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Re: Evidence of active system in Russian [Re: Roll Your Own IE language]

From:Tim Smith <timsmith@...>
Date:Wednesday, April 7, 1999, 22:02
At 11:19 PM 4/6/99 PDT, Danny Wier wrote:
>I'm finally buckling down on learning Russian, >which I seriously want to be fluent in (along with Spanish and >possibly Arabic). I noticed that masculine singular nouns and all >plural nouns have animate/inanimate distinction in the accusative >case: if animate, same form as genitive; if inanimate, the >nominative. This could almost cause Russian to be a four-gender >language, since some inanimate masculine nouns have a different >plural formation than usual (like _dom_ "house_ > _doma_ "houses", >not _domy_ -- this is probably more likely remnants of an archaic >dual number though). > >This would need further study, since my knowledge in this language is >still rather limited, but a missing link to PIE might've been found >here!
IIRC, this is generally thought to be a relatively recent innovation in the Slavic languages, rather than a survival from PIE that was lost in all the other branches of IE. But now I can't remember where I've read that. ------------------------------------------------- Tim Smith Get your facts first and then you can distort them as you please. - Mark Twain