Re: just curious.. ;)
|From:||Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>|
|Date:||Monday, October 29, 2001, 12:31|
En réponse à Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>:
> My agglutinating languages have phonetic variation, Finnish, for
> instance, has consonant gradation, where the stem has two forms
> depending on which suffix is added. Turkish has vowel harmony.
> Japanese has varying stems (e.g., kaki-tai "I want to write", but
> kaka-nai "I don't write"), altho that's also sometimes analyzed as
> simply epenthetic vowels, e.g., -(i)tai = want, -(a)nai = negation.
> Polysynthetic, I believe, is characterized by suffixes being an open
> class and allowing incorporation, that is, making another word into a
> part of a word.
Remember also that languages are never purely of one flexional type. You don't
have a purely isolating language (even Chinese and English are not), a purely
agglutinating (even Turkish is not) or purely synthetic (Latin did have
agglutinating features: ama-ba-m: I was loving). As for polysynthetic, the
definition of it is so fuzzy that I don't know how to talk about a "purely
polysynthetic" language (but even then, French can be argued to a limited level
of polysynthetism, for instance in "je ne t'ai rien pris" /Z@ntErjE~'pRi/,
where the negation, a mark of the indirect object and the direct object itself
are incorporated in the the verbal form - the orthography hides the feature,
that's why I added the pronunciation. It is really one phonological word -).
AFAIK, it's the level beyond synthetism, where word and sentence become
indistinguishable. But the flexional types are abstractions, and a language is
a complex of flexional types, different types being used for different features
(or even in the same feature, eg. ama-ba-nt, where -ba- and -nt are
agglutinated together, but each marks more than one feature, -ba- marking both
past tense and imperfective aspect, -nt marking both 3rd person and plural).
So what you can say is that a language is e.g. "mostly agglutinating". Still,
it doesn't mean that the language doesn't have synthetic features like
consonnant gradation or vowel harmony. It just has them in a smaller extent as
a "mostly synthetic" language.
Take your life as a movie: do not let anybody else play the leading role.