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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Query Details

Query Subject:   Usurpative Etymology of Suppletive Forms
Author:   Konrad Szczesniak
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Morphology

Query:   Dear Colleagues,

Apart from the well-known examples of suppletion in European languages
(notably “to be”), there are interesting cases of suppletive forms with a
“usurpative” etymology. The form “went” of “go” was usurped from the verb
“wend”, or in Polish “lata” is the plural form of “rok” (year)—a plural
taken from the noun “lato” (summer). We are studying patterns of usurpation
of forms from other verbs or nouns. We will be grateful for examples from
(all possible) languages and will post a summary. Thank you,

Konrad Szczesniak
Silesian University

Marcus Callies
Philipps Universitat Marburg
LL Issue: 17.2948
Date posted: 08-Oct-2006


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