7.1159, Disc: Addendum to query on circumfixes

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Fri Aug 16 16:12:19 UTC 1996


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LINGUIST List:  Vol-7-1159. Fri Aug 16 1996. ISSN: 1068-4875. Lines:  74
 
Subject: 7.1159, Disc: Addendum to query on circumfixes
 
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---------------------------------Directory-----------------------------------
1)
Date:  Thu, 15 Aug 1996 09:53:54 -0000
From:  delacy at host02.net.voyager.co.nz ("Paul de Lacy")
Subject:  Addendum to Q: Circumfixes
 
---------------------------------Messages------------------------------------
1)
Date:  Thu, 15 Aug 1996 09:53:54 -0000
From:  delacy at host02.net.voyager.co.nz ("Paul de Lacy")
Subject:  Addendum to Q: Circumfixes
 
Greetings,
 
A few days ago I posted a question regarding Circumfixes.  I wanted to
find out if there were any general studies done on them, or more
specific references, etc.  However, my presumption that everyone knows
what a circumfix is has porven to be unfounded.  On the prompting of
one respondent, I have posted this short description of the phenomenon
so that I might get a broader range of replies.
 
On the surface, a circumfix is a combination of a prefix and a suffix.
However, the appearence of the prefixal material and the suffixal
material is mutually obligatory.  In other words, the prefixal part
cannot occur without the suffixal part, and vice-versa.
 Alone, neither part bears meaning.  Or, if it does, the
compositional meaning of the two parts is not equal to the sum of its
parts.  As an example:
Tagalog 'ka...an' = 'the class or group of X':   bukid 'field' >
bukiran 'fields'.
 
The above definition is an 'absolutist' type.  There seem to be
'gradations' of types (for want of a better term).  Thus, German
'ge..t' omits the 'ge' with certain verbs.  At this point, I am
looking for anything that could _possibly_ be a circumfix, even if
it's phonological parts are not always co-present.
 
People's lack of acquaintance with the term 'circumfix' is probably
because it has been largely ignored in morphological theory.  See
Rochelle Lieber's 'Deconstructing Morphology' (1992:155-7) and Laurie
Bauer's 'A descriptive gap in morphology.' in the Yearbook of
Morphology 1988 (pp.17-27).
 
Regards,
 
Paul de Lacy.
University of Auckland.
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