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Re: Self-segregating Semitic Morphology

From:Logan Kearsley <chronosurfer@...>
Date:Tuesday, September 9, 2008, 16:45
On Tue, Sep 9, 2008 at 11:33 AM, Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...> wrote:
> On Mon, Sep 8, 2008 at 12:13 PM, Logan Kearsley <chronosurfer@...> wrote: > >> On Mon, Sep 8, 2008 at 9:01 AM, Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...> wrote: > >>> That limits your options on root vowel patterns; you couldn't have >>> vowels before the first root consonant, unless they were part >>> of a prefix. You could have e.g. > >> Mm... I'm not seeing why. > > I was thinking that, with some vowel patterns beginning with > vowels before the first root consonant, and some ending with > vowels after the last root consonant, but neither of those being > ubiquitous (as in your tentative scheme outlined later on, > or in Larry's Ilomi), then there would sometimes be ambiguity > about whether a vowel belongs to the previous word > or the next. You could patch that by allowing only a > certain subset of vowels before the first root consonant, > and another subset after the last root consonant. There > are probably other ways to get around it, too. For instance, > you might use tone, stress, nasalization, or lengthening > on the first (or last) vowel of a word to distinguish it from > the non-first (or nonfinal) vowels.
OK, makes sense. But that could be fixed by disallowing final vowels as well as by disallowing initials. That would be fairly unusual, though; I don't know of any languages that have initial vowels but not finals. -l.