Re: Ablaut and Infix Origins
|From:||Eric Christopherson <rakko@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, February 24, 2008, 7:29|
On Feb 23, 2008, at 10:28 PM, Jeffrey Jones wrote:
> I don't really understand how ablaut and infixing come about. I've
> been trying
> to find information online with good explanations without any
> success. I found one paper on the theory of infix origins but it
> was very
> Chomskyan. Another summarized the different types but didn't give a
> me "feel"
> for it. There seems to be even less satisfactory information on
> ablaut origins.
> Apparently all the existing ablaut systems came about thousands of
> years ago.
> Any ideas?
Funny you'd mention that -- I finally got around to reading some of
_A natural history of infixation_, by Alan C. L. Yu (Amazon: <http://
talks about four origins: metathesis; entrapment; reduplication
mutation; and morphological excrescence and prosodic stem association.
For ablaut, you might follow Guy Deutscher's hypothetical model of
some features of Semitic morphology in his _The unfolding of
language_ (Amazon: <http://www.amazon.com/Unfolding-Language-Guy-
ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1203837261&sr=1-1>). His scenario depends on
sound changes in vowels caused by adjacent consonants (such as
pharyngeals), which then spread by analogy.
Finally, I know of a short paper by Adrian Macelaru called
"Compensatory Metathesis as a Source of Nonconcatenative Morphology:
Semitic Evidence". There used to be a Google-cached copy of it
somewhere on the web, but unfortunately I can't find it now. As the
title suggests, it implicates metathesis, but in this case it's
compensatory -- where, e.g., the loss of a final vowel happens at the
same time that some echo of that vowel occurs inside the word. Maybe
if we can find him we can ask him for a copy; he seemed very nice,
Infixes, ablaut, and nonconcatenative morphology are some of my
favorite morphological things.