Print

Print


> > "Robert J. Petry, C.L." wrote:
> > [kut]Well, I don't know about Lojbab, but I'm a teacher of English, I
> > have a BA in English and an MA in Applied Linguistics. How much
> > more do I need to do to become "learned" in my own language? You
> > want a PhD or what?
>
>I wasn't speaking of anyone specifically. However, since you have the
>degrees would you give us the correct meaning of the list of word building
>parts I gave, without looking at a dictionary?
>For instance, what does the "y" mean that we put on the end of words?
 
It doesn't "mean" anything.  Looking at the list of morphemes that you
posted, I recognized that some indeed have a definable meaning, some have
multiple meanings depending on the  word they are used in (and indeed have
multiple such meanings because the words that they are used in have
multiple meanings).  Some of morphemes serve a meaning conversion function
(abstraction, plural, verbification, etc., but have no meaning in
themselves).  Most prefixes, like "ab", had some kind of meaning in Latin,
and having borrowed some Latinate words from French, we have gained the
prefix - but the prefix itself is not used productively in English; the
"meaning" is only etymological.  In a few cases in the list you posted, I
could make a guess as to an English word that used that morpheme, but have
no idea what the meaning is (e.g. "ago", which I presume is the morpheme in
"agony" and "agonistic", but you probably don't want "Chicago" or
"magocracy".  Speaking of which, the typical English speaker probably has
no idea whether it is "ago-ny" or "a-gon-y" (the state of being a geometric
construct without sides?).  And some in the list, I simply had no idea what
words use them, much less what they mean etymologically.
 
Interestingly, my daughter in 8th grade just finished a unit in English
studying some 150 of these etymological morphemes.  I remember while
helping her study for them that in many cases, I disagreed with the
"meaning" that she was supposed to learn, and in many cases I thought of
words where the given "meaning" would be wrong or misleading.
 
IMHO, it is ONLY by assuming that English is predominantly a Romance
language building words in the Latinate way, that one could call these
"English morphemes".
 
>  And, the rest of the list I gave? I should have listed all 259. [In
> fact, if anyone wishes, or enough of the list wishes, I'll be glad to
> list all of them here.] I'll trust that you will do it off the top of
> your head and not "look up any meanings". [note: I'm just giving a
> friendly ribbing. The first time I saw
>the list I could not give the meaning of all of them.]
 
Skimming the list, I was able to guess somewhat less than half, and half of
the remaining, I could identify a word or two that was Latinate and used
the word, but have no idea what the "meaning" is.  In about 10%, I was able
to identify multiple meanings.  And for many, like "y", I simply deny that
they have a "meaning" at all, as opposed to a function.
 
>But, I am courious, now that you bring this up.
>
>Who can, without cheating, tell us want they all mean?
 
Nice trick.  Anyone who can do that is of course conceding your claim that
O. is easy to learn and based on "recognizable roots".  The flaw being that
most English speakers are not sufficiently "educated" (i.e. they never
studied etymology) to know even as many as I know (I used to read
dictionaries for pleasure).
 
lojbab
----
lojbab                     ***NOTE NEW ADDRESS***           [log in to unmask]
Bob LeChevalier, President, The Logical Language Group, Inc.
2904 Beau Lane, Fairfax VA 22031-1303 USA               703-385-0273
Artificial language Loglan/Lojban:
   see Lojban WWW Server: href=" http://xiron.pc.helsinki.fi/lojban/ "
   Order _The Complete Lojban Language_ - see our Web pages or ask me.