2013/1/18 Patrick Dunn <[log in to unmask]>:
> That's a really good question.  I'm not sure how one would begin to answer
> it in any sort of analytic way, but when you consider things like Ancient
> Greek or Sanskrit, which have frankly *InSANE* amounts of inflection that
> people actually seemed to use (judging, at least, from the writing -- the
> spoken language may have been less complex in practice),

And that's the core of my question. In Portuguese, there are a lot of
verbal forms that people rarely use in spoken language. I have heard
also that German people don't use the genitive case anymore and the
French diglossia has been widely discussed in this list. Maybe there's
some "people valve" to expel excessive inflection.

> it seems like a
> pretty large range of permissible inflection.  And, it seems to me, with no
> evidence whatsoever but a hunch, that the more agglutinating rather than
> inflecting a language is, the more such things it might support.
> (An ancient Greek verb is potentially conjugated for three persons, three
> numbers, one present tense, two past tenses, one future tense, the perfect
> aspect, three voices [active, passive, middle], three moods [indicative,
> optative, subjunctive] and a full range of participles, infinitives, and
> imperatives in most of these tenses, aspects, and voices . . . and so on.)

How many of them are permitted in Modern Greek?

> On Fri, Jan 18, 2013 at 9:37 AM, Leonardo Castro <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>> I have noticed that many languages have some inflections that are not
>> really used in everyday speech, being substituted with others (what
>> reduces the total number of inflection) or with more analytical
>> structures.
>> Do you think there is a limit of the number of word inflection people
>> on the streets can deal with?
>> Até mais!
>> Leonardo
> --
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