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Re: [ANE-2] A New Year's Question: "suffix pronoun" vs "pronominal suffix"

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  • Peter T. Daniels
    s.u.  -- Peter T. Daniels grammatim@verizon.net Jersey City ________________________________ From: R. Lehmann To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
    Message 1 of 14 , Jan 2, 2011
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      s.u.
       --
      Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
      Jersey City




      ________________________________
      From: R. Lehmann <lehmann@...>
      To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Sun, January 2, 2011 7:42:45 AM
      Subject: Re: [ANE-2] A New Year's Question: "suffix pronoun" vs "pronominal
      suffix"

       
      Am 01.01.2011 um 14:32 schrieb Peter T. Daniels:

      > Germans writing in German (as opposed to dropping Latin phrases in) these days

      > tend to use "Endung" for the conjugational affixes in the perfect and "Suffix"

      > for the pronominal suffixes.
      >
      >
      Amusing. At least myself never use "Endung", because it is in such an extent
      unspecific always someone will confuse it with anything that makes a word longer
      than its lexical entry (plural, locale, whatever you want). "Endung" in my
      opinion is entirely useless.
      > "Afformative" is a Germanism in English, and I
      > don't recall Dennis using "sufformative" and "preformative," but they seem
      > equally foreign.
      >
      Sorry, but "Afformativ" (though it will turn to an Germansim in English - any
      problem?)

       
      Well, yes! German and English are different languages with more than two
      centuries of separate development of philological and linguistic terminology.
       
      sounds perfect in contrast to preformative ("Präformativ") as being the main
      formative element of the verbal conjugation attached pre- and accordingly after
      the root. Ok, the better would fit "Sufformative", but I am afraid it will be a
      long way for the term to be accepted, at least in German ("Präformativ" and
      "Sufformativ"? Sounds strange ... or better tosay "postformative"?).

      > Eng. "affix" is the cover term for prefix, suffix, and infix; "ending" is
      > usually a non-technical equivalent of "suffix" but the ending/suffix
      >distinction
      >
      > could be convenient. It falls down, though, because "prefix," needed just as
      > much in Semitic, has no "ending"-like counterpart.
      >
      Right. But practical language use has long since undermined etymology, at least
      in German, because there also is an (old) loan word "affigieren" which means "to
      attach something to (at the end)"...

      That, you see, is precisely the problem. It's a false friend. "To affix" does
      _not_ mean 'to attach at the end', but simply 'to attach'. You affix a postage
      stamp to a letter, for instance.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Robert M Whiting
      ... No, this is not true. Essentially, any English noun can be used as an adjective (and vice versa). Indeed, some grammarians do not distinguish noun and
      Message 2 of 14 , Jan 2, 2011
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        On Sat, 1 Jan 2011, Douglas Petrovich wrote:

        > Technically speaking, "suffix pronoun" features two nouns, and thus is
        > grammatically incorrect in English.

        No, this is not true. Essentially, any English noun can be used as an
        adjective (and vice versa). Indeed, some grammarians do not distinguish
        noun and adjective at this level and subsume both under "substantives".
        In any case, "noun" and "adjective" are function labels (not "functional
        labels") and whether a given substantive functions as a noun or an
        adjective depends entirely on its use in its own context. If you object
        to "suffix pronoun" on grammatical grounds, then you must also object to
        "brain damage", "heart disease", and "lung cancer" on grammatical grounds
        because "brain", "heart", and "lung" are all clearly nouns. So it is the
        attributive use of "suffix" in "suffix pronoun" that makes it an
        adjective, not any immutable characterization assigned to it at birth.

        "Suffix pronoun" is a morphological category in contradistinction to
        "independent pronoun". As such, it serves a useful purpose in
        classification systems, but outside of this function the concept is better
        expressed by either "suffixed pronoun" or "pronominal suffix". I usually
        avoid the classifcation problem by referring to "bound forms" or "free
        forms" of the personal pronouns.

        > The only legitimate alternative would be to hyphenate the words
        > ("suffix-pronoun"), which essentially is the cowardly way out.

        No, hyphenation (or conjoining) is used to indicate that the collocation
        is a single stress unit rather than two stress units. It is the difference
        between "black bird" and "blackbird". Here there is a dialectal preference
        operating in that British English often writes a single stress unit as two
        words while American English tends to hyphenate it. Similarly, words that
        Americans would write as a single word the British tend to hyphenate.
        Otherwise, one would not write an adjective-noun collation comprising two
        stress units with a hyphen unless the entire unit were being used as an
        adjective (e.g., "paintings of the seventeenth century", but
        "seventeenth-century paintings").

        > So, one is left to ask, "Is it a suffix, or is it a pronoun?"

        Presumably, then, when encountering an expression such as "paper clip",
        one is left to ask "is it a paper, or is it a clip?" -- is a "paper clip"
        a clip for papers or is it a clip made out of paper. Such conumdrums as
        "wood stove" or "picture window" must leave one completely
        baffled, befuddled, and bewildered.

        > This is what has led several of our respondents to suggest "suffixed
        > pronoun" as a viable alternative.

        No, what leads to the suggestion of "suffixed pronoun" is the fact that
        while "suffix pronoun" is fine as a morphological classification or
        category, once you use a suffix pronoun it becomes a suffixed pronoun. A
        "suffix pronoun" is a pronoun that has the form of a suffix or can only be
        used as a suffix. A "suffixed pronoun" is a pronoun that has been used as
        a suffix. When speaking of morphological categories, "suffix pronoun" is
        a quite acceptable term; when speaking of actual usage, the term "suffixed
        pronoun" or "pronominal suffix" is usually more appropriate.

        > In reference to one of your other comments along these lines, I would
        > suggest to you that the two grammatically acceptable choices ("suffix
        > pronoun" not being one of them) are indeed completely interchangeable,
        > and that there is NO matter of using one or the other to stress the
        > pronoun or the noun. This is an artificial notion.

        In order to make sense of this I will assume that by "noun" in the
        next-to-last sentence you meant "suffix".

        I'm sorry, but this is hardly an "artificial notion". It is distiction
        that that is fundamental to English grammar, and particularly syntax. A
        noun is the name of something; as such it serves as the subject or object
        of the verb. Almost all English sentences are about what the noun does or
        has done to it. In any case, the noun is what is being talked about in an
        English sentence that has both a noun and a verb. When one uses the
        expression "suffix pronoun" or "suffixed pronoun" one is talking about
        pronouns, because that's what the noun is; when one uses the expression
        "pronominal suffix" one is talking about suffixes because that's what the
        noun is. Now it is true that a "suffix(ed) pronoun" is a pronoun that has
        the form of or is used as a suffix and that a "pronominal suffix" is a
        suffix that represents a pronoun, so there is little distinction in the
        meaning; but which one is more appropriate in any particular context
        depends on whether you are talking about pronouns or suffixes. You seem
        to have a very tenuous grasp on English grammar. Just out of curiosity,
        what is your native language?

        > The only other matter worth mentioning is that the respondent who
        > prefers "suffixed pronoun" likely reveals the "gut feeling" of most
        > native English speakers who are neither familiar or comfortable with the
        > established pronominal form for the word pronoun, which--in this
        > case-happens to be the word "pronominal".

        I find this to be incomprehensible. The only assuption that allows it to
        make sense is that for "established pronominal form" you meant
        "established adjectival form", but that just yields a fairly long-winded
        statement that most English speakers don't like the word "pronominal".
        Since there is no evidence offered for the assertion that a majority of
        native speakers don't like this word, it still makes no sense.

        > Why abandon the established form for the one chosen? Many of us are just
        > not comfortable using what is so unfamiliar. Honestly, though, most of
        > us do the same with a wide variety of other adjectives, as well. For
        > example, we tend to say "participle form" over "participial form", and
        > so on. This is just a lack of discipline leading to a dumbing down.

        Whether "participle form" or "participial form" is more appropriate
        depends entirely on whether one is talking about participle forms or
        participial forms. Similarly, it should also be noted that "pronoun
        suffix" and "pronominal suffix" do not mean the same thing. A "pronominal
        suffix" is a suffix used to express a pronoun while a "pronoun suffix" is
        a suffix used with pronouns (in much the same way as a paper clip is a
        clip used for papers).


        Bob Whiting
        whiting@...
      • Peter T. Daniels
        Actually, in Latin grammar the substantive and the adjective are the two kinds of noun.  -- Peter T. Daniels grammatim@verizon.net Jersey City
        Message 3 of 14 , Jan 2, 2011
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          Actually, in Latin grammar the substantive and the adjective are the two kinds
          of noun.
           --
          Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
          Jersey City




          ________________________________
          From: Robert M Whiting <whiting@...>
          To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Sun, January 2, 2011 12:30:50 PM
          Subject: Re: [ANE-2] A New Year's Question: "suffix pronoun" vs "pronominal
          suffix"

           
          On Sat, 1 Jan 2011, Douglas Petrovich wrote:

          > Technically speaking, "suffix pronoun" features two nouns, and thus is
          > grammatically incorrect in English.

          No, this is not true. Essentially, any English noun can be used as an
          adjective (and vice versa). Indeed, some grammarians do not distinguish
          noun and adjective at this level and subsume both under "substantives".
          In any case, "noun" and "adjective" are function labels (not "functional
          labels") and whether a given substantive functions as a noun or an
          adjective depends entirely on its use in its own context.

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Frank Polak
          Please, let me return to the Latin. The latin passive participle suffixum means attached , suffixed if you want. In Noeldeke s usage it is shorthand for
          Message 4 of 14 , Jan 2, 2011
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            Please, let me return to the Latin. The latin passive participle
            suffixum means "attached",
            "suffixed" if you want. In Noeldeke's usage it is shorthand for
            "pronomen suffixum" or
            suffix(ed) pronoun. The alternative "bound" or "free" form seems
            preferable in linguistic
            context.

            Best regards,

            Frank Polak
            Tel Aviv University

            On 02/01/2011, at 19:30, Robert M Whiting wrote:
            > "Suffix pronoun" is a morphological category in contradistinction to
            > "independent pronoun". As such, it serves a useful purpose in
            > classification systems, but outside of this function the concept is
            > better
            > expressed by either "suffixed pronoun" or "pronominal suffix". I
            > usually
            > avoid the classifcation problem by referring to "bound forms" or "free
            > forms" of the personal pronouns.
            >
            >



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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