May 9th, 2006

ozarque figure

Linguistics; where do words come from?

wolfangel78, in the discussion of LAadan tones, asked me this question: "If you have a morpheme ma followed by a morpheme a, how does high tone get placed? IOW, how do you choose between maA and mAa?"

I could only answer that I have no idea, that I don't know how I make that choice, and that I wish I did. Which got me thinking about phonesthemes and sound symbolism, which got me thinking about John Lawler....

Here's a link to a very interesting one-page PDF from Lawler: http://www.umich.edu/~jlawler/assonances.pdf .