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KathTheDragon
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Posts: 381

Spurred on by the discussion over by the Moula forums, I'm going to do a thorough analysis of the various compound in D'ni. We'll classify them as group A, the left-branching compounds, and group B, the right-branching compounds. That is to say, group A has the structure complement-head, and group B has the structure head-complement. As part of our analysis, I'll consider both syntax and sematics as factors in the a priori assignment of compounds to these two groups.

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October 12, 2015 at 9:04 AM Flag Quote & Reply

KathTheDragon
Site Owner
Posts: 381

First, a collection of the data (with - separating roots and = separating affices):


Group A

Ahno-nay (age name)
bah-ro (group name)
biv-dil ("everything")
fah-see ("25", this will represent all numerals)
gahr-ahno ("[ocean]")
Gahreesen (age name, "fortress", a special case of extreme contraction) = gahro+ahreeuh+senahren
gahro-hev=tee ("great words")

gahro-zeero ("Great Zero")
gahr-tahvo (unit of time)
gahr-ter-nay (age name)
hev-kor ("lexicon")
kam-to ("where", this will represent all interrogatives)
pahr-tahvo (unit of time)
R=el-to (age name)
ril-dil ("nothing")
ril-rov ("no-one")
tel-rov ("guildsman")


Group B

ahno-tahm ("lava")
bahn-t=ahno? ("island")
gor-met ("now", this will represent all correlative adverbs)
kor-fah ("first book")
kor-mahn ("descriptive book")
kor-vahkh ("linking book")
Ro-nay (group name)
to-mahn ("house")
To-kotah (place name)

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October 12, 2015 at 9:11 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Korov’ev
Member
Posts: 160

Context:

http://mystonline.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=419100#p419100

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October 13, 2015 at 3:55 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Korov’ev
Member
Posts: 160

Well, so group B does not in fact include only kor as root. It still seems to have a higher proportion of noun-noun compounds. I guess kor’nía goes in group B. Again, are we sure vax and nía are not nouns?


Garísen is one of those cases that might have originated as garo senaren(ox) aríu(tav), then aríutav got swapped and the word started losing pieces.

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.fa  mEstav  Kat  Kenen  xanril  fUru

October 13, 2015 at 3:22 PM Flag Quote & Reply

KathTheDragon
Site Owner
Posts: 381

kor'nía would belong in group B, yes, but I'm not sure whether its status as a compound is as solid as the others, given its deviant plural kortí'nía, which would point to a partially univerbated phrase (cf the concept of tmesis). vax might be a verb, meaning "to link (trans.)" contrasting with béx "to link (intrans.)".


Remember that the normal position of adjectives is following their head noun.


Some other clear compounds I did not include include the month names (+ a numeral element of obscure derivation), líam "part (n.)", líani "separate (adj.)", líšan "whole (n.)". All these have the element in common, though its meaning is obscure. líam clearly has the same element am as telúkam which may mean "member". líšan may be lí=š + an which would make an adjective, but this is very speculative, given that the meaning of an is even more obscure - we can at least hazard that has something to do with parts or divison.

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DI KI: 00205116
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tumblr: kaththedragon

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October 13, 2015 at 7:23 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Korov’ev
Member
Posts: 160
The position of the complement could be more a matter of usage and meaning, e.g. in Italian "un grande libro" means "a great book", while "un libro grande" means (usually) "a big book". However, "un giallo sottomarino" ("a yellow submarine") is only acceptable in poetry, and in regular parlance it sounds as weird as "a submarine yellow" (unless you mean "an undersea whodunit").
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October 14, 2015 at 9:11 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Khreestrefah
Member
Posts: 96

Strictly speaking, since lava is neither a kind of water nor a kind of fire, we could view the metaphor here either way: 'fire-like water' or 'water-like fire'.  Given Korov'ev's observation about the distribution of noun+noun compounds, it may be that this kind of ambiguity holds the key (or at least a clue) to the historical pattern.


A name like Tel-beeree 'Guild of Maintainers' seems on its face to fit in Group B, and this is borne out by the underlying Tel-okh-beereetahntee where the noun + prepositional phrase structure is still displayed.  But it also shows that okh is little more than a copula connecting two nouns, and again we could view the qualification either way: 'maintainer-constituted guild' or 'guild-affilitated maintainers'.


The compounds formed with pronominals like met, mot, kam may have contributed to the ambiguity, since they can be construed as either nouns or adjectives.  In a case like gor-mot 'then' it certainly looks on its face like it means 'that time' and fits in Group B; but in context it introduces the sentence adverbally, so it actually means 'at that time' or 'there in time'.  Since the demonstrative itself can be thought of as locative, in the compound the component gor could be construed as qualifying the nature of the location as 'time-like' (in contrast e.g. with to-mot 'there' as a 'place-like' location).  Note that to-met 'here' is used adverbally in the same way as gor-mot, and that we also have an adverb gormet 'now'.  Perhaps the four adverbs originated as "quatlified" variants of met and mot, formed in the predominant pattern of Group A compounds, but were subsequently reinterpretted as the nouns gor and to modified by demonstrative adjectives, and thereby contributing to a growing Group B of compounds.


The obvious relation between the adverb tomet 'here' and the noun-phrase to met 'this place' may have contributed in turn to the formation of compounds like to-mahn 'house'.


Also note how the compounds of kor in Group B may have arisen by a similar process to the Guild names.  In contrast with phrase like korokh Gehn 'Gehn's book', in the book-name Korokh Jimah 'Book of Prophesies' the proposition okh is again virtually a copula and the name could be construed as a book which consists of prophesies or prophesies presented in book-form.  If a compound like kor-mahn 'descriptive book' is derived from a longer form like *kor-okh-mahn-tahv, then this might explain the order of components: as a Group A compound it means 'description of an Age (literally 'existence') in book-form' while as a Group B compound it means 'book (of the type containing) the desciption of an Age.'


November 22, 2015 at 2:27 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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