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Interesting tidbits about W noun inflections

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Wednesday, September 20, 2000, 1:04
Studying the development of Common Kassí, I realized that changes which
affect plurals would also affect genitive and dative singular.  Common
Kassí had only four cases, nominative, accusative, genitive, and
dative.  In the singular and dual [the modern plural is generalized from
the dual], the declension was:

     S    D
Nom  --   -(r)i    (became absolutive)
Acc  -ehu -(r)ihu  (lost)
Gen  -afë -(r)ifë
Dat  -azë -(r)izë

The r in the dual form was lost in Late Common Kassí

Now, there were postpositions added to the nominative stem, that later
fused to form the other cases.  However, before this happened, there
were certain sound changes.  For instance (using just nominative and
genitive singular):
Nom Sing: sëkërátë -> sëkrát -> sëklát -> sëklás -> saklás  (moon)
Nom Plural: sëkëráti -> sëkráti -> sëkláti -> sakláti
Gen Sing: sëkërátafë -> sëkrátaf -> saklátaf [this stem change also
applies for dative singular]

Thus, in the plural form, and in the genitive and dative singulars,
there's an alternation between s and t.  I'd already known about that in
plural.  There are also cases of "hidden" consonants (traditional term),
e.g., s-láana/sul-láanasi.  Those I also knew of in plural, but not

Now, here's where it gets interesting.  When syllable-final stops became
fricatives, it introduced three new phones, [x], [G], and [X], all
allophones of /k/, /g/, and /q/.  These were eventually lost,
lengthening the previous vowel.  Thus, in the case of words ending in
-kë, e.g., ríkë (ritual), there is now an alternation between
líi/líki/líkaf.  Cases with -gë and -që are more complex.  /g/ became
/j/ before /i/, and /q/ was lost before unstressed vowels.  So:

métagë -> mítaa (aunt)
métagi -> mítayi -> mítyi -> míti (unstressed /a/ before glides was
lost, and Cyi simplified to Ci)
métagafë -> mítagaf

fatágë -> fatáa (mouse-like animal)
fatági -> fatáyi -> fatái (áGV -> áV)
fatágafë -> fatágaf

tëronégë -> tluníi (hand)
tëronégi -> tluníyi -> tluníi (iyi -> ii)
tëronégafë -> tlunígaf

mëkásugë -> makásuu (priest/-ess)
mëkásugi -> makásuyi (-> makáswi) - last change only in some dialects
mëkásugafë -> makásugaf

manúgë -> manúu (great aunt)
manúgi -> manúyi (-> manúi) - last change only in some dialects
manúgafë -> manúgaf

With final -që:
rapësáqë -> lapsáq -> lafsáa (refuge)
rapësáqi -> lapsáqi -> lafsái
rapësáqafë -> lapsáqaf -> lafsáaf

harëtéqë -> artéq -> yaltíi (boat) - the <y> came about later, as a
    reanalysis of the singular py-altíi as p-yaltíi
harëtéqi -> artéqi -> yaltíi
harëtéqafë -> altéqaf -> yaltíaf -> yaltíf

(invented example, no known examples of this type yet)
káteqë -> kátii
káteqi -> kátii
káteqafë -> kátiaf -> kátyaf

malúqë -> malúu
malúqi -> malúi
malúqafë -> malúaf -> malúf

máluqë -> máluu
máluqi -> málui -> málwi
máluqafë -> máluaf -> málwaf

Some long vowels are due to original final VhV or VqV, e.g.,
váha -> váa
váhai -> váai -> vái
váhafë -> váaf

Class I (-kë)
For plural, and for genetive/dative stem, shorten the vowel and add k
(e.g., líi/líki/lík-)

Class II (-gë)
For genetive/dative stem, shorten the vowel and add -g (e.g.,
For plural:
-aa -> -i
-áa -> -ái
-ii -> -ii
-íi -> -íi
-uu -> -uyi/-wi
-úu -> -úyi/-úi

Class III (-që/-VhV/-VqV)
For plural, shorten the vowel and add -i (e.g., tiváa/tivvái - that
    one/those one - feminine); unstressed u before a vowel always
    becomes w
For genetive/dative stem, divided into two subclasses:
IIIb (-VhV/-VqV)
No change (tiváa/tiváa-)
-aa -> -aa
-áa -> -áa (Class III nouns ending in -aa are just called Class III,
     no subdivision)
-ii -> -ya
-íi -> -í
-uu -> -wa
-úu -> -ú

A number of nouns from Classes II and III have moved into Class I, for
two reasons - one, Class I is the largest of the long-vowel nouns, and
two, it's the simplest.  Eventually, with just a few irregular
exceptions, nearly all nouns with long final vowels became class I, but
Classes II and III were still common in Common Watakassí, even when the
language began to break apart.

Also, note that in Class II and Class III, -ii does not change in the
plural, gender-prefixes must indicate that, e.g., pyaltíi/pifyaltíi

Also, all cases except genitive and dative are based on the absolutive
stem, so, for example, the ergative of timanúu is timanúul, not

Dievas dave dantis; Dievas duos duonos
God gave teeth; God will give bread - Lithuanian proverb
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