Re: Affix terminology (was: Naming the conlang)
|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, July 13, 2004, 21:16|
On Monday, July 12, 2004, at 11:10 , Trebor Jung wrote:
> Isaac wrote: "Some people say there is also a TRANSFIX, like vocalzations
> Semitic langs, e.g.:
> s-g-r - a Hebrew root 'to close';
> sagar 'he closed' - ...A...A... is a transfix;
> sagur 'closed' - ...A...U...;
> soger 'closing' - ...O...E.
Interesting - I don't find 'transfix' listed in Trask. My first reaction
is that these are affixes realized as two or more infixes.
> I call that grammatical device 'triconsonantalism', which I suppose isn't
> exactly the best term for it...
No, it ain't. Triconsonantalism is simply a description of the root words
in Semitic. The feature that Isaac refers to is the vocalization of those
consonants. I see reason why this feature has to be confined to
triconsonantal roots per_se. Indeed, I believe the same feature occurs in
the Hamitic languages and, although IIRC triconsonantalism is common,
there are biconsonantal & quadriconsonantal roots - I think.
In any case, even if I'm mistaken about the Hamitic languages, I see no
reason why 'transfix' per_se has to be confined to triconsonantal roots.
On Monday, July 12, 2004, at 11:23 , Garth Wallace wrote:
> Isaac Penzev wrote:[snip]
>> Some people say there is also a TRANSFIX, like vocalzations in Semitic
>> langs, e.g.:
> The SIL glossary seems to call these "simulfixes".
I don't find that term in any of my reference books either. When I reflect
more carefully, I realize that this type of affixing is not always a
combination of infixes, since one of the vowels could be suffixed or
prefixed, e.g. *asgur, *segru etc. (I just make the examples up).
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
khad- khandan- ekhadon = I held ~ ekhandanon = I was holding
'Transfix', I think, is not a good term for this (tho it might be for
Semitic/Hamitic vocalization) since the term surely implies that the affix
is spread across the root, stem or base. The Greek examples apply only to
the end of the root where a nasal is infixed before the last consonant and
-an- is suffixed.
I haven't consulted the SIL glossary, but 'simulfix' must refer, surely,
to the feature whereby a affix is realized as two 'fixes' *at the same
time*, i.e. a circumfix is one example of a simulfix, as is Issac's
examples of transfix and my examples of the Greek verbs above.
As I observed in my earlier post, a circumfix is, in the words of Trask,
"an affix realized as a combination of a prefix and a suffix". I know of
no separate term to denote "an affix realized as a combination of an infix
and a suffix".
On Tuesday, July 13, 2004, at 03:29 , william drewery wrote:
> --- Garth Wallace <gwalla@...> wrote:
>> Isaac Penzev wrote:
>>> Ray Brown wrote:
>>>> SUPERFIX (also known as SURPAFIX) -
> What is a "superfix/surpafix"?
On Monday, July 12, 2004, at 06:39 , Ray Brown also wrote :)
> SUPERFIX (also known as SURPAFIX) - an affix realized as a suprasegmental
> feature, i.e. stress or tone, e.g. the contrast between English 'record'
> (noun: stressed on first syllable) and 'record' (verb: stressed on second
If that example wasn't clear, let me give one of Trask's examples. In an
African language called Ngbaka spoken in the DR Congo, four major
tense/aspect forms of verbs are marked solely tones:
FORM SUPERFIX TONES EXAMPLES (Diacrtics used - in case your
mailer mangles Unicode)
Form 1 - falling wà gbòtò (grave accents)
Form 2 - level wā gbōtō (macrons)
Form 3 - fall+rising wă gbòtó (breve on 'wa'; grave & acute on
Form 4 - rising wá gbótó (acute accents)
"A mind which thinks at its own expense will always
interfere with language." J.G. Hamann, 1760