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Re: Adjectives, Particles, and This ( etc ), and Conjunctions...

From:dirk elzinga <dirk.elzinga@...>
Date:Friday, January 19, 2001, 19:07
On Fri, 19 Jan 2001, Pavel A. da Mek wrote:

> dirk elzinga wrote: > >Shoshoni > >has a highly articulated demonstrative system; here's how it > >works. > > > >Demonstratives consist of two parts, a proximal prefix and a > >demonstrative stem. Most prefixes come in pairs, one with an > >initial s- and one without. The s- forms are more definite and > >are used for previously mentioned referents. Each pair shows > >relative distance--spatial, temporal as well as psychological. > >Here are the prefixes with the demonstrative stem -tyn (/y/ is a > >high central unrounded vowel): > > > > si-, i- 'near' (sityn 'this') > > se-, e- 'not quite so near' (setyn 'this') > > sa-, a- 'far, but in sight' (satyn 'that') > > su-, u- 'not in sight, usually far' (sutyn 'that') > > ma- no distinction (matyn 'this, that') > > > It is magnificent! The distance is proportional to the wave-length of the > vowel!
Actually, inversely proportional to the frequency of the second formant :-).
> I wonder why there is not: > *so-, *o- 'not quite so far'. :-)
In the dialect I work on (Gosiute) , su-, u- comes out sounding like so-, o-. The vowel /o/ carries a small functional load in the language and has a more restricted distribution than the other vowels, so it is not surprising that there is no pair of prefixes *so-, *o- which contrasts with su-, u-. Dirk -- Dirk Elzinga "The strong craving for a simple formula has been the undoing of linguists." - Edward Sapir