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
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
No, not really. This number of inflectional categories is easily
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
I would think so, too.
> Of course, I'm neither a linguist or a neuroscientist.
Nor am I.