[Lingtyp] before and after

Jess Tauber tetrahedralpt at gmail.com
Thu May 26 07:02:38 UTC 2022

In Yahgan, a newly extinct genetic isolate from Tierra del Fuego (which
I've studied now for nearly a quarter century), temporal 'before' is
yinun and  'after' is yellun. yinun appears to be derived from yvn (v
schwa) meaning 'at first, in the beginning', where ya- itself is a verbal
prefix meaning 'to start to X (but not finish)' plus suffix -n, which is a
spatiotemporal locative. yellun, on the other hand, appears to be based on
yella, meaning 'to leave' (as behind, deposit) plus the spatiotemporal -n.

There does seem to be evidence for use of the comparative wuru: (colon
marks tenseness of the vowel which precedes it) with etymological ya- in
the word ya:ru:, meaning 'new, young, fresh'. Superlative wvshat (the /r/
devoices and fricativizes) doesn't appear to be involved SFAIK. But it
might be possible that in a roundabout way we can use chilla (ch as in
English church) 'more, again, repeatedly' and relate that to yella (which
might be etymologically connected) to derive yellun 'after'.

Jess Tauber

On Thu, May 26, 2022 at 1:54 AM Nigel Vincent <
nigel.vincent at manchester.ac.uk> wrote:

> Dear All,
> In the Romance and Germanic languages I'm familiar with the words meaning
> 'before' and 'after' often have etymologies which involve a comparative or
> superlative suffix - e.g. the -*ter *in *after* or Italian *prima *'before'
> from the Latin word for 'first' and with the same suffix as *optimus *'best'.
> I'd be grateful for:
>  a) similar examples from other languages
>  b) any references to literature where this general pattern is discussed.
> Thanks in advance.
> Nigel
> Professor Nigel Vincent, FBA MAE
> Professor Emeritus of General & Romance Linguistics
> The University of Manchester
> Linguistics & English Language
> School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
> The University of Manchester
> https://www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/en/researchers/nigel-vincent(f973a991-8ece-453e-abc5-3ca198c869dc).html
> _______________________________________________
> Lingtyp mailing list
> Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
> http://listserv.linguistlist.org/mailman/listinfo/lingtyp
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/lingtyp/attachments/20220526/eefe8adb/attachment.htm>

More information about the Lingtyp mailing list