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zompist bboard • View topic - The Suppletion Thread

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 Post subject: The Suppletion Thread
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:11 am 
Lebom
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:52 am 
Lebom
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Japanese has ii "good", which comes from an earlier form yoi which is still used for conjugation, so:

ii "is good"
yokatta "was good"
yonai "is not good"
yonakatta "was not good"

though not sure if that really counts

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:28 am 
Avisaru
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Swedish has:

liten 'small (sg)'
små 'small (pl)'
mindre 'smaller'

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:00 am 
Lebom
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:30 am 
Lebom
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The verb "to be" has suppletion in many, many languages, IE and not.

In my native, Uralic, Hungarian the infinitive is lenni, from which are also formed the future leszek, leszel, lesz etc. and the imperative légy, legyetek. Other forms are from another stem altogether, beginning with v-: Present vagyok, vagy, van etc.; Past voltam, voltál, volt etc. Curiously, the conditional can use either stem: lennék, lennél, lenne etc. or volnék, volnál, volna etc.

The Romance languages do the same, with at least two, but more likely three stems. (e.g. French infinitive être, present ind. 1st pers sing. suis, preterite (becoming obsolete) fus. ) The first and second stems may be related etymologically, but this is hardly evident to the naive observer. Italian follows the same pattern, and introduces a fourth stem stato for the past participle. The Iberian languages follow the French pattern, but the infinitive ser is from a 4th root (Latin sedere) originally, although on the surface it looks as if it belonged with somos - son/são.

Seeing that we are all English speakers here, I don't have to elaborate on the suppletion of the verb "to be" in Germanic languages.

--------------------

The verb "to go" also has suppletion in many languages, including English go/went. The Romance languages routinely merge the derivatives of Latin ire and vadere, to which French adds the derivatives of ambulare, Italian the derivatives of ambitare and Spanish/Portuguese merges in the equivalent of the preterite/pluperfect/past subjunctive of "to be" (i.e. Portuguese foi can mean both "he was" and "he went").

Hungarian jönni 'to come' has the suppletive imperative gyere.

-----------------

Japanese widely uses suppletion for polite and highly formal verbal forms, with a complexity that I will simply not enter into here.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:36 am 
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 1:13 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 2:33 pm 
Lebom
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 2:41 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:28 pm 
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Yimas:
"son": kalakn
"two sons": kaymampan
"sons" [more than two]: kumpwi

Angoram:
"father": apa
"fathers": anont

Suppletion, particularly for number, but also for tense, mood and person, is very widespread in New Guinea. Some languages have suppletion agreement, as it were: a plural object not only has its own suppletive form, but triggers a suppletive form of the verb as well. Iirc, Angoram has lunatic suppletion at times, but I could be confusing it with another language of a similar name - sadly, can't find the details this time.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:09 pm 
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Seri:
cap "the (standing) (sg.)"
coyolca "the (standing) (pl.)"

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:15 pm 
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The Wikipedia article used Polish as its example for imperfective/perfective pairs Slavic languages. Here are a few common examples from Russian:

[imperfective / perfective - translation]

говорить / сказать - to speak/say
ловить / поймать - to catch
брать / взять - to take
класть / положить - to put/place

For nouns, there is:
ребёнок / дети - child, children

The plural form ребята exists but it is a casual word that can be translated as "guys", regardless of the age. There is also a singular form дитя, but it is archaic. The odd thing about дитя is that it is a Russian word that's neuter but ends in -я in the singular. I don't know any others.


Last edited by Silk on Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:23 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:19 pm 
Lebom
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:55 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:11 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:42 pm 
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The Mayan languages tend to have a few nouns that are suppletive when possessed. In K'ichee', the regular pattern looks like ooj "avocado," w-ooj "my avocado," aw-ooj "your avocado".... — but then you get jaa "house" with w-o'ch "my house," aw-o'ch "your house," and so on.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:14 pm 
Avisaru
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The English copula is insanely supplentive, but everyone knows that already.

There are 4 separate roots:

*h1es-mi > am
*h1es-ti > is

*buH- "to become" > be

*wes- "to live" > was, were

*h1er- "to move" > are, art (borrowed from Old Norse)


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:55 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:17 am 
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:51 am 
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Bah, I can't think of any really interesting ones. The best one I can come up with is the Slovene "to go":

infinitive: iti
1st person singular masculine present: grem
participle: šel

And even iti and šel [S@u_^] actually seem to be related IIRC.

človek [tSlOv@k] (sg.) - ljudje [ljud"je] (pl.) for "human being" is another one.

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