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USAGE: -ic(al) Re: [CONLANG] Most developed conlang

From:Benct Philip Jonsson <conlang@...>
Date:Saturday, April 28, 2007, 16:14
MorphemeAddict@WMCONNECT.COM skrev:
 > A little more about -ic/-ical:
 > problematical-
 > issue.html
 > stevo </HTML>

I actually had to look up _historic~historical_ and
_politic~political_ and their Swedish definitions.
Interestingly my dictionary points out that the adverb to
_politic_ is _politicly_, so obviously the rule that
adjectives in _-ic_ insert _-al-_ before _-ly-_ may be
overridden in such a case, which begs the question why it
should be continued at all!

I tend to use _-ic_ adjectives without _-al_ -- informally
even without looking them up. I don't think it's purely a
matter of being influenced by other languages -- primarily
Swedish of course. In fact I tend to be quite of my own
mind when writing Swedish too, not least wanting to chop
off what I feel to be empty ornament -- although I rarely
do so in practice. One example is that most verbs borrowed
from Latin and Romance end in _-era_, where _-er-_, which
is a part of the stem and not only of the infinitive,
serves no other purpose than flagging the foreign origin --
except in a very few cases where it may help to distinguish
verbal forms from adjectival or nominal forms. In a very
few verbs like _skiss(er)a_ 'sketch' this empty morph has
in fact been discarded, but then in this case there seems
to have arisen a distinction between concrete _skissa_
(what an artist does) and abstract _skissera_ (what a speech-
maker or writer might do).

When DC says:

# In linguistics these days it is phonetic, phonological,
# grammatical, and semantic (but you will find the
# alternatives in older usage). It is sometimes possible to
# tell the difference between a specialist and a non-
# specialist by the ending: those who talk about syntactical
# structures or semantical problems or linguistical issues
# are hardly likely to be specialists in linguistics.

it strikes me that I of course follow this usage. In the
case of _phonological_ there may be an urge to point out
that _logic_ isn't involved, but that wouldn't explain
the others.

It also strikes me that French happily uses _phonetique_ and
_linguistique_ as both nouns and adjectives (and similarly
for the noun and feminine adjective in other Romance
languages, and of course there are similar cases in other
semantic fields). One would expect them to be tempted to use
_-al_ to distinguish the adjective in such cases, but they
don't. OTOH it seems all European languages use derivatives
of _grammaticalis_, in spite of the fact that both
_grammaticus_ and _grammatica_ served as both nouns and
adjective in classical Latin. Probably it was the scholastic
grammarians who introduced a distinction. Odd that they
should feel the need, while modern scientists and scholars
apperently don't.