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vprtskvni (was Re: average syllables per word?)

From:Dan Sulani <dnsulani@...>
Date:Friday, July 2, 1999, 4:36
FFlores wrote:

> > >(Speaking of consonant clusters... my favorite Georgian word > > >is _vprtskvni_ 'I am peeling it', which is supposed to be > > >one syllable. I don't know which part is 'peel', but I'm quite > > >sure it's not the vowel.) > > > > > How is it supposed to be pronounced? With a lot of schwas or with a > > consonnant cluster of 8 consonnants? > > My grammar says "one syllable per vowel". So it *is* a consonant cluster > (v-p-r-ts-k-v-n, seven consonants, since /ts/ is affricate). And it also > says "almost no assimilation"! Wow. >
Last night, I asked my neighbor, who is from Georgia, how one would say "I am peeling it". The response I got was /me vprtskni/. (/me/ = I ). I made it very clear that the form I wanted was "I am peeling _it_", I still got /me vprtskni/. Assuming, for the moment, this form, it sounds to _my_ ears as: /v/ (almost imperceptible; the lower lip does go toward the upper teeth before meeting the upper lip for /p/, and there is voicing, but it is so weak as to be almost unheard); /prts/ stronger than /v/ , but unstressed; /kni/ carries the stress. No schwas. The one vowel is the /i/ at the end. According to my neighbor, the root word "to peel" is "vprtskni" As to the form, my neighbor didn't understand any word such as "vprtskvni". According to your grammars what exactly is the person, tense, etc. of this form? Perhaps the /v/ in /kvni/ is an infix signifying "it". If so, could this form be literary Georgian, as opposed to the "street Georgian" that my neighbor speaks? If so, there could be an analogue in Hebrew grammar: to say "I am peeling it" one would say /ani mkalef oto/ (ani = I, mkalef = am peeling, oto = it (masculine) ). However, in a more literary style, Hebrew cuts off the "ot-" from "it" and suffixes the remaining vowel ("o") to the verb: /ani mkalefo/ (or /mkalefa/ if the word for "it" was "ota" (feminine). However, you'd never hear this form on the street. Someone who was not literate in Hebrew and only spoke the street version of it might not know the shortened form. ( BTW, could you provide me with the name of your grammar? I've been wanting to teach myself Georgian for years, and although I've searched all over, I haven't found any grammars for the language!) Dan Sulani -- likehsna rtem zuv tikuhnuh auag inuvuz vaka'a. A word is an awesome thing.