Initial Mutations in Indo-European Languages.
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        § 1. Proto-Indo-European language.
The Proto-Indo-European phonetics was not stable at all: ablauts (vowel interchanges), assimilations, many different consonant processes at the end of the word. Many of these features were developed in branch languages, some of which had very complicated phonetics, e.g. Latin. But still we do not know too much about the Proto-phonetics and its development. These things can only be seen in comparison of different branches and groups with their own phonetic peculiarities. But the question we are interested now is the problem of initial mutations in Proto-Indo-European.

Some interchanges of consonant in in initial position are found in the Proto-Indo-European structure. The most common example of them is the case with the initial k- in some words. It sometimes disappears but sometimes remains as it was, and still linguists cannot say with sure how the word for "a bone" sounded in the Proto-Indo-European language: kost- like in Balto-Slavic, or ost- like in Celto-Italic. This is really a case for Word-A-Week: it is hast- in Hittite, odb in Old Irish, os, ossis in Latin, though it had also costa (a rib), kost' in Russian etc.
        See in the next Issue:

    - Initial mutations in Indo-European languages, are they an original feature?
    - What was the influence of pre-Indo-European substratum on ancient Europeans?
    - Phonetic processes that cannot be explained yet?

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