Re: Language Change
|From:||Tom Wier <artabanos@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, January 9, 2000, 5:27|
John Cowan wrote:
> Patrick Dunn wrote:
> > I was unaware that languages could gain cases; I was always under the
> > impression that languages tended to simplify, but now I see that "simple"
> > is subjective, isn't it? Hmm.
> Sure. The Finno-Ugric langs, with their 12-20 cases, descend from languages
> with postpositions and far fewer cases. Sometimes the line between a
> case marker and a pre/postposition is hard to draw.
I don't think it's hard if you define your terminology right. I think the primary
distinction is that case markers need not necessarily be bound morphemes (they're
just some morphological representation of case, whether free or bound), while
pre- and postpositions are (in my use, at least) always free morphemes. For
case markers that are bound, I use some variant of "affix".
Tom Wier <artabanos@...>
AIM: Deuterotom ICQ: 4315704
"Cogito ergo sum, sed credo ergo ero."