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Re: Saprutum compounds

Date:Saturday, May 5, 2001, 23:37
On Thu, 3 May 2001  "Pavel A. da Mek" <pavel.adamek@...>
Wrote  Re: Saprutum compounds

>>> (where and when it was spoken)? >> briefly unspecified Atlantic islands > > Yes, there are many lost islands there: > Mayda, Breasil, Isle of St. Brandan, Seven Cities ... >
It's difficult to know quite what to believe, as they encourage every tall story and wild speculation, so that if anything does slip out about them, it will get written off as just another myth/ folktale etc. Indeed, "island" might not even refer to a geographical island but to some other kind of isolated place or refuge. Interesting though, the ancient Irish claimed that Noah had a fourth son, Bith, who couldn't get on with his father, so when the flood came he built his own ark and sailed off to Ireland with fifty women ...
> > >> Do you have a grammar of Mekhtyish? > > There are some sketch web pages about it, but they are in Czech > and I have not found time to translate them into English yet. >
Can't find them, where are they? I could probably figure something out even though I don't understand Czech.
> > > Compounds:
You seem to be confusing inflexion with derivation. The genitive is an inflection, it can be applied to almost any noun and (leaving aside the occasional idiom) its meaning is entirely predictable. The "internal genitive" is a true adjective derived from a noun. Not every noun in XvYZ- will have a corresponding XvYiZ- adjective, and if the form does exist it's exact meaning cannot be predicted a priori, it's a matter of usage -- of lexicon rather than grammar.
>> ?admu.tawbum - a good person >> yekalbu.sawdum - the black dog; > > Now I would expect > > ?admu.tawibum - a good person > yekalbu.sawidum - the black dog >
These forms might well exist in related languages, the basic forms would then be abstract nouns : tawb- "goodness", sawd- "blackness". However in Sap. the basic forms are adjectives, and abstract nouns would be derived, perhaps with the -ay- suffix tawbayam, sawdayam "coming from good, black", or perhaps in some other way I don't yet understand.
> > because > >> yekalbu.sawdu.kabirum - the big black dog; > > seems unsystematic; I would expect > either "yekalbu.sawidu.kabirum" > or "yekalbu.sawdu.kabrum" >
Kabir- IS a derived adjective, from kabram - "size, bigness". I'm talking synchronically here, in terms of history, of origins, kabir- might well have come first, it could have been borrowed for example, with kabr- being a back-formation. However to a Sap. speaker kabiram would be thought of as coming from kabram. Try telling a Hebrew speaker that their word for "good" [t`o:B] << //t`awb-// should be replaced by a derived form ([t`e:B]??) like Arabic t`ayyib(un) There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to derivation, just possibilities that may or may not be exploited by a particular speech community.
>>> while "?admu.kalibum" is a man attending dogs >> That would probably be "man of dogs" : "?admu_kalbiyim" > > Or maybe "?admu_lekalibum" "man for dogs"? >
Could be, or this could have some other special meaning, "fugitive" perhaps, someone you set the dogs to catch! All your suggestions are theoretically possible, the question is whether they were actually used and with what meaning. In English I can say "John is very talkative", but not "J. is very writeative" or "Mary is very singative". There's no theoretical reason why these derivatives don't exist, it's just a fact that they don't. (Not in standard English, they might exist in dialect or slang somewhere, somewhen, they might be thought of as existing in potentia).
> > Pavel >