The so-called kʷetwóres rule of Proto-Indo-European (PIE) has been observed by earlier scholars, but has only since the 1980s attracted enough attention to be named, probably first by Helmut Rix in 1985. It is a sound law of PIE accent, stating that in a word of three syllables é-o-X the accent will be moved to the penultimate, e-ó-X. Examples include
The rule is fed by an assumed earlier sound law that changes è to ò after an accented syllable, i.e. kʷetwóres < kʷétwores < kʷétweres.
Rix invokes the rule in the 1998 preface to the Lexikon der indogermanischen Verben (p. 22) to explain why in the PIE perfect the root ó grade is accented, e.g. ǵe-ǵónh- / ǵé-ǵn̥h- < ǵé-ǵenh- / ǵé-ǵn̥h- "created/engendered".
The rule has been invoked by Mottausch to explain accented ó grades in PIE nominal ablaut.
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