Re: USAGE: a+participle [was Re: Chat: Linux etc.]
|From:||Dirk Elzinga <dirk_elzinga@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, September 24, 2002, 19:09|
At 12:15 PM -0500 9/24/02, Thomas R. Wier wrote:
>Quoting Tim May <butsuri@...>:
>> Roberto Suarez Soto writes:
>> > Times are a'changing, they say :-) BTW (and to save the
>> > offtopic), that "a+<verb in gerund>" thing that I've seen many times in
>> > english is something that I don't understand :-m Where does it come
>> > from?
>IIRC, it comes from "on" + participle. In some dialects, this
>grammaticalized as a marker of imperfectivity, and the nasal
>was lost, and the vowel reduced to schwa. (Don't know when
>the nasal was lost; was it the same time that the nasals were
>lost in "tooth" and "kid"?)
No; 'tooth' is [to:T] already in OE, and 'kid' is probably from ON
[kiD] (OE had 'cild' [tSIld]). The nasal deletion that gave us 'a-'
from 'on' is the same which deleted other word-final nasals during
the sound shifts immediately preceding Middle English.
Dirk Elzinga Dirk_Elzinga@byu.edu
"No theory can exclude everything that is wrong, poor, or even detestable, or
include everything that is right, good, or beautiful." - Arnold Schoenberg