A Question About Wordbulding

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Random8k
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A Question About Wordbulding

Post by Random8k » 24 Dec 2018 22:24

I'm at a point to where I think I have most of the grammar basics down, and I think I should try making words to see exactly how things work, rectify them, etc. Thus, I'm trying to do wordbuilding and flailing about like I can't swim, really. So apologies if the question below seems inane.

I guess my most immediate question is can noun classes and cases (manifested as particles) act as forms of derivational morphology? Like if I have a word that means "object" and then apply the suffix for the Person class, could that mean "man" essentially? Then could I build on that with more unrelated noun derivations to make words that stem from "man"?

The same thing for cases, I have a particle for the Genitive case, could that particle be used to turn nouns into adjectives somehow (maybe by affixation)?
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sangi39
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Re: A Question About Wordbulding

Post by sangi39 » 25 Dec 2018 02:29

Random8k wrote:
24 Dec 2018 22:24
I'm at a point to where I think I have most of the grammar basics down, and I think I should try making words to see exactly how things work, rectify them, etc. Thus, I'm trying to do wordbuilding and flailing about like I can't swim, really. So apologies if the question below seems inane.

I guess my most immediate question is can noun classes and cases (manifested as particles) act as forms of derivational morphology? Like if I have a word that means "object" and then apply the suffix for the Person class, could that mean "man" essentially? Then could I build on that with more unrelated noun derivations to make words that stem from "man"?

The same thing for cases, I have a particle for the Genitive case, could that particle be used to turn nouns into adjectives somehow (maybe by affixation)?
IIRC, the noun classes in languages like Zulu and Swahili can be used, to a limited degree, for derivation (I think the Swahili word for "person", mtu, can be used to mean "(a) giant" if you switch the noun class prefix m- for a different prefix used for forming augmentative nouns). Either the examples I've seen were chosen to show off the process more clearly, or this process tends to yield more transparent results (so always relating in some way to the meaning of the root).

As for noun cases being used to form new words belonging to a different part of speech, I think that's possible, but from what I can remember, at least in the case of the genitive, that's just the way some languages handle possession (the possessor is marked in the genitive, which then further agrees in gender, number, case, etc. with the possessed noun, i.e. Suffixaufnahme). So it's not deriving an adjective from a noun, but rather treating what would otherwise be a noun as if it were an adjective, so the meaning of the root doesn't actually change.
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Random8k
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Re: A Question About Wordbulding

Post by Random8k » 25 Dec 2018 12:33

Thanks, that helps alot! I'm sure making the lexicon will get easier as I soldier on.
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gestaltist
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Re: A Question About Wordbulding

Post by gestaltist » 26 Dec 2018 22:06

Random8k wrote:
24 Dec 2018 22:24
So apologies if the question below seems inane.
There are no stupid questions as long as they are asked respectfully.
I guess my most immediate question is can noun classes and cases (manifested as particles) act as forms of derivational morphology? Like if I have a word that means "object" and then apply the suffix for the Person class, could that mean "man" essentially? Then could I build on that with more unrelated noun derivations to make words that stem from "man"?
Yes, definitely. Somebody already mentioned Bantu languages which do that with their noun classes.
The same thing for cases, I have a particle for the Genitive case, could that particle be used to turn nouns into adjectives somehow (maybe by affixation)?
That's actually one of the more common ways of adjective generation, I think. Keep in mind, though, that if the derivational role of that particle becomes prominent, it will likely be replaced in its Genitive role sooner or later (e.g., by an adposition like "of").

When it comes to deriving new words through particles or adpositions, that's lexicalization, and it's very common. Maybe not for case particles in particular, but in general. In some European languages, you'll see something like this happen to verbs a lot. E.g., cf. German "stehen" (to stand), and "verstehen" (to understand - as you can see English can do it, too, sometimes).

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Re: A Question About Wordbulding

Post by Random8k » 04 Jan 2019 06:57

Thank you for the information, that helps immensely. Additonally, apologies for the delay, post-Christmas hustle and bustle and what not, haha.
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