In Greek, the PIE verbal roots *dheh1 'put' or 'do', *Hieh1 'throw', and *deh3 'give' show up with an unexpected -k- in some aorist forms: ἔθηκα, ἧκα, ἔδωκα. In Latin, the reflexes of the first two roots have -k- throughout: facio, iacio (although the present forms are new analogical formations, so it's plausible that this -k- too was once confined to the perfect/aorist). LIV adds some data from other Italic languages (and tentatively from Phrygian) but says the Greek and Italic -k-'s are unrelated (citing two references which I can't access at the moment), which seems odd. What are the theories as to the origin of this -k- or these -k-'s?

Also, are there other IE languages in which these verbs may have once had -k- in the aorist but we can't tell because the resulting forms would be the same with or without it? (For example, if Sanskrit once had an aorist *adhākt it seems plausible that the regular reflex of this, **adhāk, would be analogically reformed as the attested adhāt.)

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    I've always wondered about this too. A connection with the perfect suffix -k-? The similarity may be coincidental, or indicating a common origin, or analogical. Note also that both the (pseudo-)sigmatic aorist and the perfect mostly have endings with -a-, and that aorist and perfect more or less fused together in Latin: perhaps they were intimately related in (late) Proto-Indo-European? And many Greek perfects don't have -k- but only -a-, so perhaps the -k- found in the Greek perfect is not that tightly connected to the perfect as such, but rather to some kind of "past" notion, I don't know.
    – Cerberus
    Sep 16 '13 at 22:09
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    As to facio, some analyse it as not analogical but owing to zero-grade ablaut (dʰh1k-yo) v. e-phase fec- (> dʰeh1k-): books.google.nl/…
    – Cerberus
    Sep 16 '13 at 22:15
  • Thanks, I'd been following Sihler who treats facio as an innovation, but the zero-grade etymology obviously works too.
    – TKR
    Sep 17 '13 at 2:07

Untermann shows that the -k- in lat. fac- and iac- is part of the root and does not contribute "aoristic" semantics to the verbs. Nor does he find any relations in their functionality compared to the greek material. The -k- may however be of common italic origin as tentatively shown by suchs forms as ven. vhagsto (root *dheh1-k-) or osk./umbr. stakaz (root *steh2-(k?)). The presented material is hardly sufficient to determine the function or contexts of the k-extension.

Ref.: Untermann, J. Meiser, G. (Ed.) Gr. ἔθηκα = lat. feci, gr. ἧκα = lat. ieci? Indogermanica et Italica. Festschrift für Helmut Rix zum 65. Geburtstag., 1993, 461-468.

  • Thanks! Does he give any argument for why he regards the Latin -k- as unrelated to the Greek one, apart from its not contributing aoristic semantics? If -k- was taken over into the present from the perfect (i.e. if facio iacio are analogical innovations) then naturally you wouldn't expect perfective semantics in the present forms anyway.
    – TKR
    Sep 23 '13 at 16:42
  • Well, his conclusion are 'unsurmountable functional differences' between the Greek forms and the Italic forms and the fact that there can be found no specific commonalities between the verbal inflexion of Greek and Latin. Therefore he excludes them to be taken over at all.
    – user2498
    Sep 24 '13 at 7:32

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