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Re: Aorist participle?

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  • Hans Georg Lundahl
    Wrote CHF in Pavel Iosad s post: What I m trying to get at is some indication of how likely it is that a language that has a clear present participle vs. past
    Message 1 of 4 , Aug 29, 2003
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      Wrote CHF in Pavel Iosad's post:

      "What I'm trying to get at is some indication of how likely it is that
      a language that has a clear present participle vs. past participle
      distinction, the former formed (so far as we can judge from the
      available evidence) at least nearly exclusively on the present-tense
      stem, but also separate aorist, present, and past tenses, would in
      fact also be able to form participles on the aorist stem, either as a
      third, independent class of participles, or as a variant form of the
      present participle. CFH"

      Likelihood? I severely doubt that JRRT thought in terms of "how likely
      is it that a language with postpositions has a PSO basic word order?"
      which if he did not means such considerations would hardly limit his
      choice of grammatical structures. As Pavel Iosad indicated, however,
      one can in Slavonic languages form present participles of imperfective
      and perfective verbs alike. Where the distinction would be like Q
      aorist and present tense.

      Hans Georg Lundahl

      [Of course there was no question of likelihood in _Tolkien's_ mind:
      the language either had this feature or it didn't. But that's looking
      at the matter from the wrong end: what _we_ have to hand is not
      Tolkien's mind, but the evidence of his writings. And in these
      writings we have a handful of present participles and a _single_
      (potential) example of an aorist participle. Since we know that
      Tolkien's Eldarin languages generally follow Indo-European and
      Finno-Ugric grammatical patterns -- those being, not coincidentally,
      the languages Tolkien was most knowledgable about -- it is natural
      to look to those languages (in particular) for possible examples and
      even clarification of phonological, morphological, and syntactic
      phenomena or patterns that we see, or think we may see, in
      Tolkien's languages. And in areas of uncertainty like the present
      case, corroboration of putative phenomena or patterns in Primary-
      world languages _does_ speak to the _likelihood_ of the correctness
      of an analysis and that the phenomenon or pattern under
      investigation pertains in Tolkien's languages.
      As for my "nudge", it was not meant as a comment on
      Pavel's post, but as clarification based on comments on the
      matter I have received in messages not posted to the list. CFH]
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