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Re: OT: Corpses, etc. (was: Re: Gender in conlangs (was: Re: Umlauts (was Re: Elves and Ill Bethisad)))

From:Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Date:Tuesday, November 11, 2003, 21:09
Quoting Isidora Zamora <isidora@...>:

> >Perhaps I can convince you of the faultcy of your analysis by pointing out > >that while you indeed get the same form of the adj in _den stora bilen_ > "the > >big car" and _de stora bilarna_ "the big cars", you don't in _den store > >mannen_ "the big man" and _de stora männen_ "the big men"? > > In Danish (someone correct me if I'm wrong) it's "den store bil" and "de > store biler" and also "den store mand" and "de store mænd."
The Danes have been merging unstressed vowels a bit more enthusiatically than we. Danes and articulation, y'know!
> If I had > learned Swedish instead of Danish, perhaps I would have perceived it > differently than as a plural adjective. Why is it "stora" instead of > "store" in the latter case but not the former?
I'm not entirely certain what your asking, but the reason that _bil_ and _man_ behaves differently is that the former is epicene and the later masculine. Let's do a little table of adj agreement endings: . weak sg strong sg pl masculine -e - -a feminine -a - -a epicene -a - -a neuter -a -t -a (The terms "weak" and "strong" are picked from German. Never having actually studied Swedish gramamr formally, I can't recall if they're actually normally used for Swedish too. At any rate, the "weak" forms are what you get after the definite article, and the "strong" ones after the indefinite.) BTW, this is, in my 'lect, pretty much the only place outside of pronouns where the three n-genders differ. I'm still waiting for a good explanation away of that masculine -e from those who want to describe Swedish as having only two genders ("t" and "n"). Andreas


John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Isidora Zamora <isidora@...>