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Re: Terkunan: rules for deriving nouns, verbs, adjectives

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  • Dirk Elzinga
    ... The deletion of schwa in inflectional endings such as the past tense and past participle was pretty much complete by 1600, though poets continued to take
    Message 1 of 39 , Nov 2, 2007
      On 11/2/07, Eugene Oh <un.doing@...> wrote:
      > 2007/10/31, Dirk Elzinga <dirk.elzinga@...>:
      > > It is not true that sound changes do not take morphological boundaries
      > > into account. Consider the following examples from a non-standard
      > > variety of English:
      > >
      > [snip examples]
      > >
      > > Here the final clusters have *not* been simplified. The difference
      > > between the two sets of examples is the presence of a morpheme
      > > boundary between the consonants of the cluster in the second set;
      > > there is no such morpheme boundary in the clusters of the first set of
      > > examples (with the possible exception of 'told', which the past
      > > tense/past participle of 'tell'.)
      > >
      > > So it seems that morphological information is crucial to understanding
      > > this change, and your statement that "sound changes don't care the
      > > least of the morphological structure
      > > of the word" is not true, or is at best overstated.
      > >
      > > Dirk
      > >
      >
      > It might have been that this variety retained the schwa in the
      > past-tense ending long enough for the cluster simplification not to
      > have affected it.

      The deletion of schwa in inflectional endings such as the past tense
      and past participle was pretty much complete by 1600, though poets
      continued to take advantage of the possibility of its pronunciation
      for metrical purposes into the 18th century. The examples come from
      AAVE, which wasn't established in North America until well into the
      18th century, so the absence of schwa in these suffixes was a
      characteristic of this variety from its inception.

      Also I observe that the second set of words involves
      > historical geminates which could have resulted in a different
      > simplification: that of [rolld] > [rold] vs. [told] > [tol], for
      > example. It isn't a perfect example.

      The examples are fine. There is no geminate in 'rolled'; the verb was
      borrowed from Old French at a time when there had already ceased to be
      a singleton/geminate distinction in English. The geminate spelling in
      the second group of examples has more to do with the pronunciation of
      the vowel as short rather than long.

      > Eugene

      Dirk
    • And Rosta
      [Replyint to Tristan & Mark] ... OK. See below. Using CXS ( ) and standard British phoneme symbolization (because it s standard,
      Message 39 of 39 , Nov 3, 2007
        [Replyint to Tristan & Mark]
        T. A. McLeay, On 02/11/2007 17:08:
        > On Wed, 31 Oct 2007 08:31:31 -0400, "Mark J. Reed" <markjreed@...>
        > said:
        >> Could you elaborate on the pronunciations of those pairs?

        OK. See below. Using CXS (<http://www.theiling.de/ipa/>) and standard British phoneme symbolization (because it's standard, not because I like it).

        [...]

        >> I'm not sure about "madder" the color, since I've never heard that
        >> word before, but I suspect it would sound the same as the "angrier"
        >> version. Is there a parallel distinction between the herpetic and
        >> arithmetic meanings of "adder" in those same dialects?
        >
        > If "madder" is monomorphemic, it'd be [m&d@] for me; whereas if it's
        > bimorphemic (mad+er) then it's [m&:d@]. Likewise "gladden". But before
        > -d the distinction is only available in four adjectives (bad, glad, mad
        > and sad), and so "adder" only has one pronunciation.

        True, I believe, for Australia & SE England (for those speakers who do have /a/ lengthening). But in, e.g. Ulster & (iirc) some East Coast US cities (e.g. Baltimore? -- I'm relying on 20 year old memories here), the lengthening is conditioned only phonologically and not lexically, so /a/ lengthens in _add_, and hence _adder_ 'augmenter' = _sadder_ != _adder_ 'snake' = _ladder_.

        > (However, I've never heard the words "madder"=brown or "gladden"=iris
        > before, but the above are the obvious spelling pronunciations.)

        I guess some conlangers will at least recall that Isildur was killed in the Battle of the Gladden Fields?
        <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disaster_of_the_Gladden_Fields>

        > But, most of the examples And lists below confuse me. "Gladden" seems to
        > be the only example of a sound change being aware of morphological
        > boundaries; the rest are created using the same simple rules before and
        > after the sound change has ceased to become active.

        They're all instances of sound-change creating contrasts that are (synchronically) sensitive to morphological juncture.

        >> finger : singer [everywhere but NW England]

        /ng/ = [Ng]
        /ng+/ = [N]

        >> madder (brown) : madder (more mad)
        >> gladden (iris) : gladden (make glad) [various places]

        In the Ulster/'Baltimore' variety, /a/ = [a:] before C+ (for certain Cs (lenis Cs?)).

        In the Australia/SE England variety, it may be that the contrast is phonemicized, e.g. /ad/ 'ad, add' vs /ma:d/ 'mad', with /a:/ phonotactically restricted to "___ lenis-C +" environments. If so, it's pretty marginal. E.g. for me, in the environment "__ g +", it is categorically always [a:] and not [a] (so e.g. _dragger_ and _dagger_ don't rhyme).

        >> pause : paws [demotic SE England]

        _pause_ /pO:z/ [poz]
        _paws_ /pO:+z/ [pOz]

        The rule is that /O:/ = [O] before a morphological juncture and [o] elswhere.

        >> hula : ruler [SE England]

        _hula_ /hu:l@/ [hu\l6]
        _ruler_ /ru:l+@] [rul6]

        /u:/ = [u] before tautomorphemic /l/
        /u:/ = [u\] elsewhere

        >> holy : holey [SE England]

        _holy_ /h@Uli/ [h6U\li]
        _holey_ /h@Ul+i/ [hQUli]

        /@U/ = [QU] before tautomorphemic /l/
        /@U/ = [6U\] elsewhere

        >> nose : knows [Leeds]

        _nose_ /n@Uz/ [noz]
        _knows_ /n@U+z/ [nQUz]

        /@U/ = [QU] before a morphological juncture and [o] elswhere.

        >> pride : pried [Northumbria]

        _pride_ /praId/ [prEId]
        _pried_ /praI+d/ [praId]

        /aI/ = [aI] before a morphological juncture and [EI] elswhere (IIRC).

        >> brood : brewed [Scotland, Ireland]

        _brood_ /brud/ [bru\d]
        _brewed_ /bru+d/ [bru\:d]

        (I forget what the details of the rule are here. Beyond England I tend to get a bit hazy.)

        --And.
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