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r-formant in Silindion derivation and inflection

From:Elliott Lash <erelion12@...>
Date:Friday, March 10, 2006, 14:00
  The morpheme or group of morphemes, "[V]r" in
Silindion is a significant if little understood word
formant. It's primary semantic meaning seems to have
something to do with concepts of non-volitionality and
expressing a sole participant.

1) -r as 3rd singular present ending.

 yar "he goes"
 mir "he falls"
 anar "he promises"
 monir "he hears"

 This -r is almost always attached to intransitive
verbs, but not all intransitive verbs have this
Both "anar" and "monir" are intransitive originally,
taking oblique cases. Since the semantic meaning has
something to do with expressing the sole participant,
it makes sense that it is suffixed to intransitive
verbs. Also, certain verbs, like "monir" and "mir"
illustrate non-volitionality.

2) -ar as stative derivational ending.

 sophar-    "to rest"        > sophár "he rests"
 ropar-     "to be watchful" > ropár  "he is watchful"
 hyenar-    "to be old/aged" > hyenár "he is old"

The use of -ar as stative illustrates both
non-volitionality and sole participancy. Its 3rd
singular present is almost always formed with the -r

3) -r as involuntary process derivational ending.

 seir- "to get cut/torn"  > seilér/seir "he gets cut"
 sar-  "to get burned"    > sar "he gets burned"

 *sekw-r "get cut/torn"
 *thal-r "get burned"

 This illustrates both no-volitionality and sole
participancy. Unlike the stative -ar however, this
derivational suffix was only used in the present, to
express process. In the past, the suffix was not used.
It was replaced by the passive impersonal suffix:

 sekw-r "get cut"    -  sekw-nV "has been cut"
 thal-r "get burned" -  thal-nV "has been burned"

This is because the past tense of these verbs is
almost identical in meaning to a stative/passive of a
non-derived verb. The problem with this switching of
suffixes was that the passive impersonal could not
express person, so the paradigm had to be supplemented
by a past participle + BE periphrasis. The complete
paradigm of these verbs was thus very complex, and
subject to change.

The old paradigm was thus:
  "get cut"             sekw-daj (p.p.) + ay "be"
 seissi   seirna     senkë ëasi > senkiasi   senkiana
 seillë   seirta     senkialë                senkianta
 seir     seirto     senkë (impersonal)      senkianto

  "get burned"        thal-daj (p.p.) + ay "be"
 sassi   sarna      saldë ëasi > saldiasi saldiana
 sallë   sarta      saldialë              saldianta
 sar     sarto      salda                 saldianto

This semi-skewed paradigm was replaced by a simpler
one in which the derivational suffix -r stayed
throughout the both tenses. Furthermore, the past
tense became a true past, with the common ending -ë.

 New past:
  aseireisi   aseireina        asareisi  asareina
  aseireilë   aseireinta       asareilë  asareinta
  aseirë      aseireinto       asarë     asareinto

Finally, in the present, seir- "to get cut" is
sometime thematic, rather than athematic:

   seiresi   seirena
   seirelë   seirenta
   seilér    seirento

(I'm not sure how this happened, but I know it is the

4) _[a]r_ as reflexive root:

  assë "self"  *ar-Raj
  arya "X's own"  (my own, his own, your own, etc)

This illustrates the sole participancy idea of this
formant. However, it may be unrelated. Not sure, any

5)  -[a]r_ as copulative suffix:

  i nista-r lairos "the king is a hero"
  i vio-r muindo     "the man is a sailor"

 This probably indicates unity of participants,
thereby being an extension of the idea of sole
participancy. It may however be unrelated....not sure,
any thoughts about that?

And that's all I can think of at the moment with this


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Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>