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Re: Conlangs and English Language History

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  • Patrick Dunn
    they was borrowed from Old Norse. The original Old English third person plural pronoun was hie. The third person pronoun system in the nominative in OE
    Message 1 of 35 , Apr 27, 2013
      "they" was borrowed from Old Norse. The original Old English third person
      plural pronoun was "hie." The third person pronoun system in the
      nominative in OE was:

      he -- he
      heo -- she
      hie -- they

      "she" comes from the demonstrative feminine "seo," IIRC. And "they" comes
      from Old Norse.

      Pronouns tend to be *fairly* stable and not be borrowed, but it does
      happen. Heh. Obviously.

      --Patrick


      On Sat, Apr 27, 2013 at 11:03 AM, H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...> wrote:

      > On Sat, Apr 27, 2013 at 08:57:54AM -0500, Patrick Dunn wrote:
      > [...]
      > > If you're going to have a culture conquered by another culture
      > > speaking a different language, you might look at the transition from
      > > Old English to Middle English to see how that works out in one case.
      > > But you're probably not going to want to borrow your third person
      > > plural pronoun from a *third* language just because English did: that
      > > was weird.
      > [...]
      >
      > Really, English got its 3PL pronoun from a third language? Which one
      > would that be?
      >
      > One thing that has always struck me as very odd is the fact that IE
      > pronouns seem to be all over the map. Are there any references that
      > explain exactly where they came from and why?
      >
      > Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but when I see things like Russian
      > _его_ (3SG acc.) vs. Greek _ἐγω_ (1SG nom.), or English _me_ (1SG acc.)
      > vs. Russian _мы_ (1PL nom.), it makes me wonder if they're cognates, and
      > if so, why such drastic differences in meaning? Or why in Greek various
      > cognates of _αὐτο_ (reflexive pron., IIRC) came to be used as 3rd person
      > pronouns (like _ἐαυτο_, etc.)? While, at the same time, other things
      > like English _thee_ and Russian _ты_, or Russian _-(е/и)те_ vs. Greek
      > _-ετε_ appear to have survived the ravages of time mostly untouched.
      >
      > Are these merely superficial coincidences, or signs of something really
      > weird going on with IE pronominal systems?
      >
      >
      > T
      >
      > --
      > Perhaps the most widespread illusion is that if we were in power we
      > would behave very differently from those who now hold it---when, in
      > truth, in order to get power we would have to become very much like
      > them. -- Unknown
      >



      --
      Second Person, a chapbook of poetry by Patrick Dunn, is now available for
      order from Finishing Line
      Press<http://www.finishinglinepress.com/NewReleasesandForthcomingTitles.htm>
      and
      Amazon<http://www.amazon.com/Second-Person-Patrick-Dunn/dp/1599249065/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1324342341&sr=8-2>.
    • Leonardo Castro
      ... Nice! I have already considered or for /ŋ/ and or for homorganic nasals. I think your choices are probably the best looking; teñki
      Message 35 of 35 , May 9, 2013
        2013/4/30 Herman Miller <hmiller@...>:
        > On 4/30/2013 12:38 PM, Leonardo Castro wrote:
        >>
        >> 2013/4/30 BPJ<bpj@...>:
        >>>
        >>> 2013-04-30 13:49, Leonardo Castro skrev:
        >>>
        >>>> BTW, does anyone have a system that distinguishes /n/, /m/, /N/ and a
        >>>> general nasal stop /~/ with Roman characters?
        >>>
        >>>
        >>>
        >>> You mean nasalization like in French or Portuguese I suppose,
        >>> coz that's what /~/ is.
        >>
        >>
        >> I meant a nasal stop that has the same place of articulation as the
        >> following consonant. That is, it "absorbs" the place of articulation
        >> of the following consonant.
        >
        >
        > Sounds like anusvara in Indic languages, which can be represented as m with
        > a dot under it (ṃ). If you're using <ṃ>, you might as well also use <ṅ> (n
        > with dot above) for /ŋ/.
        >
        > In Yasaro romanization I use <ñ> for homorganic nasals and <ŋ> (eng) for
        > /ŋ/.

        Nice! I have already considered <ñ> or <ŋ> for /ŋ/ and <ñ> or <~> for
        homorganic nasals. I think your choices are probably the best looking;
        "teñki" looks a lot better than "te~ki". There's also the option of
        letting <n> always stand for homorganic nasals before consonants and
        for /n/ before vowels, if you conlang doesn't have minimal pairs that
        cause ambiguity in this system.

        Até mais!

        Leonardo
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