On Thu, 8 Jan 2004 18:21:14 +0100,
Andreas Johansson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Quoting Muke Tever <[log in to unmask]>:
> > E f+AOk-sto Andreas Johansson <[log in to unmask]>:
> > > Is there a term for languages where you have essentially one-to-one
> > > correspondence between morphemes and grammatical categories, but forgoes
> > > agglutinating accretion of suffixes in favour of mutations and infixes?
> >
> > I think that'd just be a fusional polysynthetic language.
> The definition of fusional is, or so I was taught, that single markers
> indicate multiple categories. Eg Latin -a in _exempla_ indicates both nom/acc
> and plural (and arguably neuter). In the kind of language I'm asking about,
> there would still be one-to-one mapping between markers and categories.

Nevertheless, I'd call it fusional as the markers are fused with the
An example would be Nur-ellen (one of my Hesperic conlangs) where nouns
undergo i-umlaut for plural and initial mutations for case marking.

> Also, I was of the impression that a _poly_synthetic language necessarily
> tended to pile _many_ affixes into each word.


>        A language which only inflects
> its words for 2-3 categories could hardly be described as polysynthetic, could
> it?

No, not really.  This number of inflectional categories is easily
by Indo-European, where, for example, adjectives are inflected for
gender, number, case and degree of comparison.

> > Doesnt the idea of mutations undermine the idea of one-to-one mapping?  If
> > something has mutated, then it expresses both its original meaning and and
> > the mutation's meaning, doesnt it?
> That would be good for isolated things like English umlaut plurals - speakers
> presumeably internally treat things like _men_ as suppletive. But in a
> language with regular mutations I would expect the unmutated from to be there
> underlayingly, with the actual mutation as a kind of surface merger of
> morphemes.

I would think so, too.

>       Of course, I'm neither a linguist or a neuroscientist.

Nor am I.