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Re: [Lambengolmor] Aorist across verb classes

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  • G. Dyke
    [Greg had written:] ... I m sorry, I was going back to Quenya on that one. I talked to a greek studying friend of mine who assures me that in ancient greek at
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 6, 2002
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      [Greg had written:]

      > This could mean that derived stems either have no aorist; or that their
      > aorist is identical to their "present continuous".

      I'm sorry, I was going back to Quenya on that one.

      I talked to a greek studying friend of mine who assures me that in ancient
      greek at any rate, there are no whole verb classes which do not have an
      aorist, although you do come across the odd verb or two which don't

      Greg
    • Ivan A Derzhanski
      ... Roughly speaking, the presence of more derivational morphology in lexical innovations may conflict with whatever inflexional morphology distinguishes the
      Message 2 of 7 , Jun 6, 2002
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        "G. Dyke" wrote:
        > I'm afraid I have no Greek to add, but Ivan's remark that
        > "the latter is typical of lexical innovations" reminds me
        > of the French infinitive forms:

        Roughly speaking, the presence of more derivational morphology
        in lexical innovations may conflict with whatever inflexional
        morphology distinguishes the two stems in the verbs of the core
        vocabulary.

        [...]
        > although I know of no other languages with aorist, it does not seem
        > particularly strange that some verb classes should have a particular
        > form which others don't.

        Going back to Quenya: If it is the case that the present stem
        is obtained from the aorist one by lengthening the root vowel
        and replacing the final vowel by _-a_ (as in the pair _quete_
        `says' vs _quéta_ `is saying'), what shall we expect if (as in
        the case of _-ta/-ya_-verbs) the aorist stem already ends in _-a_
        and the root vowel can't be lengthened, because it is in a closed
        syllable? -- The two stems will coincide, which the language may
        or may not do something about. I'd say that, on the whole,
        languages tend to tolerate this sort of ambiguity.

        --Ivan
      • gentlebeldin
        ... This is not entirely correct, sorry! 1. The subjunctive is not a tense, it has forms in all tenses. 2. There are two subjuntives in German. 3. Both have
        Message 3 of 7 , Jun 7, 2002
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          --- In lambengolmor@y..., "G. Dyke" <gordon.dyke@b...> wrote:

          > This is an effect that also happens in some more "archaic" tenses like
          > the German subjunctive: which has forms only for the auxiliary and modal
          > verbs (and for some strange reason the verb "to know") all the other
          > verbs having this tense formed with the assistance of a the modal
          > "werden".

          This is not entirely correct, sorry!
          1. The subjunctive is not a tense, it has forms in all tenses.
          2. There are two subjuntives in German.
          3. Both have basic forms (without auxiliary verbs) for all verbs, but
          some of them may coincide with other verb forms.

          Let's concentrate on subjunctive 2 (expressing wishes, irreal
          assumptions,...).

          Example: "singen" (sing). It's a strong verb, past tense "er sang"
          (3. sg.), past participle "gesungen" (that's called ablaut). The
          subjunctive (present tense) would be formed by umlaut mutation of the
          stem vowel in past tense: "er sänge".

          This rule was adopted for the less ancient weak verbs, forming past
          tense with suffix "-t(e)(n)", even for some without ablaut:
          brauchen -> er brauchte -> er bräuchte.

          However, there's a whole class of verbs where the forms coincide with
          past tense, because umlaut mutation is impossible (stem vowel "i/ie"
          or umlaut in past tense). In other cases, the umlaut mutated forms
          were abandoned for historical reasons ("wöllte"), or ancient strong
          forms were replaced by weak forms: "fragen" (ask) has past
          tense "fragte" instead of "frug" now, and the subjunctive 2 would
          be "früge", not "*frägte".

          In all those cases, the subjunctive coincides with forms of past
          tense, and where this could lead to ambiguity, the construction with
          an auxiliary verb ("fragen" -> "würde fragen") was introduced.
          This leads to the consequence that the original forms of the
          subjunctive are almost out of usage in vernacular now, replaced by
          the auxiliary construction even when it isn't necessary.

          They still exist in correct, literary German, however (listen to the
          news in tv :-): "Ich wünschte, Du kämest" (I wished you came).
          Since it is the continuation of an old, natural trend towards weak,
          analytical construction, the subjunctive will probably vanish in the
          standard language, too, whether one likes it or not (I don't :-).

          There's a question connected with ablaut in past tense related to
          nasal infixion: "gehen" (go) -> "er ging". The other direction would
          be "denken" (think) -> "er dachte", cf. "Gedanke" (thought).

          Since one would only expect another vowel here, this is an indication
          for ancient nasal vowel, changing into "in/en/an" later. Such nasal
          vowels remained in some other Indo-European languages (Polish), they
          aren't a mere hypothesis.

          Now nasal infixion plays an important role in Quenya. Is there any
          hint at the former existence of nasal vowels in primitive Elvish?
          (this was my first, never answered question in the Elfling list).

          Hans

          [I'm allowing this post, because it is instructive to consider these
          mechanisms, but this is getting rather far afield, both from the original
          topic and from Eldarin. I'd also like to ask Hans to repose his final
          question in a separate post, with a new topic description. Carl]
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