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Roumán Part II - Nouns, Adjectives,and Pronouns

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Monday, November 27, 2000, 23:56
Christophe Grandsire wrote:
> Funny, to my untrained eyes, this looks rather Greekish :) . I like the idea of > a Romance ergative language. Too bad that I didn't have it... What is the > evolution?
Absolutive comes from the nominative, while the ergative is derived from the ablative. Since ablative was used for agent of passive and instrumental, I figured it would be likely to become an ergative.
> So, when talking to an equal or an inferior, you use a nom-acc system for 1st > and 2nd persons? And when your talking to a superior, you use an ergative > system, but with 3rd person agreement on the verb, for both 1st and 2nd persons? > Very neat! :)
In essence. Hadn't thought of it that way. The 3rd person agreement was inspired by Spanish _usted(es)_, and the forms by Japanese, which uses "that direction" for one polite form of "you", and, I think, "this direction" for a polite form of "I".
> > Definite Articles > Do they come from ipse or from iste?
Ipse. If they'd come from _iste_, they'd have {c}, since /st/ -> /ts/ early on, hence, çáu < stare. Much more interesting way of dealing with those clusters than simply prefixing e-, I think. Unique, too, AFAIK. Initially, those new clusters then assimilated the fricative to the stop, so that /ks/ -> /kx/ (-> /x/) and /ps/ -> /pf/. This only occured word-initially, and later, a different, regressive, assimilation took place, so that, for example, /tf/ -> /pf/, and /ks/ -> /ts/. However, that difference seems kind of unnatural now that I look at it. I had that because I didn't want sc-, sp-, and st- all collapsing into ç- -- Florida: Home of Electile Dysfunction Palm Beach County: Putting the "duh" in Florida ICQ: 18656696 AIM Screen-Name: NikTailor