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Re: Language Change

From:Tom Wier <artabanos@...>
Date:Sunday, January 9, 2000, 4:20
Nik Taylor wrote:

> > What sorts of things cause a language to gain cases? > > Adpositions becoming affixes, I don't know what would *cause* that, but > that's how they'd originate. For instance, suppose that /t(@)/ became a > dative marker in English. In Spanish, the preposition _a_ indicates > accusative, it's reasonable to suppose that at some future date it might > become a prefix.
Right. If you're interested in those processes, Cambridge University Press puts out a series of linguistics books; check out the one entitled _Grammaticalisation_ (or some such thing).
> > This, paradoxically, can de-emphasize the importance of rhyme > > I don't see why that would be a paradox - poetry involves things that > aren't part of prose. If rhymes occur all the time, it would lose its > significance.
Indeed, as late as the 17th century, Milton when writing _Paradise Lost_ had to excuse the fact that his verse was unrhymed, in imitation of the classical poets: "...Rime being no necessary Adjunct or true Ornament of Poem or good Verse, in longer Works especially, but the Invention of a barbarous Age, to set off wretched matter and lame Meeter...." Latin and Greek being highly inflected languages, it was only too easy to find rhyming words. =========================================== Tom Wier <artabanos@...> AIM: Deuterotom ICQ: 4315704 <> "Cogito ergo sum, sed credo ergo ero." ===========================================