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Re: CHAT: query: where to start?

From:J Matthew Pearson <pearson@...>
Date:Thursday, August 10, 2000, 18:38
dirk elzinga wrote:

> On Wed, 9 Aug 2000, J Matthew Pearson wrote: > > > Speaking of non-concatenative morphology, I've recently begun toying with a new > > scheme for marking certain cases in Tokana. Currently, the dative case is marked > > by adding "-i" (/j/) to words ending in a vowel and "-e" to words ending in a > > consonant: > > > > Absolutive Dative > > > > tomla tomlai [tomlaj] "mountain" > > uosu uosoi [wosoj] "pebble" > > esian esiane [ESjanE] "name" > > totsat totsate [totsatE] "table" > > > > Now I'm thinking of changing things so that the dative is always marked by an > > "-i" glide, which gets added to the end of a vowel-final stem, and before the > > final consonant of a consonant-final stem (infixation): > > > > Absolutive Dative > > > > tomla tomlai [tomlaj] "mountain" > > uosu uosoi [wosoj] "pebble" > > esian esiain [ESjajn] "name" > > totsat totsait [totsajt] "table" > > > > Not sure if I'll go with that or not, though... > > Go for it! I'm still smarting from your abandonment of reduplication > in Tokana; it'd be nice to see some noncat morphology again ... :-)
I think my sentiments are leaning towards those of Doug Koller: Keep the original system for the most part, but introduce some random 'exceptions' which feature the infixation version. In fact, I've already begun to do this. A very small number of CVC nouns form what I call "locative adverbs" by adding the oblique prefix "i-" and the infix "-i-". These locative adverbs tend to have an idiosyncratic meaning, as opposed to the regular datives, which have a compositional meaning: lan "path" ilain "en route, on the way (somewhere)" lane "to/on the path" mok "hearth" imoik "home, to/at home" (as in "I went/stayed home") moke "to/at the hearth" Perhaps I'll just add some more of these to the list and be content with that. My major reason for resisting the 'infixing dative' idea is not that I dislike non-concatenative morphology, but that it would spoil the symmetry in the current case system. Right now the five oblique cases are marked by a set of suffixes which generally have two allomorphs--the first used with stems ending in a vowel, and the second used with stems ending in a consonant or glide: After V After C/G Dative uoso-i [wosoj] totsat-e [totsatE] Allative uoso-in [wosojn] totsat-ne [totsatnE] Instrumental uosou-a [wosowa] totsat-a [totsata] Ablative uoso-u [wosow] totsat-u [totsatu] Comitative uoso-um [wosowm] totsat-mo [totsatmo] Suppose I were to replace dative "-e" with an infixed "-i-" glide and ablative "-u" with an infixed "-u-" glide (giving "totsait" [totsajt] and "totsaut" [totsawt] in place of "totsate" and "totsatu"). What would I do about the allative and comitative cases, which seem to be morphologically related to the dative and ablative under the current system? I think I'll just leave things the way they are, and perhaps search for some other way to introduce non-concatenative morphology into Tokana. Matt.