Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ    Attic   

Re: Double minimal pairs

From:J R <tanuef@...>
Date:Tuesday, September 2, 2008, 6:03
On Tue, Sep 2, 2008 at 5:29 AM, Herman Miller <hmiller@...> wrote:

> I found an interesting coincidence as I was working on the Tirelat > vocabulary: a pair of words that's a minimal pair in both English and > Tirelat. > > żuki ['dzuki] "drain" (n.) > žuki ['Zuki] "train" (i.e. railroad train) > > How likely is this in unrelated languages? Is it possible that when I went > to come up with a word for "drain" that the older word for "train" came to > mind? Or is it just one of those coincidences that's likely to come up with > a large enough vocabulary?
Don't know about the mathematical probabilities, but I imagine it's very possible that the older word came to mind. I've caught myself on a number of occasions recreating a word that I had forgotten about, with the same or nearly the same form. And sometimes, related words "accidentally" will have similar forms. It may be because I remember some older words subconsciously, or perhaps whatever associations made me choose the original form are still active.
> Does anyone have examples of minimal pairs like this from their own > languages (which translate to minimal pairs in an unrelated language)? Now > I'll have to see if I've got any other examples of this. >
Josh Roth


Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>