LINGUIST List 6.1244

Thu Sep 14 1995

Qs: Word delimiters, Russian

Editor for this issue: Anthony M. Aristar <aristartam2000.tamu.edu>


Directory

  1. Hideo Fujii, languages with no between-word delimiters
  2. Josh Rotenberg, Russian Morphology

Message 1: languages with no between-word delimiters

Date: Wed, 13 Sep 1995 17:13:20 languages with no between-word delimiters
From: Hideo Fujii <fujiimackay.cs.umass.edu>
Subject: languages with no between-word delimiters


Dear people of our community,

I want to make a list of languages to classify if a (written) language
uses a between-word delimiter (e.g., space in English), or not.
That is, if it doesn't have such delimiters, we need to segment
for the language processing (by human or computer).

My speculation is that most or many Asian languages need segmentation,
no matter it has a phonetic chatacter set or an ideographic set - but
I am not sure.

Please send your response directly to me, so I will submit the
summary list to the LINGUIST, later. You can tell me:

 1) Name of the language,
 2) Segmentation - Need or No Need,
 3) Letters - Use Alphabets (as a group) or not. Or, other graphic
 group (Cyrillic, Chinese characters, or Own special, etc.).
 No detail.
 4) Note - If you like, short comment.

(Please don't reply *solely* about English, French, German, Spanish, Italian,
 Portugueese, Russian, Chinese, or Japanese. I don't want to receive e-mails
 from whole population of these languages - it's a joke!)

I appreciate your contribution very much.

- Hideo Fujii
 University of Massachusetts
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Message 2: Russian Morphology

Date: Wed, 13 Sep 1995 16:59:52 Russian Morphology
From: Josh Rotenberg <jrotmercury.sfsu.edu>
Subject: Russian Morphology

Dear Linguists,

I have been studying Russian for about three years and have recently begun
studying general linguistics. Several days ago we covered inflectional vs.
derivational morphemes. Unless I am incorrect, it seems that a lexical
morpheme can be either inflectional or derivational, but my first question
is whether or not it can be both (i.e. a prefix can change both the meaning
of the word and the tense). So far I've only received shrugs from my
professors. An item is inflectional if it changes the tense, but what if it
changes the aspect?

My reasoning for this question stems from verbal changes in Russian.
The example I used is as follows:

 (1)
 [pisat'] 'to write' imperfective:may be past, present, future
 [napisat'] 'to write' perfective: only past/future

Both of these verbs have the same meaning, but the first is an action in
progress, and the second a finished action. The adding of the prefix [na-]
makes the verb perfective. Now, in the second example, not only is the
aspect changed (a prefixed verb is made perf. and must have an infix added
to deperfectivise it) but the meaning is changed as well(different prefixes
added can change the meaning of the verb.
 (2)
 [pisat'] 'to write' imperfective:may be past, present, future
 [podpisat'] 'to sign' perfective:only past/future
 [podpisyvat'] 'to sign' imperfective

Hence, my question is can the prefix [pod] (which, in general means 'under'
and is used as both a prefix and a prepostion {bound and unbound}) be
considered an inflectional morpheme because it changes the aspect and a
derivational morpheme because it changes the meaning in contrast, say, to
the infix [yv] which merely changes the aspect?

Any answers (and guesses for that matter) are greatly appreciated. Thank
you in advance.
Josh



_______________________________
Joshua Daniel Rotenberg |
Russian Department |
San Francisco State University |
jrotsfsu.edu |
http://userwww.sfsu.edu/~jrot |
_______________________________|
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