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Re: Finlaesk is starting to collapse

From:Eugene Oh <un.doing@...>
Date:Thursday, August 9, 2007, 16:49
2007/8/10, Paul Bennett <paul.w.bennett@...>:
> I've been building sandhi/liaison into Finlaesk (aka fínlǣsk), as well > as all three of harmony, umlaut and ablaut in vowels (including > breaking and merging operations). It started out great for a while, > giving forms that had a good touch of naturalistic irregularity to > them while still being vaguely classifyable into manageable, > "instinctively apparent" groups based on their surface forms. It was, > in short, pretty believable as a modern European language. > > I think I'm coming close to the point where the rules stop working in my favor. > > In fact, I'm running the risk of effectively lexicalizing just about > every morphological form of every root. This is certainly not what I > thought I was getting myself into. > > Take, for example, the NP "with the son". Straightforwardly (and > underlyingly), this glosses to 'son-DAT.DEF-MASC-SG.with', i.e. > / However, even playing fairly gently with my notions > leads to /so~4wim:eD/ and just a very little more determination will > take it to /s2:4y~m2D/, which is just barely recognizable (if that) as > related to the root /so~4/, the article /in/, or the postposition > /meD/. > > So, in your aesthetic opinion, how much is too much? Can/should I take > the development and use of sound changes all the way to producing > /s9:42~d/ (or even further?) if I'm trying to stick within the bounds > of a plausible modern-world Northwest Germanic language? Right now, > I'm going as far as /so~4wim:eD/, but the potential to go further is > not ruled out (though personally a touch unappealing). > > For more flavor on the language, the skeleton of the WIP reference > grammar is on the Frath wiki, at -- any > other comments or questions you've got are welcome. Please also feel > free to add/change/delete things on the Talk page, too. > > > Paul >
The suffixes might coalesce into new lexemes, like [imeD], but roots most probably won't undergo that great a degree of harmonisation, because after all they harmonise differently with different postpositions and hence the underlying root will still take precedence in speakers' minds and eventually reinstate itself analogically across all forms (or not even allow the harmonisation in the first place). The definite article might evolve into an inflection through harmony. Eugene