Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: Verb-second ... verb-penultimate languages?

From:Nik Taylor <yonjuuni@...>
Date:Tuesday, April 25, 2006, 20:25
Tristan Alexander McLeay wrote:
> Well---and take this as devil's advocate, not me telling you you're > wrong about your own speech---_"shoe%string_ is a compound composed of > two morphemes both of which underlyingly possesss stress. It's like > _"tooth%brush_; no-one would reduce the second syllable to [@] (unless > that's what "brush" has anyway, but that's not reduction). But > _"lightning_ would have (for me) a [@] except that it ends in a velar, > which much prefers unstressed [I] instead. (Well, your English > probably works differently from mine in this regard; I expect they do > in so many other ways anyway.)
Even if so, *are* there any disyllabic or polysyllabic verbs in English ending in -ing, other than "lightning"*, that aren't compound words such as "shoestring"? I can't think of any, which makes this putative rule apply to only a single verb in the entire English language! *It occurs to me that "lightning", at least in my mind, parses to an irregular contraction of "lighten" + "ing", since the lightning bolts "lighten" the night sky. That could, conceivably, be another reason for the idiomatic reduction, since otherwise you'd have the morpheme -ing doubled. Incidentally, for me, I have [iN] in the suffix -ing. I've always considered it to be phonemically /iN/ rather than the more common transcription /IN/, though, very carefully listening to myself pronounce triplets such as "seen/sing/sin", I realize that it has the quality of /i/, but the duration of /I/, i.e., something like [si:n ~ siN ~ sIn]. I still think of it as an allophone of /i/, simply because that's what it sounds like to me.