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Re: THEORY: Verbs go irregular before our very eyes!

From:Dirk Elzinga <dirk_elzinga@...>
Date:Tuesday, October 30, 2001, 17:38
At 11:03 PM -0500 10/29/01, John Cowan wrote:
>The final explanation, I think, is that the rule-based mechanism >no longer works in present-day Maori. Instead, there are now separate passive >suffixes "-tia", "-kia", "-ngia", "-hia", etc., of which "-tia" is the regular >ending, and the others are lexically specific, just like English strong verbs. >Of course, only a few verbs, the new ones, have become regularized as >yet. We can probably expect Maori, if it survives, to have some of the >rarer verbs losing their irregular inflections in favor of -tia.
This is precisely the solution that Ken Hale proposed in 1973 in his paper "Deep-surface Canonical Disparities in Relation to Analysis and Change: An Australian Example." While the focus of the paper is a set of alternations from Lardil, he includes as an illustration the Maori passive analysis. Dirk -- Dirk Elzinga "Speech is human, silence is divine, yet also brutish and dead; therefore we must learn both arts." - Thomas Carlyle


John Cowan <jcowan@...>