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Re: evolving languages

From:Roger Mills <romilly@...>
Date:Wednesday, January 15, 2003, 23:21
Joe wrote:

>On Wednesday 15 January 2003 9:41 pm, Arthaey Angosii wrote: >> Emaelivpar Christophe Grandsire: >> >Unless they are frequently used (which is why most irregular words are >> > common ones, too bad for the L2 learner of the language ;))) ). >> >> From my knowledge of English, Spanish, and (teensy amounts of) German, I >> agree that this is what I've experienced. By why is this so? If I know >> the theoretical reasons behind irregularity, perhaps I can do a better
>> of working it into Asha'ille. :) >> > >I think it's a tendency to say commoner words faster, which means that >phonetically they lose phonemes, mutate, and soforth, creating irregular >forms...
That's a factor, but more irregularities arise from phonological processes that have ceased to be active in the language. Consider: Latin. video, videre 'to see' (present stem vid-e-) Perfect vidi (ult. < *vid-i ) Participle: visus (< *vid-tus where /d-t/ > *t-t or maybe **t-s > s by assim. ) (or was it vistus? memory fails.) With more (mostly regular) sound changes, this ends up in Span. as veo/ver, ví, visto Latin. pono, ponere 'to place' (pres., *pos-n-, inherited n-infixation from IE, irreg.? deletion of the s) Perfect posui (stem pos- + one of several possible perf. formants) Part. positus (stem pos- i(stem vowel) -tus) Ending up in Spanish as pongo/poner, puse, puesto (only the -g- in pongo is hard to explain, though it crops up in other verbs as well, vengo, tengo, salgo etc.) There was apparently a whole class (1 of 9 IIRC) of IE verbs that infixed -n-, like Sanskrit: root /ruc/, Present rinokti /r-in-a-uc-ti/ (IE *leuk-); the class survived into Latin as a bunch of irregulars like tango/tangere/tetigi/tactus 'touch'. And also in Germanic, consider Engl. think - thought, bring - brought


BP Jonsson <bpj@...>