question: Arabic morphology
|From:||Yoon Ha Lee <yl112@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, August 20, 2000, 21:21|
Okay, I'd been wondering about this for a while but it's taken 2 hrs.
with Mark Rosenfelder's neat but not-useful-to-me-at-the-moment Sound
Change Applier for me to be able to articulate this.
Arabic uses three-consonant verbs, correct? I borrowed this for
Chevraqis (which is a compound, I haven't figured out for what yet, and
the name is subject to change anyway).
I was trying to use the SAC and ran into a problem.
How does the morphology evolve? Right
now I have something like this (Aragis -> Chevraqis):
imperative: aCCaCu -> CiCaCu
causative: CiCoCu -> CiCoCu
generic: CaCaCu -> CeCaCu
Now that I look at essays on how sound change happens, a wholesale shift
like this seems unlikely. My question is, as far as this morphology
business goes, do I apply sound change across a pattern (what I have
above) or per individual word? As it stands I can't figure out a way to
get the SAC to work for me at all, though I'll probably be able to use it
on irregular things and pronouns and so on. I got those patterns by
applying rules (pretty simplistic ones, I'm afraid, but I haven't found
much on common vowel shifts on the web, and a friend has my _Historical
Linguistics_ by Crowley) to the vowels, and then by mutating the
consonants according to *those* rules.
The SAC doesn't let me apply pattern-rules like the above, though; maybe
you can set up the variables in such a way, but I can't figure it out, or
perhaps you could edit the source code, but my C is nonexistent (and my
Java's awful rusty--the closest programming language I know). I tried
applying the sound changes *individually*--the program goes down the list
sequentially--and what came out was considerably different than what I
got using my tedious, by-hand method.
Am I missing something here? Is there a good source on Semitic
languages? I scoured the web and came up with nothing (in English,