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The Suppletion Thread
http://www.incatena.org/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=35376
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Author:  Echobeats [ Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:11 am ]
Post subject:  The Suppletion Thread

Post your favourite examples of suppletion here.

Latin wrote:
fero "I bear"
tuli "I bore/have borne"
latum "having been borne"

Ancient Greek wrote:
φέρω pherō "I bear"
οἴσω oisō "I will bear"
ἤνεγκα ēnengka "I bore"
ἐνήνοχα enēnokha "I have borne"

Russian wrote:
человек chelovek "person"
люди lyudi "people"

Non-IE languages especially welcome.

Author:  Z500 [ Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:52 am ]
Post subject: 

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

Author:  Ulrike Meinhof [ Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:28 am ]
Post subject: 

Swedish has:

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

Author:  Echobeats [ Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:00 am ]
Post subject: 

Let's not forget emotive conjugation

Bertrand Russell said rather than wrote:
I am firm, You are obstinate, He is a pig-headed fool.

I am righteously indignant, you are annoyed, he is making a fuss over nothing.

I have reconsidered the matter, you have changed your mind, he has gone back on his word.


Bernard Woolley on Yes Minister said rather than wrote:
I have an independent mind, you are eccentric, he is round the twist.

I give confidential briefings, you leak, he is being prosecuted under section 2a of the Official Secrets Act.

Author:  gsandi [ Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:30 am ]
Post subject: 

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.

Author:  Kai_DaiGoji [ Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:36 am ]
Post subject: 

Echobeats wrote:
Let's not forget emotive conjugation

Bertrand Russell said rather than wrote:
I am firm, You are obstinate, He is a pig-headed fool.

I am righteously indignant, you are annoyed, he is making a fuss over nothing.

I have reconsidered the matter, you have changed your mind, he has gone back on his word.


Actually, Paul Krugman had one of these just the other day on his blog: I invest, you speculate, he throws his money away.

Author:  alice [ Mon Aug 02, 2010 1:13 pm ]
Post subject: 

Or "I am for liberty, you are a faction", from a book on the Roman Empire.

Author:  Echobeats [ Mon Aug 02, 2010 2:33 pm ]
Post subject: 

bricka wrote:
Or "I am for liberty, you are a faction", from a book on the Roman Empire.

What's the third person? "He is a terrorist"?

Author:  alice [ Mon Aug 02, 2010 2:41 pm ]
Post subject: 

Echobeats wrote:
bricka wrote:
Or "I am for liberty, you are a faction", from a book on the Roman Empire.

What's the third person? "He is a terrorist"?


It doesn't say, but probably, yes.

Author:  Salmoneus [ Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:28 pm ]
Post subject: 

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.

Author:  Nortaneous [ Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:09 pm ]
Post subject: 

Seri:
cap "the (standing) (sg.)"
coyolca "the (standing) (pl.)"

Author:  Silk [ Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:15 pm ]
Post subject: 

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.

Author:  Zhen Lin [ Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:23 pm ]
Post subject: 

Azathoth wrote:
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


It doesn't count. It's just the result of irregular sound change. This is suppletion though: the negative of aru (to be) is the adjective nai (non-existant), rather than the expected **aranai. Conversely, the polite form of nai is (usually) arimasen, but nai desu is increasingly common.

Honorific forms of certain verbs are suppletive - the humble form of iu (to say) is mōsu, rather than **o-ii-suru, the honorific form of taberu (to eat) is meshiagaru rather than **o-tabe-ni naru.

More examples are found in the numeral system: hito-ri, futa-ri, san-nin, yo-nin, go-nin...; tsuitachi, futsu-ka, mik-ka, yok-ka, itsu-ka, ..., tō-ka, jūichi-nichi, jūni-nichi, ...; is-sai, ni-sai, ..., jūkyū-sai, hatachi, nijūis-sai...

Author:  Echobeats [ Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:19 pm ]
Post subject: 

Zhen Lin wrote:
Honorific forms of certain verbs are suppletive... the honorific form of taberu (to eat) is meshiagaru rather than **o-tabe-ni naru.

I could see that happening in English, or indeed any language, as eating is so bound up with manners. My inferiors might scoff or chow down while my superiors dine. French manger vs. bouffer might be a better example.

Zhen Lin wrote:
More examples are found in the numeral system: hito-ri, futa-ri, san-nin, yo-nin, go-nin...; tsuitachi, futsu-ka, mik-ka, yok-ka, itsu-ka, ..., tō-ka, jūichi-nichi, jūni-nichi, ...; is-sai, ni-sai, ..., jūkyū-sai, hatachi, nijūis-sai...

I'm afraid this means nothing to me. Can we please have a gloss?

Nortaneous wrote:
Seri:
cap "the (standing) (sg.)"
coyolca "the (standing) (pl.)"

I've just looked at the wikipedia article, and the definite articles for seated objects are even better.

Seri wrote:
quij "the.SEATED.SG"
coxalca "the.SEATED.PL"

Author:  Kereb [ Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:55 pm ]
Post subject: 

Echobeats wrote:
Let's not forget emotive conjugation


"Have you noticed that their stuff is 'shit' and your shit is 'stuff'?" - George Carlin

Author:  Zhen Lin [ Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:11 pm ]
Post subject: 

Echobeats wrote:
Zhen Lin wrote:
More examples are found in the numeral system: hito-ri, futa-ri, san-nin, yo-nin, go-nin...; tsuitachi, futsu-ka, mik-ka, yok-ka, itsu-ka, ..., tō-ka, jūichi-nichi, jūni-nichi, ...; is-sai, ni-sai, ..., jūkyū-sai, hatachi, nijūis-sai...

I'm afraid this means nothing to me. Can we please have a gloss?


The first set are count people. It's actually the composite of two regular series - one native (the ones ending in -ri, 1-2) and the other Sino-Japonic. The second set are days of the month - again, there is a native series (the ones ending in -ka, 2-10), a Sino-Japonic series (the ones ending in -nichi, 11-31) and a truly irregular one - tsuitachi - which means something like new moon. The last set is for your age - there's only one series (Sino-Japonic) with a retention of the native word for 20.

Author:  nebula wind phone [ Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:42 pm ]
Post subject: 

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.

Author:  TaylorS [ Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:14 pm ]
Post subject: 

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)

Author:  Travis B. [ Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:55 pm ]
Post subject: 

TaylorS wrote:
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)

Actually, Old Norse vera and er were earlier vesa and es, which makes it unlikely that er was linked to a separate Indo-European root *h1er. Yes, I have seen that argued myself but that seems unlikely in that light, likely being argued on the basis of only classical Old Icelandic combined with a very Neogrammarian view of sound change without any basis in earlier Old Norse or Proto-Norse.

Author:  Terra [ Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:17 am ]
Post subject: 

Quote:
Honorific forms of certain verbs are suppletive... the honorific form of taberu (to eat) is meshiagaru rather than **o-tabe-ni naru.

Watashi wa meshiageru, kimi wa taberu, kare wa kuu?

Author:  Cathbad [ Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:51 am ]
Post subject: 

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.

Author:  Trailsend [ Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:51 am ]
Post subject: 

FinalZera wrote:
Quote:
Honorific forms of certain verbs are suppletive... the honorific form of taberu (to eat) is meshiagaru rather than **o-tabe-ni naru.

Watashi wa meshiageru, kimi wa taberu, kare wa kuu?


O_o I'm pretty sure you would never use meshiagaru when referring to yourself.

Sensei wa meshiagaru, watashi wa taberu.

However, I don't actually know what I'm talking about. Keigo is wonky.

Author:  GreenBowTie [ Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:14 am ]
Post subject: 

Suppletion makes me hot

Author:  Niedokonany [ Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:51 am ]
Post subject: 

Cathbad wrote:
participle: šel

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


I thought - read somewhere I believe - that *šьdlъ was related to *xoditi (though I don't grasp the ablaut going on here fully, ь?), which seems unrelated to *jьti at the PIE level. Of course suppletion always remains a little relative, as we're unable to track all the roots to Proto-World in order to make sure they're unrelated in the absolute sense. This becomes particularly evident if one's trying to use the term in reference to some exotic language isolate, e.g. Kusunda.

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


This seems to be the case in almost every Slavic language (apparently Bulgarian is an exception, as they've replaced the latter form with something weird, and човеци is possible too* :? ).

*strictly speaking e.g. człowieki is possible in Polish, but only jocularly; the same with sg ludź

Silk wrote:
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


That's if you consider the Slavic perfective/imperfective system to be inflection rather than derivation, IMO it's somewhere in between the two. "Suppletion" is mostly applicable to what's considered to be inflection, isn't it? - the division being admittedly a little fuzzy.

Quote:
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.


Isn't say имя neuter? That's the regular reflex of PSl. *-ę of the neuter en- and -ent-stems.

Echobeats wrote:
Let's not forget emotive conjugation


This reminds me of the Polish irregular adjective gradation: chory - chorszy - trup ;)

Author:  Mecislau [ Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:16 am ]
Post subject: 

Piotr wrote:
I thought - read somewhere I believe - that *šьdlъ was related to *xoditi (though I don't grasp the ablaut going on here fully, ь?), which seems unrelated to *jьti at the PIE level.


Yes, that is the general consensus. And what's wrong with the ablaut? You see ь~o elsewhere in Slavic as well (cf. *bьrati, *bor)

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


This seems to be the case in almost every Slavic language (apparently Bulgarian is an exception, as they've replaced the latter form with something weird, and човеци is possible too* :? ).


Russian is actually far more complicated in this respect. Человек could be said to have three different plurals in common usage.

Люди, of course, is the most common one.

Человек is sometimes used as the genitive plural of человек (yes, the same word), instead of the more typical людей, after numbers.

Народ (lit. "nation") is often used as a collective plural (сколько народа здесь! "(look) how many people are here!", сколько народу живет в этом городе? "how many people live in this city?")

Piotr wrote:
That's if you consider the Slavic perfective/imperfective system to be inflection rather than derivation, IMO it's somewhere in between the two. "Suppletion" is mostly applicable to what's considered to be inflection, isn't it? - the division being admittedly a little fuzzy.


Either way, it can still be considered suppletive. It's just suppletive derivational morphology rather than inflectional morphology.

Piotr wrote:
Isn't say имя neuter? That's the regular reflex of PSl. *-ę of the neuter en- and -ent-stems.


Well, of -en- stems, yes. Russian имя, племя, семя, etc, are all neuter.

-ent- stems, however, become masculine though suffixation (*telę "calf" > телёнок) in the singular; in the plural Russian gender distinctions are neutralized anyways.






Georgian has some really good suppletive forms. I'll have to look this one up (I don't use it very often), but some verbs have suppletive forms depending on the person of the indirect object (ie, one form for no indirect object, one for 1st or 2nd person indirect object, and one for 3rd person indirect object). Oy.

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