From: Carl W. Conrad (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Mar 10 1997 - 13:24:57 EST
At 9:56 AM -0600 3/10/97, Thomas Biddy wrote:
>Like Tim, I get into things that are over my head - but for me, that is
>the way that I learn. Education rubs off onto people if they will just
>stick with it.
>So I'll ask an elemental question: What does inflection really mean? I
>read the following and understand it but would like a good understanding
>of what inflection is.
There are probably more concise and precise definitions than this, but I'd
say that INFLECTION is the process whereby a common root or stem in a noun,
pronoun, verb, adjective, or adverb is altered by addition of one or more
elements (prefixes, tense-formatives, mood-formatives, infixes, suffixes,
etc.) to produce nuanced distinctions of sense, as in verbs:
MANQAN/W MANQAN/EIS MANQAN/EI etc.
E/MANQAN/O/N E/MANQAN/E/S E/MANQAN/E etc.
LOG/OS LOG/OU LOG/Wi LOG/ON
KAL/OS KAL/H KAL/ON KALL/IWN KALL/IST/OS etc.
hHMEIS hHMWN hHMIN hHMAS
MAL/A MAL/LON MAL/ISTA
Inflection may be very, very complex; a Greek verb that is not defective in
one or more of its tenses or voices (say, one like LUW) may have close to
700 different inflected forms, all of which express some nuanced
distinction of the verbal idea of "unlink."
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com
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