[Fwd: evolving languages]
|From:||Nik Taylor <yonjuuni@...>|
|Date:||Friday, January 17, 2003, 1:07|
Arthaey Angosii wrote:
> >From my knowledge of English, Spanish, and (teensy amounts of) German, I
> agree that this is what I've experienced. By why is this so?
Because less common words are more likely to lose irregularities.
Largely because the more a word is used, the more a child hears it, and
the more firmly the irregular form is driven into their brain. For
example, I suspect that "beech" (the original irregular plural of book)
was lost because peasants rarely saw even one book, except perhaps the
Bible, and so rarely needed to talk about them.
Uatakassi has four classes of nouns with final long vowels, depending on
how they're inflected in the plural and int eh genetive (-(a)f) and
dative (-(a)z) forms.
The first (and most common) class simply shortens the vowel and adds -k
after it before those endings, thus uafamaa (ear) becomes uaffamaki
(ears), uafamakaf (of an ear) uafamakaz (to an ear)
The second thru fourth classes are more complicated. They all share teh
same pluralization method, namely, shorten the vowel and add -i (which
means that -ii remains unchanged), thus timitaa (aunt), timmitai (aunts)
for class II; tikasuu (niece), tikkasui (nieces) for class III; and
plalaa (piece) piflalai (pieces) for class IV
However, for the genetive and dative, the second class shortens the
vowel and adds -g, thus timitagaf (of an aunt), timitagaz (to an aunt).
The third class shortens the vowel, thus tikasuf (of a niece), tikasuz
(to a niece). The fourth (and rarest) class shortens the vowel and adds
-a, thus plalaaf (of a piece), plalaaz (to a piece) or pialtii (boat),
pialtiaf (of a boat; archaic form, it's now inflected as class III).
Class IV is nearly extinct. In fact, plalaa is the only word I
currently have in my lexicon for that class, altho there are several
that were originally class IV and have since migrated to other classes.
Class I has become the default, and a number of noun from other classes
ahve migrated to it. It could, perhaps, be said that Class I are the
regular long-vowel-ending nouns while classes II thru IV are irregular.
At any rate, those classes are shrinking, especially II and IV.
"There's no such thing as 'cool'. Everyone's just a big dork or nerd,
you just have to find people who are dorky the same way you are." -
AIM Screen-Name: NikTaylor42