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Re: evolving languages

From:Nik Taylor <yonjuuni@...>
Date:Friday, January 17, 2003, 0:51
Tristan wrote:
> How can you tell the difference between an unstressed word, a clitic, > and an inflexion? What's to stop _j'aimerai_ from being _j'aim erai_ > (that's an arbitrary split. I don't know French, spoken or written)?
j' aimer ai would be a morphemic breakdown. At any rate, the main reason for treating -ai as a suffix is that nothing can come between it and the stem. You can't, for example, say *j'aimer-la-ai for "I will love her" (altho Portuguese *does* allow equivalent forms, amá-la-ei)
> Yet I've seen it written > that Something can go to Nothing, but Nothing can't go to Something.
That's a simplification. You can add sounds, as in Latin st -> est- in many Romance languages. However, added sounds are always epenthetic, that is, sounds added to break up illegal clusters, either of consonants or of vowels. So, in the development of Spanish, there was a rule that s+stop was no longer legal, except when a syllabic boundary occurs. One way to solve that could've been simply to drop the /s/ (e.g., scribere -> *cribir), another possibility, the one that was actually selected, was to add an /i/ (which later became /e/), thus scribere -> escribir.
> I thought the Spanish sound was [B]? Am I confused? I don't know Spanish.
It is [B]. In most Spanish dialects, {b/v} is pronounced [b] when word-initial or after an m, and [B] otherwise. -- "There's no such thing as 'cool'. Everyone's just a big dork or nerd, you just have to find people who are dorky the same way you are." - overheard ICQ: 18656696 AIM Screen-Name: NikTaylor42