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fusional languages (was Re: First Conlang...? (Was Re: ...))

From:Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>
Date:Thursday, January 8, 2004, 20:28

On Thu, 8 Jan 2004 18:21:14 +0100,
Andreas Johansson <andjo@...> wrote:

> Quoting Muke Tever <hotblack@...>: > > > E f+AOk-sto Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>: > > > Is there a term for languages where you have essentially one-to-one > > > correspondence between morphemes and grammatical categories, but forgoes > > > agglutinating accretion of suffixes in favour of mutations and infixes? > > > > I think that'd just be a fusional polysynthetic language. > > The definition of fusional is, or so I was taught, that single markers > indicate multiple categories. Eg Latin -a in _exempla_ indicates both nom/acc > and plural (and arguably neuter). In the kind of language I'm asking about, > there would still be one-to-one mapping between markers and categories.
Nevertheless, I'd call it fusional as the markers are fused with the stems. An example would be Nur-ellen (one of my Hesperic conlangs) where nouns undergo i-umlaut for plural and initial mutations for case marking.
> Also, I was of the impression that a _poly_synthetic language necessarily > tended to pile _many_ affixes into each word.
> A language which only inflects > its words for 2-3 categories could hardly be described as polysynthetic, could > it?
No, not really. This number of inflectional categories is easily reached by Indo-European, where, for example, adjectives are inflected for gender, number, case and degree of comparison.
> > Doesnt the idea of mutations undermine the idea of one-to-one mapping? If > > something has mutated, then it expresses both its original meaning and and > > the mutation's meaning, doesnt it? > > That would be good for isolated things like English umlaut plurals - speakers > presumeably internally treat things like _men_ as suppletive. But in a > language with regular mutations I would expect the unmutated from to be there > underlayingly, with the actual mutation as a kind of surface merger of > morphemes.
I would think so, too.
> Of course, I'm neither a linguist or a neuroscientist.
Nor am I. Greetings, Jörg.


Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>