Géarthnuns takes on Greenberg's Word Order Universa ls
|From:||Marcus Smith <smithma@...>|
|Date:||Friday, September 15, 2000, 4:47|
DOUGLAS KOLLER wrote:
>> > > 10. Question particles or affixes, specified in position by reference
>> > > particular word in the sentence, almost always follow that word. Such
>> > > particles do not occur in languages with dominant order VSO.
>> > I not quite sure I understand this one, but based on 9, I guess the
>> > would be 'no'?
>> I think it would be "N/A" or "yes". The universals says that if the
>> interrogative particle must occur next to a specific word/category, it
>> will almost always follow it.
>But if my interrogative 'particle' must occur next to a verb, and it's a
>prefix, doesn't that make it 'no'? (N/A may well be the easier answer :) )
>Or is "particle" the linchpin word?
Was it a prefix? I must have misread your gloss. I deleted your old message,
so I can't look at the example again. If the negative marker is a prefix and
not a separate word, then this universal does not apply. If it is a separate
word, then it's a "no".
>> > > 26. If a language has discontinuous affixes, it always either
>> > > suffixing or both.
>> > N/A? Discontinuous affixes?
>> Discontinuous affixes are affixes that appear in two separate locations.
>> For example, if the past tense were expressed by ke-ta, a past tense verb
>> would be ke-bal-ta.
>Well then this seems obvious, but I still don't think I'm getting it. If a
>language has affixes that go before or after the verb, they will either go
>in front of the verb, after the verb, or both? Duh!?! What's the point of
Well, you're forgetting infixes. :-)
>> Derivational morpheme.
>Perhaps an example would help me out here...
>For example, if English had an accusative case mark by -a, "electric" going
>to a noun becomes "electricity" which in the accusative becomes
>"electricity-a" and not "electric-a-ity? Not getting it.
You're example is right on: derivational morphemes always occur closer to the
stem than the inflectional morphemes. Thus, we have "electricities" rather
than "electricsity". I find this a very significant universal from a
theoretical standpoint: it means that whatever mechanism puts words together
recognizes the difference between derivational and inflectional morphemes and
can treat them accordingly. If all words were just memorized with all their
derivations/inflections intact (rather than being assembled), then we would
expect to find morphemes in various orders in some languages.
"When you lose a language, it's like
dropping a bomb on a museum."
-- Kenneth Hale