Re: A Franco-Turkic a posteriori language
|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, January 13, 2005, 18:12|
On Wednesday, January 12, 2005, at 11:18 , Doug Dee wrote:
> In a message dated 1/12/2005 6:01:25 AM Eastern Standard Time, isaacp@UKR.
>>> I suppose I could just be satisfied by maintaining case marking on the
>>> article, and letting the -s on nouns just mark plural.
>> I think that makes sense.
> Come to think of it, there are also some Old French nouns that have a
> different stem in the Nom sg. vs. other forms:
> Nom sg li ber
> obl sg le baron
> nom pl. li baron
> obl pl les barons
> Perhaps Frankish could retain the stem alternation even though the -s
> to mark plural only.
Ah yes, the imparisyllabic nouns :)
The final -s did mark both plural cases of feminine nouns, but only the
acc. plural of masculines. This means, of course, that feminine nouns did
not distinguish between nom. & obl. in the plural and many of them also
showed no case distinction in the singular. If -s comes to be used for all
nouns in both plural forms, it means a break-down of case distinction in
the plural which is likely - as in fact it did - hasten the break-down of
the case system entirely in nouns and adjectives.
Indeed the case system of Old French did start to disintegrate in the 12th
century. It means the case system was still apparently intact at the time
of the 1st Crusade (1059) but had already started to disintegrate by the
2nd Crusade (1147).
It could have been kept alive, I suppose, if the definite article & other
determinatives kept the case distinctions as, for example, in modern
German. But even there, the feminine forms did not retain case
distinctions in Old French. All in all, it seems to me doubtful that the
nom. ~ obl. case distinction would have survived.
Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight,
which is not so much a twilight of the gods
as of the reason." [JRRT, "English and Welsh" ]