LINGUIST List 6.567

Sat 15 Apr 1995

Sum: Statistics on conjugations

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  1. , Sum: Statistics on Conjugations

Message 1: Sum: Statistics on Conjugations

Date: Wed, 12 Apr 1995 11:39:40 Sum: Statistics on Conjugations
From: <>
Subject: Sum: Statistics on Conjugations

Dear Linguists,

A month ago I posted a query concerning (references to)
statistics on the verbal conjugations (-a-, -e-, -i- congugations
etc) in Latin or other languages that know that kind of form classes.

So far I got two very helpful responses,
one from Manuel Sifre, Universitat Jaume I, Castello' de la Plana
( on Catalan,
and one from Anna Maria Thornton, Universita` degli Studi, l'Aquila
( on Italian. Anna Maria Thornton
published on the subject: "Italiano in Quantita`", _Italiano in Oltre_
ix (1994) 276-285.

The two of them reach similar observations, viz
1. that the frequencies of the conjugations are very unequal
2. that in both languages verbs in -a- represent the overwhelming
 majority, covering some 86% of all verbal lexemes in Catalan,
 and some 68% in Italian.

The relevance for me is that in (Biblical) Hebrew the binyanim
(or: conjugations) show a similar behaviour, with a very unequal
frequency distribution, and one binyan, QAL, being overwhelmingly the
largest (though the figures are different).

Grateful as I am for the responses that I got, I would like to ask once
more: is there anyone with data for other languages?

Thanks in advance,

Arian Verheij

Dr Arian J.C. Verheij | email
VU, Dpt. Biblical Studies & Computer Science | phone +31 20 444 6625/7
De Boelelaan 1105, kr. 14A-38 | fax +31 20 444 6635
NL 1081 HV Amsterdam
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