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Re: Middle Welsh (was Cein)

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Tuesday, June 5, 2001, 16:24
En réponse à kam@CARROT.CLARA.NET:

> > I love the way the Basque auxillary can sometimes have to agree in > person > and number with subject, object and indirect object too! The poor > little > auxillary ends up completly lost under the pile of prefixes, suffixes > and > infixes that get piled upon it.
Like in forms like _zaitzaitkit_ (from memory) where if I remember correctly the root is the last -i-, the rest being affixes :) . You can see why the verbs ceased to be
> inflected directly, it must have been a worse nightmare than the Old > Irish > verb (don't even ask ...) As it is, the main verb marks tense and > aspect, > with all the agreements thrown at the auxillary.
If only it was that easy. In fact, the conjugation of the auxiliary (which also conjugates for tense), and even sometimes the choice of the auxiliary, mixes with the choice of non-finite form for the verb to mark tense and aspect, usually in a non-straightforward way :) . There are still a
> handful > of verbs that get inflected directly, but I think they're probably > mostly > intransitive and so only have a one-way agreement. >
Unfortunately not :) . IIRC, a verb like "to give" is still inflected directly :) . At least, Moten may have a periphrastic conjugation, but it's not as complicated as Basque. First, there is no personal agreement, so the number of forms for the auxiliaries goes very much down. All verbs have two non-finite forms (called "infinitive" and "participle") as well as one finite form (an imperative). the auxiliaries also have three other finite forms: a present, a past and a hypothetical. To conjugate a verb, take one of its non-finite forms, decline it in one of the three cases available, and follow it with one of the two auxiliaries (both auxiliaries can be used with any verb, even themselves when needed) in the needed tense. this way, it makes already 2*3*2*3=36 possibilities, all different, and nearly all meaningfull for every verb. Since even the auxiliaries can have periphrastic conjugation, you can even refine the meanings and get a nearly infinite number of possibilities (of course, usually you don't get further than one or two auxiliaries in a string). And I consider this system quite simple!!! :)) More info (in French) in my webpage.
> > Well as the Hainish say "there is nothing new under any sun" >
:)))) Christophe.