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Re: THEORY: Morphomes (was Re: Chicken and egg; sound and form)

From:Patrick Littell <puchitao@...>
Date:Thursday, May 18, 2006, 23:54
On 5/18/06, David J. Peterson <dedalvs@...> wrote:

> Some examples of each: > > "kitten", "mitten", "bitten", "cotton", "blacken", "fashion"... > "spindle", "little", "libel", "riddle", "mingle", "rascal"... > "brother", "smother", "reader", "bigger", "liver"... > "happy", "funny", "cutesy", "alley", "valley", "rally", "doggy"...
> Some of them look > like they might, or may have, like the /-en/ in "kitten" and > "mitten" (old diminutive?),
Both of these, incidentally, seem to have been borrowed from French as wholes. Old diminutive? Yes in the case of "kitten", from "chitoun" (or Norman "caton"), dim. of "chat"; I don't know if "mitaine" was a diminutive of "mite" or not. I noted this because we have the "root" forms of the "diminutives" kitten and mitten in English -- kit and mitt -- but both are later shortenings rather than pre-existing roots. ("Kit" not meaning "collection of tools" but rather a baby raccoon, fox, etc. I happen to know this word because of the *other* Patrick Littell: ) -- Pat