A. Katz amnfn at
Sun Mar 20 23:48:17 UTC 2011


But this generalization, however valid, ignores the situations where no 
phonological changes have taken place, no subcomponent is lost as an 
independent unit, yet the speaker is not able to see the parts for the 
whole -- psychological componential opacity. It likewise ignores the 
situations where there has been reduction and even assimilation, as in 
Hebrew, but the components are transparent: circumstantial opacity but 
psychological transparency.


P.S. Did you read the LACUS article?

On Sun, 20 Mar 2011, Tom Givon wrote:

> Maybe it would be useful to add that among all the pieces of quaint exemplars 
> lie some general principles that have to do with both the semantic & 
> phonological changes that affect compound expressions. Once the two parts 
> co-vary in all (or most) contexts, and once the meaning of the compound 
> drifts away from the original composite meaning of the two parts, there is a 
> growing semantic incentive to cease interpreting it as a composite, given 
> that the predictability of the compound meaning from its parts gets lower & 
> lower over time. In parallel, once two phonological sequences becomes fused 
> as a single word, assimilation & reduction make the similarity to the two 
> original parts less & less obvious. This is a typical "iconic conspiracy" in 
> compounding & co-lexicalization. Ther rest is, as usual, history.  TG
> ====================
> On 3/20/2011 4:53 PM, dharv at wrote:
>> I can attest that even in the aircraft industry plenty of people don't 
>> realize that helicopter means helical or twisting wing.
>> At 3:45 PM -0600 20/3/11, Sherman Wilcox wrote:
>>> On 20 Mar 2011, at 15:26, Pamela Munro wrote:
>>>> The first time the observation about the analyzability of /rooster/ was 
>>>> made here, I thought, sure, I know the ending -/ster/, but what is /roo/?
>>> I routinely ask my students to analyze helicopter. No one can. Everyone 
>>> thinks the word has an -/er/ suffix. Some of them come up with /heli-/ 
>>> having to do with the sun, but then they can't figure out what the sun has 
>>> to do with helicopters, or what -/copt/- might mean. Something that chops 
>>> the sun's rays?
>>> -- 
>>> Sherman Wilcox, Professor
>>> Department of Linguistics
>>> University of New Mexico
>>> Albuquerque, NM 871131

More information about the Funknet mailing list