agglutination or inflexion ?
|Date:||Thursday, June 28, 2001, 13:07|
>> I suppose you mean your right hand :) .nobody's perfect . EVEN not me :-)
>>I agree with you, and I think that why common terms usually have unrelated
>>contraries with about the same size (cf. big vs. small, thin vs. thick, French
>>grand/petit, etc...). For less common terms, the fact that they are used less
>>often makes the loss of equality less important (also, they are usually longer
>>words, so one syllable more is usually not that much :) ).
when someone creates a conlang, one of the first question to answer are:
should it be a more inflected or more agglutinting/isolating lang, and: what is
the "better", and: what is it for ?
actually non is better, each has its function in languages.
when we look at natural lang's vocabulary we notice in the majority that
both features are used simultaneously, and when we look further we see:
the more relevant/common a word is, the more likely it is inflected instead
inflexion shortens words, and short words are easier to communicate.
like water grinds sharp stones with the time to smooth round stones,
language evulotion grinded the affixed words, which are used the most, to smooth, round
you offered the examples "little & big" or "thin & thick"
we dont say "un-big" or "un-thick". with different morphological stems we percept
the terms as rather 2 units instead of two extremes of one concept.
inflection is like an privilege for the V.I.P's of words/terms/meanings,
like an extra-feature relinquished to the "upper-class of words".
you cant give this privilege to all words. but would you omit it entirely
you'll end up in word-communism. why ?
inflexion is a feature which comes along with irregularities by
nature, its bound to irregularity, because speech habits merge for
each word affix and stem uniquely.
so when you would give it to all, it would end up in a chaos noone could really
learn very well anymore.
therefore you better chose wisely which terms/relations/tenses/aspects are important enough,
which are worthy enough to receive the "gift" of inflection.
and this depends on the focal point of your language.
e.g. when you plan to create a conlang featuring mainly psychological
terms, then you give such terms inflections. and the other "outsider
words" receive affixes or isolated particles.
my statement in a nutshell:
give inflection for the V.I.P's. agglutination for the middle-class. and isolation for the rest.
you, the conlanger got the freedom to decide which sector of words are the V.I.P's.