Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: THEORY: irregular conlangs

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Friday, October 1, 1999, 23:36
Sally Caves wrote:
> Isn't it simply that we were corrected when we were > children? I know a lot of children who put the "-ed" > on go ("goed") and they just get corrected. By their > parents, by contact with other kids... It doesn't strike > me that "goed" would be any harder to retrieve than "went" > if it were part of our lexicon.
Exactly, regular past tenses are presumably stored separately as well, especially for common words, so that "boys" is separate from "boy". I think that this is why suppletion can occur. For instance, if people begin to use "people" instead of "persons", it doesn't involve some editing of a dictionary entry in their brain, but merely changing the connections, so that instead of "person" being connected to "persons", it's connected to "people" instead. As for correcting, I doubt that, I remember an anecdote about a person studying child language acquisition who attempted to correct a child who was saying "nobody don't like me", trying to correct him as "nobody likes me", every time the researcher would say, "No, it's 'nobody likes me'", the child would repeat "nobody don't like me", eventually after 5 or 6 times, the child said "Oh!, Nobody don't LIKES me", or something to that effect.
> OE also derives the past tense for _gan_ > "go" from _wendan_ as you note above.
Not to mention the irregular, suppletive, plural of "person", "people" (could the similarity in beginnings, both with /p/ have helped that occur? I wonder)
> When I conducted the "Lunatic Survey" a year ago, I > got the sense, too, that the exotic was in more demand > than the logical.
That's my impression to. -- Oh Lord, grant that we may always be right, for thou knowest we will never change our mind. - Scots Prayer ICQ: 18656696 AIM Screen-Name: NikTailor