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891Re: Citation form of verbs

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  • David Kiltz
    Feb 13, 2006
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      On 12.02.2006, at 01:35, Carl Hostetter wrote:

      > The actual practice seems to be rather
      > to cite the _least marked_ formation first, followed by whatever forms
      > are necessary to illustrate the other formation classes

      One might add that a formation is used that (generally) conveys the
      best idea of the basic nature of the verb, the most transparent.
      That's not necessarily the present tense. A good example to underline
      Carl's point are Semitic languages which cite the 3rd sg. perfect
      because it's structurally the most transparent. Another example is
      Korean which uses a present form but -lacking person markers- can
      choose between various reverential levels. It uses the one whose
      suffix least modifies the basic verbal stem. Lastly consider
      Sanskrit, which cites roots.

      For most (modern) european languages (germanic, romance, slavic,
      baltic, finnish...) though, it's indeed the (or one) infinitive.

      David Kiltz

      [Harm J. Schelhaas also wrote, to make the same point about Semitic
      citation standards: "As an example of a non IE language with a different
      convention, in Hebrew verbs are cited by 3rd (male) sg. perf. act." CFH]
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