LINGUIST List 15.2681
Tue Sep 28 2004
Qs: Segollate Words; Morpheme Searchable Database
Editor for this issue: Naomi Fox <foxlinguistlist.org>
Seeking Database Searchable by Number of Morphemes
Question on Segollate Words
Message 1: Seeking Database Searchable by Number of Morphemes
From: Helen Brookman <hbrookmanhotmail.com>
Subject: Seeking Database Searchable by Number of Morphemes
I'm seeking a searchable database of English words, similar in form
to the MRC Psycholinguistics database, which I can narrow my search
by (or at least have listed) the number of morphemes contained in
the words. Does such a thing exist? If so, where is it available from?
Postgraduate Research Student
University of Birmingham
Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics
Message 2: Question on Segollate Words
From: Vadim Cherny <vadim_lvcenter-tv.net>
Subject: Question on Segollate Words
Recently, a student inquired me of the origin of segollate words
(kelev). I have never particularly dwelled on the problem, and a
quick search both in the library and Internet did not produce much
I was able, however, to offer a hypothesis, which I describe below.
It seems rather obvious and was probably advanced by someone else
before. So, I would appreciate any references or informed criticism
1. calAv (kamatz-kamatz)
2. cAlav (kamatz-kamatz, stress on the first syllable). Accent'
shift to the first open light syllable seems common to vulgar
dialects; cf. cEE.gar, ShEE.cago, DEE.troit, also in Russian pal'.tO
-- pOl'.to, and in Ashkenazic SabbAth -- ShO'.bos
3. cAi.lav (kamatz-iud-kamatz). Introduction of iud to close the
open stressed syllable is prominent in Ashkenazic.
4. cE.lav (tzere-kamatz). The ai sound transformed into the
diphthong ae, approximated by tzere. Unlike the pure tzere, ae has
more of kamatz sound.
5. cElv. Unstressed kamatz after heavily stressed tzere turned
into the movable shva.
The form cElv led to three developments.
a. cElev (segol-segol) from cElv (tzere-shva). The phenomenon of
tzere-shva dissolving into segol-segol can be observed in cotevt --
cotevet, mahbert -- mahberet.
b. cEl.bu. The tendency of tzere in open syllable to appropriate
the next consonant to close the syllable is of the same nature as the
tendency of introducing iud to close the open syllable with tzere,
talmideinu. Shortening of tzere into patah or hirek, cAl.bu or
sIf.ru, is due to the word elongation by unstressed suffix, like in
itlabesh -- itlabashti.
c. cel.bI (pronoun suffix is stressed) from cEl.bu. Since tzere
in cel.bI is actually ae, it dissolved when losing stress into either
patah or hirek, thus sif.rI and cal.bI.
In plural with ending ei (tzere-iud), vulgar stress cannot fall on
the first syllable, since tzere is generally stressed. Therefore,
syllables are not transformed, and dagesh does not appear.
The necessary stressing of tzere explains another curiosity, the
unstressed pronoun suffixes in verbs (dva.rhA, but catAv.ti). The
original form of the past tense verbs, catEv (kamatz-tzere),
transformed into catEv.ti, and shortened by unstressed suffix into
catAv.ti. Rearrangement of the syllables explains the dagesh in the
verb suffixes, while not in the noun suffixes.
Thank you in advance for your comments,
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics; Phonetics; Phonology
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