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A few natlang questions...

From:Danny Wier <dawier@...>
Date:Wednesday, June 7, 2000, 6:30
WHo can help me here?

1) After reading a few posts about IE-lang cases, I renembered that Latin,
Russian (along with I think all other Slavic languages except Bulgarian) and
Greek have the vocative case, but only for masculine singular.  I forgot if
this is true for Sanskrit, Avestan or any old Germanic language.

Is there any reason for this?  Was there ever feminine or plural vocatives?
(I doubt there would be a vocative for neuter.)

2) How did Bulgarian lose all the cases but inherit a suffixed definite
article?  (I just remember the feminine article _-ta_; I guess neuter would
be _-to_; and I have no idea what the masculine is...)

3a) I'm doing research on the two distinctively Caucasian alphabets still
extant today.  Armenian, accredited to St. Mesrop, is well-documented in
that it has capltal and lowercase letters and the alphabetic order and old
numerical values come from Greek.  As for the origin of the letters
themselves, I've read they came from Greek from one source (which I find
dubious; I do see Greek influence however), from Syriac (I fail to see much
resemblance, but supposedly there was Jacobite influence), or one of the
other scripts identified with various religious sects in the
Assyrian-speaking world of old.)

But how could anyone say that the alphabet wasn't just _a priori_ like
Hangul or Cherokee, which albeit being influenced in appearance by Chinese
and Roman-type Latin respectively are indeed for the most part invented from

3b) Then you have Georgian.  Though it's said it might've come from the same
Mesrop, or one of his associates, even the old Khutsuri ("priest's") script
too does not resemble Armenian all that much, especially when comparing
alpha to alpha and beta to beta.  Then Asomatvruli [sp?] came from the old
capitals.  But now the Mkhedruli ("soldier's") script is used, and it looks
nothing like the old alphabet!  Not to mention lack of capital/lowercase
distinction.  (For what it's worth, some are promoting the Asomatvruli
script as capitals; Unicode supports both Asomatvruli and Mkhedruli.)

(As you can see, I've been really fascinated with Caucasian languages,
scripts, culture, history, etc.  If anybody knows any history on the North
Caucasian languages and how they are and were written, please let me know.
I've read that Abkhaz for instance has used Georgian, Latin and Cyrillic; it
has used the last for quite some time now.  And Arabic script has definitely
been used for Chechen or Ingush, or the Daghestan languages...

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