With an addition of PIE relatives suffix *-ter-, Eurasiatic *ama, *apa became Old PIE *mā-ter-s, *pa-ter-s (the final -s was later lost in late PIE)

But there is a difference: in Old PIE *māters the "a" is a long vowel while in *paters it is short (and Laryngalists even reconstruct *ph2ters). So the question is how the two similar roots gave different vowels in PIE and how the Laryngealists are able to explain the conversion of a Eurasiatic vowel into a laryngeal?

  • 9
    The existence of Eurasiatic as a linguistic grouping higher than Indo-european is not widely accepted. Laryngeal theory, conversely, is widely accepted. In particular, the difficulty with *ph₂tēr is one of the problems that the Eurasiaticists would need to explain. Or to put it more plainly -- the problem you describe is actually evidence against those supposed Eurasiatic roots, in my opinion. Jan 22, 2012 at 1:00
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    Laryngeal hypothesis is not accepted by the majority of Moscow school (Starostin's school) popgen.well.ox.ac.uk/eurasia/htdocs/nostratic.html
    – Anixx
    Jan 22, 2012 at 12:46

1 Answer 1


Linguists who subscribe to the Laryngeal Theory (now it's the majority of researchers) don't have that problem because they don't reconstruct at the "Eurasiastic" level.

A laryngeal is reconstructed when Vedic i corresponds to Greek alpha, epsilon, or omicron:

*ph2ter - Vedic pita, Greek pater

With the word "mother", it's a bit different:

*meh2ter -Latin mater

Also, notice that in *ph2ter the last syllable is stressed, whereas in *meh2ter it's the first syllable.

Now we are waiting for your "Eurasiastic" explanation.

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