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Re: OT: Justifying a stress pattern (plus OT: joke last name templates)

From:Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Date:Monday, December 31, 2007, 11:25
Yes, but "Mac Robertson" where "Mac" is someone's given (nick)name is
not at all the same as some alleged surname "MacRobertson", even when
spelled in a similarly spaceless manner.

On 12/30/07, T. A. McLeay <conlang@...> wrote:
> Mark J. Reed wrote: > > On Dec 30, 2007 12:28 AM, Eric Christopherson <rakko@...> wrote: > >> Somewhat off-topic: I was thinking the other day about my last name > >> and why it's accented on the second syllable rather than the first > >> (vs. the given name Christopher). I have a theory that maybe it's > >> because the majority of -erson names in English are accented on the > >> syllable just before -erson. > > > > It's far more general than that. Adding morphemes to English words > > often shifts the emphasis. For instance, pick almost any adjective > > with stress that's not on the final syllable. If you add "-ity" to > > nominalize it, ithe stress shifts: '[fn]ormal => [fn]or'mality, > > 'viscous => vis'cosity. 'tranquil => tran'quility; sub'jective => > > subjec'tivity. This can happen even when a morpheme is removed first: > > a'nonymous => ano'nymity. > > And Eric replied: > > > Right, but my impression was that those words had gone through > > natural evolution in English, whereas borrowed (from Scandinavian) > > names would not have gone through it -- but I don't know how long the > > name has existed in English; maybe it has been there long enough to > > evolve with the rest. > > The stress change wasn't evolution in English, it happened in Latin. We > simply retained it, for the most part. So a suffix of germanic origin > wouldn't be likely to cause stress change other than under the influence > of these romance suffixes (this could be viewed as an unnatural > evolution, I suppose, if there's any contrast when talking about human > social things). > > >> It's also funny that people use Mc-, which, being an Irish and > >> Scottish Gaelic-derived prefix, doesn't tend to occur along with the > >> mostly Scandinavian -[s]son/-[s]sen or German -[s]sohn. There is > >> McPherson, but that doesn't count because the -son is not derived > >> from its own morpheme. > > > > Well, I think that's intentional. McSillyson is funny precisely > > because it's unlikely - and unlikely because it's redundant. :) > > "MacRobertson" is a name that turns up around Melbourne because a man > named (of all things) MacPherson Robertson started a confectionery > company called MacRobertson's (since bought by Cadbury Schweppes) and > got himself a lot of money which he proceeded to throw around. So > there's a MacRobertson Girls High School and a MacRobertson Bridge > across the Yarra (nowadays pedestrian-only). A part of the Australian > Antarctic Territory is also called "Mac Robertson Land". > > -- > Tristan. >
-- Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>


T. A. McLeay <conlang@...>