Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Eliding repeated morphemes: synthesis vs analysis

From:Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Date:Sunday, December 26, 2004, 15:24
Just something I was thinking about.  It started with a post to the
Latin study mailing list in which the poster was trying to translate an
English sentence of this form into (Classical) Latin:

        I will go to the outpost, see what the enemy is doing, and
        report back.

Their first attempt had only the first verb in the future tense, but in
the sense of the English all three verbs belong in the future; English
just economizes by letting them all share a single instance of the
auxiliary "will".  Latin, with its synthetic future tense, requires that
all three verbs be placed in that tense.

This started me cogitating.  At first it seemed obviously a difference
between analysis and synthesis, but now I'm not so sure.  Consider the
English possessive in -'s, for instance.  Is that considered an analytic or
synthetic feature?  We say "Mark and Jody's house", not "Mark's and
Jody's house".  Is that "Mark and (Jody's)", with the -'s simply understood
to be applied to "Mark" as well, or is it "(Mark and Jody)'s", with
the -'s actually being applied to the phrase as a whole?

Are there clear instances in natlangs when morphological inflections can be
applied only to one of a series of repeated words while being understood
to apply to the whole list?

Just curious.



Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>
Gary Shannon <fiziwig@...>
# 1 <salut_vous_autre@...>
Sally Caves <scaves@...>