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Noun tense

From:Peter Clark <peter-clark@...>
Date:Monday, July 22, 2002, 14:58
On Monday 22 July 2002 04:40, Tristan McLeay wrote:
> --> I'll <-- think about it. Hehe, English almost sorta does it at > times---it's where I ripped the idea from. (And, indeed, the method by > which Finnstek developed noun tense inflexions from tense particles was > much the same, although by this stage, the relevant particles didn't > have consonants and were monosyllabic and so were almost forced to join > with the previous word.) If I made an bit of sense.
English contractions are showing the possibility of developing into a noun-tense system, just as soon as we stop analysing them as noun+auxiliary. Consider: [Future] /ajl/ /wijl/ /juwl/ /hijl/ /Tejl/ /Sijl/ /Id"l=/ (/d"/ = alveolar flap, /l=/ = syllabic /l/) [Present] /ajm/ /wijr/ /juwr/ /hiz/ /Tejr/ /Siz/ /Its/ [Present Perfect] /ajv/ /wijv/ /juv/ /hiz/ /Tejv/ /Siz/ /its/ [Past Perfect] /ajd/ /wijd/ /juwd/ /hid/ /Tejd/ /Sid/ /It.@d"/ I'm not quite sure how "would" ought to be classified, given its many uses, but its scheme would be the same as the past perfect. I'm not sure if there has been a contraction of "it would" in spoken English; I can say "It'd be possible" and while it sounds strange, it doesn't sound illegal. I'll have to listen more carefully. On the other hand, a contraction of "it had" to "it'd" sounds correct enough when I say "It'd been possible" quickly. Of course, I've left out the other pronouns (who, what, where, when, how, that, there, here) but they are left as an exercise to the reader. Ironically enough, it was not until I decided that Enamyn had a noun-tense system that I discovered that English has a proto-version. In deriving proto-Enamyn, this is how I decided noun tense most likely came about: auxilliaries got smushed into the nouns and pronouns as the language moved from an isolating to agglutinating phase, and then were analyzed as tense endings as the language moved into a fusional phase. It's simple and quite logical. :Peter


julien eychenne <eychenne.j@...>
Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>