Re: USAGE: WOMYN (was: RE: [CONLANG] Optimum number ofsymbols,though mostly talking about french now
|From:||And Rosta <a-rosta@...>|
|Date:||Monday, May 27, 2002, 19:11|
> And Rosta wrote:
> > But I see no phonological or morphological reasons for not
> > analysing 'woman' as 'wo+man', and that analysis has the advantage
> > of accounting for the lack of -s plural, *womans.
> Just that phonetically, the second suffix of "woman" acts just like the
> suffix -man for me. I don't know about your dialect, maybe you do
> pronounce the second syllable like the free noun "man", but I don't.
> And the suffix -man pluralizes as -men, which explains why the plural of
> "woman" is "women" and not *"womans".
If I read you correctly, you're reiterating my points here.
> On the other hand, *neither* analysis explains the phonetic change in
> the first syllable of /wU/ -> /wI/, and so I don't really see any
> advantage to analyzing it as a compound.
I don't follow your logic here. Neither analysis explains everything,
but, as already established, one explains more than the other. The
advantage is that it explains more than the other analysis.
> You'd have to say that this
> "morpheme" /wU/ has a plural /wI/, which would make _women_ some kind of
> double plural, unprecedented in English.
I can't think of any truly analogous examples, where inflection of a
bimorphemic stem involves alteration to the initial morpheme. If
you hold that the absence of such a phenomenon is an impossibility,
even as an irregularity, rather than an accidental gap, then I'll
grant you this as an argument in favour of a monomorphemic analysis.
However, I am disinclined to accept that morphological irregularity
is itself constrained by inviolable principles, so I am not swayed
by this argument.