LINGUIST List 13.1728

Tue Jun 18 2002

Qs: Suppletive "very", Whorf--"a dripping spring"

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  1. Mark Donohue, suppletive 'very'
  2. David Iannucci, Whorf--"a dripping spring"

Message 1: suppletive 'very'

Date: Tue, 18 Jun 2002 00:52:26 +0000
From: Mark Donohue <>
Subject: suppletive 'very'

In Dutch there is a surplus of words that, when modifying another
adjective, translate as 'very': erg, zeer, echt, hardstikke, geweldig,
heel, and probably some more that I don't know about. However,
something that struck me was the fact that none of these adverbs are
commonly used with colours, and some other adjectives. For instance,
while zwart 'black' *can*, grammatically, occur with any of the
adverbs above, speakers prefer a suppletive adverb pik: pik zwart
'very black'. Other examples include kledder nat 'soaking wet'.

Now, I can remember at one time knowing a lot more of these
'suppletive adverbs' in Dutch. So question 1 is directed to Dutch

what other 'suppletive adverbs' can you think of? I seem to remember
there being more of them on colour terms, but I could be wrong.

Question 2, more general:

who knows of more of these apparently suppletive adverbs in other

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Message 2: Whorf--"a dripping spring"

Date: Tue, 18 Jun 2002 13:41:25 +0000
From: David Iannucci <>
Subject: Whorf--"a dripping spring"

I have a very vague recollection of a nice bit of analysis related to
the Whorf hypothesis which I cant find. It involved (I think)
Whorf's analysis of the phrase "a dripping spring" in (I think) an
Apachean language which made the structure of the phrase seem
extremely exotic. The nice analysis turned the tables by analyzing
the English phrase "a dripping spring" in a way which made the English
structures seem equally "exotic". The latter may be by Hoijer or
Lenneberg or... Anyone know where I can find it? Thanks.

Dave Iannucci, Linguistics, U. of Utah			U 
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