Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Detail #271: A Really Minor Detail

Consider a morpheme along the lines of English 'too'. This word has multiple meanings:
~even: a baboon, too, was set to appear on stage ~ even a baboon was set to appear on stage

~also: me too!

~exceeding some kind of limit: that is too big
Historically, too is the same as to, but has gone through slightly different sound changes in most dialects due to different prosodical situations obtaining for the different meanings. Now, cognates to to are used for slightly different meanings as well:
en till: one more (as in one to (the ones already counted/included))
to, obviously, also has a locative and dative meaning. To me this suggests a nice little thing for a language with postpositions: conflate the (singular) dative, the nominative plural, and something along the line of -que (morphemes similar to -que exist in Finnish (-kin), and Georgian (-ts), so I am convinced they're not all that unusual elsewhere either). Obviously it's no huge idea or anything, but it's the kind of nice little twist that has an air of realism to it, while also not being quite identical to, say, English conflating plurals, singular genitives and plural genitives.

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