On Jan 15, 2007, at 10:52 PM, Herman Miller wrote: > The infixes could be interesting to work out (how do infixes get > into a language, anyway?). But even so, the details of the > morphology and syntax are likely to be more easily managed than the > phonology. See chapter 5 of http://home.uchicago.edu/~aclyu/papers/ NaturalHistoryofInfixation.pdf . I just found this and am very excited to read it, because I've been wondering for a while. >>> For a specific example, I thought of taking Tirelat and trying to >>> develop a history for it. Tirelat is a very regular and artificial >>> language, which may actually be a result of engineering a more >>> natural >>> language to eliminate irregularities. >> Too bad... if Tirelat was less regular, you could look to the >> irregularities >> for starting points for figuring out sound changes in working >> backwards. Since that's not the case, are there, say, any patterns >> in the lexicon that >> look like they might be remnants of formerly productive morphology, >> distorted by sound change? > > There might be a handful of features, but it'd be purely > coincidental; many words end in -pa for instance, but I can't > figure out what they have in common. That's kind of like how in one of my languages, I realized I had created three words for different body parts which all coincidentally ended in /?/. I figure that could be a good basis for analogy later on. Or I could work backwards and find the /?/ to be part of a body part morpheme.