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Sun Mar 25, 2012, 11:43 PM

French is becoming a polysythetic language?!?!?!?

This article just blew my mind:

http://matnat.ronet.ru/articles/Arkadiev_TypSchool_Polysynthesis_Hand.pdf

It argues that spoken French has developed some characteristics of polysythetic languages like those found among Amerindian and Bantu languages such as noun incorporation into the verb and polypersonal agreement (marking the object as well as the subject on the verb).

The creepy thing is that I am having the English descendant I'm working on for my sci-fi universe evolve in the same way, and that was even long before I read this today!

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Reply French is becoming a polysythetic language?!?!?!? (Original post)
Odin2005 Mar 2012 OP
Lydia Leftcoast Mar 2012 #1
ghjfhgf Sep 2012 #2
raccoon Sep 2012 #3
Lydia Leftcoast Oct 2012 #4
raccoon Oct 2012 #5
a la izquierda Dec 2012 #6

Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Mon Mar 26, 2012, 02:58 PM

1. The thought has occurred to me, too

Written French looks like discreet words, because it preserves a lot of historic letters that are no longer pronounced. But if you listen to it, everything all runs together, and the elision can be tricky.

If French were a previously unknown language that anthropologists were studying for the first time with no knowledge of its Latin derivation, they would probably write it down as at least partly polysynthetic.

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 04:57 PM

2. Spam deleted by Paulie (MIR Team)

 

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Mon Sep 24, 2012, 08:28 AM

3. Can you give us an example of what you mean? I can't wrap my mind around it.


"spoken French has developed some characteristics of polysythetic languages like those found among Amerindian and Bantu languages such as noun incorporation into the verb and polypersonal agreement (marking the object as well as the subject on the verb). "

Examples in English would be great.



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Response to raccoon (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 28, 2012, 09:59 PM

4. It's difficult to explain with examples from English

but in French, there are a lot of letters that are no longer pronounced in most environments but are pronounced in certain cases.

For example, "the friend" (male) is l'ami, short for le ami, but no one says or even writes that anymore.

However, "the friends" is les amis, pronounced "le-zami."

"Do you have?" is avez vous?, prounounced "aveh-vu," but "you have" is vous avez, pronounced "vu zaveh."

"She has" is elle a "el a," but "does she have?" is a-t-elle?, in which the "ghost" of the old way of saying "she has" (elle at) shows up.

"We have seen" is nous avons vu ("nu zavo~ (nasal n) v), but "we have seen it" is nous l'avons vu ("nu lavo~ v).

"I have seen" is j'ai vu ("zhey v") but "I have seen it" is je l'ai vu" ("zhe lay v").

It would be hopeless if it weren't for the archaic spelling and the rules about which letters drop when and which ones are elided onto the next word.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #4)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 08:37 AM

5. Thank you. This is why I like Spanish--words are spelled phonetically. Not a bunch of archaic


spelling to clog things up, which English has too much of, as well.



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Response to raccoon (Reply #5)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 07:23 PM

6. Do not go to Puerto Rico...

The letter "s" rarely makes an appearance.

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