Re: evolving languages
|From:||Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, January 15, 2003, 20:46|
En réponse à Tristan <kesuari@...>:
> You mean 'future'. I know you know that, I'm just going to be the
> of hundreds.
True, just a slip of fingers. I was still thinking about the post about
Maggel ;)))) . So to make things clear: "will" used to mean only "want", but is
now mostly used for the future tense ;))) .
> 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)?
A better split would be "j'aimer ai" (it's etymological at least). Well, for
the difference, just rely on the speaker's intuition. After all, that's one of
the best sources for this kind of things, and probably the best way to
define "word" in some language (any other definition tend to break down
easily). Moreover, there *are* differences between unstressed words, clitics
- an unstressed word stands on its own, even when it's unstressed, and doesn't
have influence on the stress pattern of the words around,
- a clitic keeps some autonomy (it can be moved a bit, usually), but it falls
under the stress pattern of some neighbouring word and often modify that stress
pattern (just look at the Latin -que wuich attracts the stress to the syllable
- an inflection doesn't have autonomy at all. It can have only one place and is
strongly dependent on the word it's on (clitics usually can be added to nearly
any word. Inflections are dependent in form on the word they are added on).
Moreover, the word sometimes changes form to accept the inflection (and the
form it takes, the root or radical, often cannot appear independently in the
case of inflecting languages) while it's not the case with clitics. In short,
in the case of a clitic, the limit between the word and the clitic are still
clear. In the case of an inflection, they are not.
Note that by that definition French subject and object pronouns are actually
inflections (or clitics which are extremely close to become inflections). And
they actually are, despite the fact that they are written separated from the
word they are added on.
> 'would probably' from being 'wubprobably'?
You may write it this way, but that doesn't change the fact that they are still
clearly separate words according to the definition above (note that the sound
change you show is purely phonetic. To access the status of inflection, the
sound change associated must become phonemic).
> And, just as irregularities in grammar will simplify (such as 'holp'
> becoming 'helped'), irregularities in the phonology can sometimes
> simplify in the same way.
Unless they are frequently used (which is why most irregular words are common
ones, too bad for the L2 learner of the language ;))) ).
> I thought the Spanish sound was [B]? Am I confused? I don't know
You're right. But there is still a difference: the intervocalic [B] of Spanish
is purely phonetic. Phonemically, it's still a /b/. The French /v/ *is*
phonemic on the other hand. So French still did go further than Spanish.
> I'm just wondering Christophe: were you trying to pun there, or have
> misunderstood the expression 'more-or-less'? It essentially means that
> they'll follow them.
Really? I've never seen the expression used in this sense. I've always seen it
meaning "some more, some less".
For example, 'students who perform well in the
> more-or-less always go on to tertiary studies'
Which sounds to me like nonsense, as the expression "more or less" doesn't fit
with the adverb "always" behind. Are you sure it's the most common meaning of
that expression? I've never seen it anywhere, and it's the first time somebody
comments on my use of it.
means that nearly all
> them do, and the ones that don't probably have good reasons to not,
> they over-estimated their ability and applied for courses that
> accept them or they got pregnant or something (neither of which have
> happened to me---I hope. Well, the second is just about impossible on
> the former I'll find out on Sunday, but I should be right. God I hate
> this. Why can't they just tell me already?).
They're sadistic? ;)))
> I bring it up only because I think I've seen you use it before in the
> same way and never the right one.
Are you sure *you* have the right one? I've certainly read the expression
plenty of times before, and never with the meaning you just explained. So I'm
just using it the way I learned it.
Take your life as a movie: do not let anybody else play the leading role.