The Suppletion Thread

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Echobeats
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Post by Echobeats »

Mecislau wrote: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?")

Does this really count as suppletion or is it just an idiom? If we allow this, we have to count French monde as a suppletive plural of personne, as in combien de monde? "how many people?" and beaucoup de monde "lots of people". (Although the case for gens as suppletive plural of personne is fairly strong, so why not allow another one?)

Mecislau wrote:
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.

I'm very skeptical about this idea. If we allow "suppletive derivational morphology", we're going to find it absolutely everywhere. See/vision, hear/auditory, steal/thief, elect/democracy... the list could go on ad infinitum. None of this is a surprising find, and is better explained by calling it "a non-derived lexeme for a related concept".

The difference is that you don't get paradigms of derivational morphology – there doesn't have to be a derived noun for every verb meaning "person to whom X is done" or whatever. But there does (except with rare defective verbs) have to be e.g. a third person singular indicative form of each verb (assuming the language has this category). This is because inflectional morphology works with paradigms: there's a slot to be filled, so something has to fill it. When what fills it is not cognate with the other forms in the paradigm, we have suppletion.

All this is without prejudice to whether the Russian imperfective verb forms are inflection or not :P.
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Post by Cathbad »

Piotr wrote:
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.


Ahhh, it was hoditi, probably... the confusion arose because I always had the impression Slovene iti was derived from hoditi. But that's obviously wrong. :roll:

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


Quite possibly the case in every Slavic language. :D

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Post by Silk »

Mecislau wrote:
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.


Sorry, I didn't clarify. I know about the neuter words like имя, время, семя, etc, which all end in -мя and have endings like -мени, -менем, etc.
The word дитя, however, ends in plain . Anyway, it's interesting about the -ёнок/-онок ending and I'm just starting to read more into it on another forum. So far, though, дитя seems to be the only word that survived today without undergoing the -ёнок/-онок change.

I also found the form дитятко, a diminutive that still preserves the neuterness. Apparently there's also телятко.

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Post by Echobeats »

I do believe I have hit the motherlode: an online suppletion database. I should have known the Surrey Morphology Group would have something good. They used to send their lecturers to teach at Cambridge because we didn't have any morphologists.
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Post by Terra »

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

Perhaps "Watakushi wa meshiagaru" would be better then.

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Post by TomHChappell »

Echobeats wrote:I do believe I have hit the motherlode: an online suppletion database. I should have known the Surrey Morphology Group would have something good. They used to send their lecturers to teach at Cambridge because we didn't have any morphologists.

Put that in the L&L Museum's "Resources" thread, please?

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Post by Echobeats »

TomHChappell wrote:
Echobeats wrote:I do believe I have hit the motherlode: an online suppletion database. I should have known the Surrey Morphology Group would have something good. They used to send their lecturers to teach at Cambridge because we didn't have any morphologists.

Put that in the L&L Museum's "Resources" thread, please?

Done.
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Post by Niedokonany »

Mecislau wrote:And what's wrong with the ablaut? You see ь~o elsewhere in Slavic as well (cf. *bьrati, *bor)


You're right that it does seem to be the case, but 1) can you think of аny examples of it not before r/l? 2) I'm not particularly strong at PIE > Slavic,, but in *šьdlъ it would apparently require the reduction of *e (Winter's law doesn't like *xoditi either, so I'll rule *ě out) to a front yer - which doesn't seem to be anything regular. I haven't seen anybody postulate an i/o ablaut for PIE.

EDIT: for ь~e~o, I've also recalled the OCS imperative of решти: рьци. Once struck me as odd as well.

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


What Echobeats said. This looser sense could work in cases like deriving ordinal numerals from cardinal ones, which is "derivation" because it changes their lexical category but is 1:1 and works for all cardinal numerals (a very large pattern), at least in some languages. Anyway, I think that's well inside the grey area between the two.

Silk wrote:
Mecislau wrote:
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.


Sorry, I didn't clarify. I know about the neuter words like имя, время, семя, etc, which all end in -мя and have endings like -мени, -менем, etc.
The word дитя, however, ends in plain . Anyway, it's interesting about the -ёнок/-онок ending and I'm just starting to read more into it on another forum. So far, though, дитя seems to be the only word that survived today without undergoing the -ёнок/-онок change.

I also found the form дитятко, a diminutive that still preserves the neuterness. Apparently there's also телятко.


I see. Some northern (IIRC) Polish dialects have similarly replaced the of neuter ent-stems with -ak, making them masculine, and nowadays standard Polish has in fact doublets like: n dziecię - m dzieciak (in this case the most common and neutral form is dziecko :D), n zwierzę - m zwierzak, szczenię - szczeniak, pisklę - pisklak and so on. The forms in tend to sound more literary/formal/old-fashioned/solemn, the forms in -ak tend to sound more informal/colloquial/less serious, though the strength of the tendency does vary for individual lexical items.
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Post by vec »

Icelandic:

góður, betri, bestur (good, better, best - both the same :) )
lítill, minni, minnstur (small, smaller, smallest, compare to the Swedish example above)
illur, verri, verstur (evil, more evil, most evil)
mær, meyjar (virgin, virgins)
vera, er, sé (to be, am, would be - as per discussion above)
konur, kvenna (women, women's)
sjór, sævar/sjávar/sjóvar (sea, sea's)

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Post by Travis B. »

vecfaranti wrote:Icelandic:

[snip]
mær, meyjar (virgin, virgins)
[snip]
konur, kvenna (women, women's)
sjór, sævar/sjávar/sjóvar (sea, sea's)

I would not really call these suppletion, in that they do not appear to actually come from distinct roots, but rather just cases of sound change having manifested itself so as to result in different inflected forms of these words not being entirely predictable in form.

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Post by Echobeats »

Travis B. wrote:
vecfaranti wrote:Icelandic:

[snip]
mær, meyjar (virgin, virgins)
[snip]
konur, kvenna (women, women's)
sjór, sævar/sjávar/sjóvar (sea, sea's)

I would not really call these suppletion, in that they do not appear to actually come from distinct roots, but rather just cases of sound change having manifested itself so as to result in different inflected forms of these words not being entirely predictable in form.

I believe you're right. But they're still fun to know about :).
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Post by Ulrike Meinhof »

vecfaranti wrote:lítill, minni, minnstur (small, smaller, smallest, compare to the Swedish example above)

What is the plural?
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Post by Echobeats »

Dingbats wrote:
vecfaranti wrote:lítill, minni, minnstur (small, smaller, smallest, compare to the Swedish example above)

What is the plural?

litlir, minni, minnstir, I think. But there is a word smái – where does this fit in?
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Post by Skomakar'n »

Dingbats wrote:Swedish has:

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

smärre is possible, though.

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Post by Echobeats »

Skomakar'n wrote:
Dingbats wrote:Swedish has:

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

smärre is possible, though.

Is that plural only, like små, or can you have en smärre hund?
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Post by Magb »

Echobeats wrote:litlir, minni, minnstir, I think. But there is a word smái – where does this fit in?

Unlike Scandinavian små, smár is not a plurale tantum. I think lítill and smár correspond pretty well to English "little" and "small".

Edit: actually, on second though, I'm not sure what the difference between lítill and smár is.

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Post by Ulrike Meinhof »

Echobeats wrote:
Skomakar'n wrote:smärre is possible, though.

Is that plural only, like små, or can you have en smärre hund?

Traditionally, only plural. In modern Swedish it has developed a slightly different meaning, 'unimportant, negligible, minor', and can't really be considered a comparative of liten at all, but a different lexeme altogether.

You wouldn't use it with nouns like hund, only in phrases like en smärre förmögenhet 'a small fortune' or vissa smärre komplikationer 'certain minor complications'.
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Post by Skomakar'n »

Dingbats wrote:
Echobeats wrote:
Skomakar'n wrote:smärre is possible, though.

Is that plural only, like små, or can you have en smärre hund?

Traditionally, only plural. In modern Swedish it has developed a slightly different meaning, 'unimportant, negligible, minor', and can't really be considered a comparative of liten at all, but a different lexeme altogether.

You wouldn't use it with nouns like hund, only in phrases like en smärre förmögenhet 'a small fortune' or vissa smärre komplikationer 'certain minor complications'.

En smärre hund sounds perfectly fine in my ears, though, I'd have to say...

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Post by Echobeats »

Skomakar'n wrote:
Dingbats wrote:
Echobeats wrote:
Skomakar'n wrote:smärre is possible, though.

Is that plural only, like små, or can you have en smärre hund?

Traditionally, only plural. In modern Swedish it has developed a slightly different meaning, 'unimportant, negligible, minor', and can't really be considered a comparative of liten at all, but a different lexeme altogether.

You wouldn't use it with nouns like hund, only in phrases like en smärre förmögenhet 'a small fortune' or vissa smärre komplikationer 'certain minor complications'.

En smärre hund sounds perfectly fine in my ears, though, I'd have to say...

How about Min hund/förmögenhet är smärre än din?
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Post by Radagast »

We've found two suppletive verbs in Acazulco Otomí: to give and to go.

To give has a root undi "to give" in all the persons where the recipient is expressed by a suffix that starts with k or k' it is suppleted for the root nda. So we have di unga "I give to him" but di ndak'i "I give it to you.

The other is pa "to go" - for singular subject its gi-mbá-gá "I'll go", gi-mbe "we two go", and gi-mboho "we all go".
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Post by Nortaneous »

Pipil:
witz "comes"
walaj "came"

ki-uni "he drinks it (transitive)"
ati "he drinks (unaccusative)"
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Post by Ulrike Meinhof »

Echobeats wrote:How about Min hund/förmögenhet är smärre än din?

Definitely not. Smärre no longer works as a comparative, you'd use mindre.
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Post by Yuuri »

I've always found weird the different roots used for male and female specimen of the same animal (and even for whelps). Russian is rather rich of these:
Sheep - баран (♂) - овца (♀) - ягнёнок (baby)
Bull (♂) - cow (♀) - бык (♂) - корова (♀) - телёнок (baby)
Dog - пёс (♂) - собака (♀)
Horse - конь (♂) - лошадь (♀)
Cock (♂) - hen (♀) - chicken (baby) - петух (♂) - курица (♀) - цыплёнок (baby)

Etc.
But I know only a bit of linguistics and languages. How is the situation with such suppletion in another IE languages, especially Slavic?
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Post by Cedh »

Yuuri wrote:I've always found weird the different roots used for male and female specimen of the same animal (and even for whelps). Russian is rather rich of these:
Sheep - баран (♂) - овца (♀) - ягнёнок (baby)
Bull (♂) - cow (♀) - бык (♂) - корова (♀) - телёнок (baby)
Dog - пёс (♂) - собака (♀)
Horse - конь (♂) - лошадь (♀)
Cock (♂) - hen (♀) - chicken (baby) - петух (♂) - курица (♀) - цыплёнок (baby)

Etc.
But I know only a bit of linguistics and languages. How is the situation with such suppletion in another IE languages, especially Slavic?

German:
Sheep - Schaf (general) - Hammel, Widder, Bock (♂) - Schaf, Zibbe* (♀) - Lamm (baby)
Cattle - Rind (general) - Bulle, Stier (♂) - Kuh (♀) - Kalb (baby)
Dog - Hund (general) - Rüde (♂) - Hündin** (♀) - Welpe (baby)
Horse - Pferd, Ross* (general) - Hengst (♂) - Stute (♀) - Fohlen (baby)
Chicken - Huhn (general) - Hahn*** (♂) - Henne*** (♀) - Küken (baby)

* this term is largely obsolete
** this is a regular feminine derivation from the general term
*** these are obviously derived from the same root as the general term, but the derivational processes used here have been unproductive for a very long time

But all this is not suppletion, just detailed lexis, which is to be expected in this semantic field because agriculture has been an important part of the economy for several millennia. AFAIK almost all IE languages have special words for males and/or females of at least some domestic animal species.

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Post by peterlin »

Yuuri wrote:I've always found weird the different roots used for male and female specimen of the same animal (and even for whelps). Russian is rather rich of these:
Dog - пёс (♂) - собака (♀)
Horse - конь (♂) - лошадь (♀)



Except that both of these are pairs of synonymous words which don't specify the gender of the animal in question. Your glosses refer to grammatical gender of the words exclusively...

he-dog - кобель
bitch - сука (but because its vulgar meanings are so omnipresent the neutral самка собаки = female dog is often used)
whelp - щенок
stallion - жеребец
mare - кобыла
colt - жеребёнок

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