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As i understand the terms, they refer only to vocabulary, so both are
a priori. And also i fail to see how it could be that they would be a
posteriori because they are related directly but the languages that
influenced them are not at all.

Also, a language can be influenced by another without copying it, or
be completly different from it but a posteriori, like a theoretical
polysynthetic descendant of english with heavy borrowing from spanish,
it would be 100% a posteriori, but would bear little or no resemblance
to english at all.

On 6/9/10, Roman Rausch <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>This seems even more confusing. Would a relex of an existing language then
>>be technically a priori? I guess my objection is that the terms don't seem
>>to have a lot of usefulness. Vocabulary is such a small aspect of
>> conlanging
>>that applying such a broad label is just silly, isn't it?
>
> As I see it, the point of the definition is to distinguish constructed
> languages that are derived from native ones by _some systematic means_
> (either in vocabulary or grammar) as opposed to those that have been
> invented from scratch.
> So if you replace all words in English by different ones, you'll get a
> language which is a posteriori in grammar and a priori in vocabulary.
>
> What Tolkien actually did, was putting in allusions to some native words
> here and there. For example, Quenya _arda_, Sindarin _gardh_ 'bounded or
> defined place, region' seems to be a hint to OE _geard_ 'enclosure, region',
> W. _gardd_ 'garden', ON _garšr_ 'fence', Sl. _grad_ 'town' etc.
> But puns like that are just single, isolated examples. The bulk of Elvish
> vocabulary is pretty much a priori, not systematically derived from
> anything.
>
> As to whether Quenya was _strongly_ influenced by Finnish or not, that seems
> to be very subjsctive and heavily dependent on the criteria of comparison.
> In my opinion, the two are actually quite different. You may want to look
> here:
> http://www.saunalahti.fi/alboin/finn_que.htm
> I also did a statistical comparison of Finnish and Quenya some time ago,
> look here (scroll down to chapter 3):
> http://sindanoorie.atspace.com/Similarities.htm
> You can see that Finnish favours medial _tt_, _st_, _ss_ (~12-14%), Quenya
> not so much (only ~1-4%). On the other hand, Quenya likes nasalized stops,
> especially _nt,nd_ (~13%), but Finnish not as much (~5%). So while some
> general phonotactic rules may be the same, the result looks very different.
> And grammar is another point entirely...
>

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