On Wed, 2 Feb 2011 00:44:15 -0600, Eric Christopherson wrote:
>Univerbation -- merging of several morphemes into one, or at least into one
word -- seems to be pretty common. How commonly does the opposite happen,
and what sorts of environments does it happen in?
>I can thing of various English examples, most of them fairly colloquial,
like _(al)coholic_, _(ra)dar_, _(veg)etarian_, etc. Is this process more or
less common in English than other languages? Do the resulting morphemes in
some other languages end up *not* colloquial (well, I suppose given enough
time, the English ones will cease to be colloquial too)?

Finnish has a productive feminine ending -tAr, from _tytär_ "daughter".

Perhaps more interesting is _lisko_ "lizard", extracted in the 1800s from
_sisilisko_ "common lizard" (etymologically sisi-l-i-sk-o with multiple
opaque deminutive formants). _Basilisk_ may have offered some further
motivation. This was entirely by conscious design tho.

>ObConlang: I've had this idea for a while that I want to evolve from a
system where:
>- there are certain forms which can work as pronouns or as conjugated
> copulas, depending on context
>- those forms don't really share any morphemes with each other; they probably
> derive from older pronouns
>to one where:
>- the original pronoun/copula forms have been reanalyzed as consisting of two
> morphemes
>- the first morpheme of each new two-morpheme word still has basically the
> same sense as the original one-part word (viz., that of a pronominal/copular
> base)
>- the second morpheme of each new two-morpheme word is analyzed as a
> person/number/gender agreement marker on the copula, and by analogy, on
> verbs in general
>- the new pronominal/copular forms (the first morpheme of the new complex
> form) may or may not be able to stand on its own as a finite copula (I haven't
> decided); but it will be the base for further operations, e.g. attaching a
> subjunctive marker to
>original conjugated pronoun form:
>/?atam/ "I, I am"
>/ka:n/ "You, you are"
>leading to:
>/?at/ pronominal/copular form: "I, I am"
>/am/ 1st-person singular agreement marker
>/k/ pron./cop. form: "You, you are"
>/a:n/ 2nd-p. sg. agreement marker
>So, what does everyone think?

Mmmh, I'm not sure. If your "copular forms" don't share any morphology, I
dout they would be understood as that, but rather as the normal pronouns,
used in a zero-copula construction.

Still, just /?atam/ being 1PS, etc. could probably motivate an /-am/ verbal
ending, etc, anyway - and from there you might first get a situation where
the same ending is analyzed as a subject marker on the pronouns and stripped
off of pronominal objects. This might imply extension of the personal
suffixes to nouns too: if /wip/ is "king", and /jatpu/ is "to command", then
by the example of /?at-am jatpu-am/ "I command...", also /wip-am jatpu-am/
"I, the king, command..." (Was it Sumerian that also did this?)

Anyway, you'd still get the same pronominal surface forms this way.

How things like a subjunctiv copula were handled here would probably depend
on how it was handled before the verbal ending arose...

John Vertical