Disharmonic Headedness in Homeric Greek and Tocharian

and implications for Proto-Indo-European Reconstruction

  • Ryan Windhearn Cornell University


This paper builds upon recent syntactic reconstruction literature both by suggesting that the featural composition of syntactic functional heads can be reconstructed without an accompanying reconstructible phonological form, and by showing that certain types of innovation can inform reconstruction, at least in the syntactic domain. Using this innovation-driven reconstruction, I propose that Proto-Indo-European (PIE) was disharmonically headed in CP and TP, based on innovated complementizer and auxiliary construction data from six of the earliest-attested Indo-European daughter languages.