LINGUIST List 2.343

Wednesday, 10 July 1991

Disc: Mood, CTP-Phenomena, Circumfixes

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  1. Nicholas Ostler TRMC, Responses: Indirect Objects, Mood
  2. "John A. Rea", CTP-Phenomena & Varia
  3. "John A. Rea", Circumfixes etc

Message 1: Responses: Indirect Objects, Mood

Date: Sun, 7 Jul 1991 22:22 +0100
From: Nicholas Ostler TRMC <>
Subject: Responses: Indirect Objects, Mood
Two appropriate terms used in Sanskrit grammar (e.g. Whitney) are
"Benedictive" and "Precative".
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Message 2: CTP-Phenomena & Varia

Date: Sat, 06 Jul 91 16:25:00 EST
From: "John A. Rea" <JAREA%UKCC.uky.eduRICEVM1.RICE.EDU>
Subject: CTP-Phenomena & Varia
I jotted down the following Kentucky utterances a few years back. There
were more, but I don't have them at hand. Since Kentucky is not my native
woodsong, I can only mention them, not play around with them:
 I found where that he was buried.
 I don't know who that it was.
 He was telling me how that his father went to x....
 .....the period in which that they were made.
 I don't know what that their grandfather did.
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Message 3: Circumfixes etc

Date: Sat, 06 Jul 91 12:40:23 EST
From: "John A. Rea" <JAREA%UKCC.uky.eduRICEVM1.RICE.EDU>
Subject: Circumfixes etc
I hand not before run across the term 'circumfix' and my example may not be
appropriate, since I have also lost the query which contained it. Bergamask,
a dialect spoken in northern Italy has, as do a number of other northern
Italian dialects (I do not speak here of Rhaeto-Romance), the following type
of verb conjugation. (Note: I use capitalization to indicate placement of
stress, and the verbs in question are 'first conjugation', that is they
correspond to Latin -are, Spanish -ar, and French -er types).
Infinitives: tirA 'to pull' skaA 'to dig, excavate'
 tIre antIra skAe miskAa
 tetIret tirI teskAet skaI
 altIra itIra liskAa iskAa
The imperfect shows some results not only of the loss of final /t/, but also
of intervocalic Latin /b/ and /v/ (or /w/ if you prefer, yielding some nice
three vowel sequences that someone was asking about. Thus 'we were washing'
comes out milaAa, and 'he was digging' yields liskaAa. (for third singular
the development will be clearer if we keep in mind Latin lavabat, minus its
v, b, and t. It is worth mentioning that /laAa/ is three distinct syllables,
with no 'sinalefa' as in Spanish, and no glottal stops.
 Phonologically the /a/ on /altIra/, /alkAnta/ 'he sings', etc. is a
prothetic vowel, the third singular prefix being simply /l/: thus when an
impure s (initial s+cons) requires a prothetic /i/ (think about Spanish
/e/ in escuela), the /a/ is not needed. Some of you will remember Fellini's
movie /m rkord/ = I remember = je me rappelle = mi ricordo, which in his
Rimini dialect also required a prothetic /a/ for /m/ --> [am], and another
/a/ for /rkord/ to become [arkord], hence the American title 'Amarcord'.
I should probably say that Bergamask
is a pro-drop (term I don't really like) dialect. Thus any of the utterances
I used as an example would be unchanged if an overt subject were added, noun
or (emphatic) pronoun. Thus /alkanta/ 'he is singing, = Spanish or Italian
'canta'; /pier alkanta/ 'Pier (Peter, Pedro) is singing; /lylkanta/ 'he
(contrastive, or emphatic) is singing; /oter kantI/ 'you (contrastive) are
singing'; /tetekAntet/ 'you informal (contrastive) are singing'. (Sorry to h
have left out indications of strss in a couple of these.)
 The /liskaAa/ would serve as an example of three vowels in a row in
reference to another question: this would be written, "'L iscaaa" in
what passes for standard orthography, with or without a grave accent on
the middle 'a'.
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