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CONLANG  July 2002, Week 4

CONLANG July 2002, Week 4

Subject:

Re: Noun tense

From:

"Thomas R. Wier" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 22 Jul 2002 17:49:44 -0500

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Quoting Tristan McLeay <[log in to unmask]>:

> On Tue, 2002-07-23 at 05:14, Thomas R. Wier wrote:
>
> > In general, I would disagree with the proposition that these
> > cliticized verb forms are evidence that English are likely
> > someday to mark tense on nouns.  Evidence that they're still
> > clitics comes from grammatical constructions like the following:
> >
> > "The Man raving wildly's been rather active lately."
>
> Does 'The man raving wildly's dog's been rather active lately.' not
> therefore cause problems with the possessive? Or, what *is* the
> possessive?

I don't see why it would. It's simply yet another clitic that
happens to be homophonous in form and has the same allomorphy.

> Oh, and I never said it *would* happen in English, or even that it was
> likely, so you can't be disagreeing with me. I just said it *could* and
> so put it into my conlang.

Fair enough.  It is not in principle contrary either to a
putative UG, if you believe in such a thing.

> Also, something like 'you're' /jo:/ bares little/no phonological
> relationship to /j}:/+/{@,a:}/. I realise that doesn't mean much to
> people who say /ju:r/ etc, but does it mean that -'re is still merely a
> clitic?

Actually, that's only problematic in a monodimensional derivational
theory of grammar.  Autolexical grammar, which can be envisioned
as a set of interacting, but autonomous, modules of grammar (the
phonology, the syntax, the semantics, etc.) handles this nicely,
because while in the phonological module /jo:/ would be one unit,
in the morphological it would behave like like two independent
morphemes.  This problem is actual quite similar to that of French
"a + le" -> <au> /o/ and other so-called portemanteau morphs.

=====================================================================
Thomas Wier          "...koruphàs hetéras hetére:isi prosápto:n /
Dept. of Linguistics  mú:tho:n mè: teléein atrapòn mían..."
University of Chicago "To join together diverse peaks of thought /
1010 E. 59th Street   and not complete one road that has no turn"
Chicago, IL 60637     Empedocles, _On Nature_, on speculative thinkers

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