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Re: Future English

From:Rob H <magwich78@...>
Date:Sunday, December 29, 2002, 6:31
Hey all,

I thought of a very interesting (in my opinion) way of how English might evolve in the future.
It's possible that English might actually become more inflecting/agglutinating in verbal
morphology.  For example, to express something in the present tense, one usually uses "to be" plus
"[verb]ing," such as "I am running" > "I'm running."  In the future, the contracted forms of "to
be" might be contracted further: "I'm" > "'m" (realized as "im" for our purposes here), "you're" >
"yer" > "yr" (where "y" is long /i/), "he's"/"it's" > "is", "she's" > "shis" (although this might
be absorbed into the masculine/neuter form).  In addition, the "-ing" ending of the present
progressive is often de-dorsalized, becoming "-in."  Taking this further, it might eventually be
de-nasalized, becoming "-i."  At some point it could be re-analyzed as a present stem formant.
Combined with the "personal endings" above, one could get the following paradigm:

I'm running > im-ran-i (/a/ as in "father" or "gun")
you're running > yr-ran-i
he's running > is-ran-i

And so on and so forth.  In addition, adjectives could become verbalized very easily -- just tack
on a personal prefix.  So, "I'm good" would become "imgud" and later "ingud" where the /m/
assimilates next to the /g/.  These prefixes would either become universal or other ones will be
used for other tenses (e.g. "I ran" > "e-ran-d" (literally from "I runned")).

What do y'all think?

- Rob

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