation of “Core Indo-European”? Derivation of šip(p)and- from a PIE reduplicated perfect *s(p)e-spónd- has justifiably been rejected on formal and functional grounds, but improvements in our understanding of the outcome of PIE *spin Hittite, as well as recent innovative proposals regarding the phonology of reduplication and its status in PIE verbal morphology call for a reconsideration of the issue.
Keywords: hi-conjugation, Indo-Hittite, Proto-Indo-European perfect, reduplication