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Re: English Construct State/Future Arabic

From:Danny Wier <dawier@...>
Date:Thursday, February 21, 2002, 13:29
From: "Tristan" <anstouh@...>

| On Sun, 17 Feb 2002, Nik Taylor wrote:

| > > I was trying to construct a future variety of English, and I wondered:
| > > given the English speaker's tendency to slur the preposition 'of',
| > > would the development of an English construct state be likely?
| > > Sample:
| > > haus
| > > hausV
| > > hauz@z
| > > hauz@zV

| I kinda think that it'll be a suffix---that's how it's currently used. And
| English much prefers a word ending in a vowel than one starting in one,
| 'specially an unstressed one. It would, however, not replace 's because it
| would be applied to the word that *gets* owned or whatever, rather than
| the one that does the owning (is there a term for this?).
| At any rate, most of my peers and myself tend to have the word 'of'
| treated much like 'an'---it's /@/ before a consonant, /@v/ before a vowel.
| Tristan

 This makes me wonder a few things, and it all has to do with the mass
internationalization of English. The "construct state" is strangely like Persian
_ezafeh_, with the value /e/ after consonants and /je/ after vowels, used for
expressions of "X-of-Y". The weakening of "f" in "of" has a strange parallel in
Irish/Scots Gaelic: when /f/ is lenited (written "fh"), it becomes zero, while
when it is "nasalized" (written "bfh", yuck!), it becomes /v/ (which has the
sound value of [v], [B] or [w]). And finally, maybe spoken English is taking on
a polysynthetic structure along the lines of spoken French.



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