||[Jul. 10th, 2006|01:15 pm]
The Centum-Satem isogloss explains the evolution of the three dorsal rows reconstructed for PIE, *kʷ, *gʷ, *gʷʰ (labiovelars), *k, *g, *gʰ (velars), and *ḱ, *ǵ, *ǵʰ; (palatovelars) in the daughter languages. A division into a Centum and a Satem group does only make sense with a view to the parent language with the full inventory of dorsals. Later sound changes within a specific branch of Indo-European that are similar to one of the changes, such as the palatalization of Latin k to s in some Romance languages or the merger of *kʷ with *k in the Goidelic languages, have no effect on the grouping.
I think I need to know more about this shit. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova is pretty inspiring, expecially when you're reading next to wikipedia.
Things I need to look up: dorsal rows, PIE, labiovelars, velars, palatovelars, daughter languages...