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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
Nik Taylor:
> 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. --And.


Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>WOMYN (was: RE: [CONLANG] Optimum numberofsymbols,though mostly talking about french now
John Cowan <jcowan@...>WOMYN (was: RE: [CONLANG] Optimum number