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Citation forms of verbs (was Re: Etym. _karin_: present or aorist?)

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  • Andreas Johansson
    ... The most common form for citation, as far as Western European languages are concerned, is surely the infinitive, regardless of how marked it is compared to
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 12, 2006
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      Quoting Helios De Rosario Martinez <imrahil@...>:

      > That being said, I don't agree that there would necessarily be
      > anything odd in citing the aorist form of a verb as opposed to the
      > present tense form, _per se_. 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. It happens that
      > for Latin as for most Western European languages this least marked
      > form of the verb is its present tense; but this neeed not be true of
      > languages generally. So in those stages of Tolkien's languages where the
      > aorist is the least marked form, it would be quite expected for the
      > aorist form to be the first cited. CFH

      The most common form for citation, as far as Western European languages are
      concerned, is surely the infinitive, regardless of how marked it is compared to
      other forms.

      I however quite agree with Carl's larger point - that a form being the citation
      form is no ground for assuming it to be a present tense form. Indeed, the many
      European languages that use the infinitive as the citation form is a powerful
      counter-example.

      Andreas

      [Every Latin dictionary I am familiar with cites verbs by 1st. sg. pres. act. ind.,
      (and then by infinitive). Standard Greek dictionaries follow the same convention,
      as do those of Welsh (e.g. the _Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru_). English dictionaries
      universally cite the 1st sg. pres. So in fact many dictionaries of Western IE
      languages do not cite the infinitive form of the verb first. It is true that many
      do, e.g. for most (all?) Romance languages, and for those Germanic languages that
      have a distinct infinitive inflectional form (though even here the practice seems
      aimed at citing an actual speech form from which the least-marked tense stem
      can readily and mechanically be extracted, which in these IE languages happens
      to be the present tense). CFH]
    • David Kiltz
      ... 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
      Message 2 of 3 , 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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