As fdb mentioned in a comment:

The sequence a-a is a scribal convention for ajV [in Akkadian]. Some Assyriologists treat it as a single sign with the “Lautwert” aju, aji, aja

In Hittite, Kloekhorst postulates a sound change *aiV > āV, to explain forms like pa-a-un "I went" and pa-a-er "they went" from *pai-un and *pai-er. He also proposes that this verb had two stems pai- and paii-, with the second necessary to explain forms like pa-a-iz-zi < pāizzi < *paii-zzi where the i remains visible. (In his analysis, j isn't phonemic in Hittite, but is an allophone of i before a vowel.)

This does seem like an entirely plausible sound change, but the two separate stems do feel a bit ad-hoc, which made me curious—is there any evidence for plene a being used for a sequence ajV in Hittite, as an alternative to this being a diachronic sound change?

  • For curiosities sake, if the answer were positive, which form would you read differently and how, conjecturally speaking? Kloekhorst proposes the enlarged root contained a cognate to Lat. eo (e.g. in comeo), which is not a mere sound change; this further implies the bare root gave a Place Word as stem with inflection, correct?
    – vectory
    Jun 6, 2020 at 15:21
  • @vectory If a could be read as ajV, then pa-a-un, pa-a-er, pa-a-iz-zi could be read as pājun, pājer, pāizzi, with the same stem pai- in all the forms.
    – Draconis
    Jun 6, 2020 at 18:19
  • Note German pfui for comparison, though often compared with Latin fi and explained as onomatopoetic (cp. likewise to fart, piss). It does in fact mean "leave it, go away" when used as such in commands to children, cp. i-bah!. The diphtong also resounding in Swedish fy should be of interest. I still don't see clearly through Kloekhorst's derivation, nor what you had in mind, so I'll just leave this, here, as pure speculation.
    – vectory
    Jun 27, 2020 at 11:06


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