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Re: Affix terminology (was: Naming the conlang)

From:Dirk Elzinga <dirk_elzinga@...>
Date:Tuesday, July 20, 2004, 15:42
On Jul 13, 2004, at 3:17 PM, Ray Brown wrote:

> In fact, natlangs don't slot neatly into the simple list I gave. I'm > reminded that in ancient Greek, there are a few verbs who form their > 'present stem' by suffixing -an- at the same time (hence, I guess, > SIL's > coining of "simulfix") as infixing a homorganic nasal before the final > consonant of the root; with these verbs the simple root is used as the > aorist stem, e.g. > > ROOT PRESENT STEM EXAMPLES > math- manthan- emathon = I learnt ~ emanthanon = I was > learning > lab- lamban- elabon = I took ~ elambanon = I was taking > lakh- laNkhan- elaknon = I obtained by lot ~ elaNkhanon = I > was > obtaining by lot > tykh- tyNkhan- etykhe = it happened ~ etyNkhane = I was > happening > khad- khandan- ekhadon = I held ~ ekhandanon = I was > holding
This looks like secondary nasalization of a stop under the influence of a nasal consonant in the suffix. Edward Sapir described something similar to this in his 1930 grammar of Southern Paiute. In Southern Paiute, every morpheme has what is now called a "final feature" (no analysis in terms of distinctive features is implied with this term, though). There are three final features: Geminating, Nasalizing, and Spirantizing. The Geminating feature causes a following voiceless stop to surface as a geminate; the Nasalizing feature causes a following stop to surface as a nasal-stop cluster; and the Spirantizing feature causes a following stop to surface as a voiced fricative: Geminating: [ku_0h'tSakka] 'be grey' (kuttSa- 'grey', -ka 'STATIVE') Nasalizing: ['pa1Nka] 'be smooth' (pa1- 'smooth', -ka 'STATIVE') Spirantizing: [aN'kaGa] 'be red' (aNka- 'red', -ka 'STATIVE') (Sapir 1930: 63) Many instances of nasalization are due to what Sapir calls "secondary nasalization"; a stem bears the Nasalizing feature (or select suffixes with a nasal-stop cluster) because the stem itself contains a nasal consonant. Examples given by Sapir include: [taNa-mpi] 'kicker' (taNa- 'kick', -vi/-mpi 'AGENTIVE') [taNwa-mpi] 'tooth' (taNwa- 'tooth', -pi 'ABSOLUTIVE') (Sapir 1930: 67) The agentive suffix shown in the first example varies between an initial voiced fricative and a nasal-stop cluster. When the verb stem contains a nasal, the nasal-stop cluster variant is used; otherwise, the spirantized variant is used, regardless of the final feature of the stem. In the second example, the absolutive suffix (not a case marker; it is a suffix which appears on nouns in citation form, roughly; think Hebrew 'absolute' vs 'construct') varies according to the final feature of the stem. In this case, the final feature is Nasalizing, presumably because of the medial nasal consonant. In both cases, the nasal-stop cluster is selected under influence of the nasal already present in the stem. Dirk -- Dirk Elzinga Grammatica vna et eadem est secundum substanciam in omnibus linguis, licet accidentaliter varietur. - Roger Bacon (1214-1294)