Monday, May 13, 2013

"two different games with a different set of rules"

"...Maltese (is) a language which typologically stands between Semitic and Romance languages, as it is genealogically related to Arabic, on the one hand, and has been in close contact with Italian and Sicilian for about one millennium, on the other. A long history of contact between typologically diverse languages gave rise to two different word formation strategies in modern Maltese, root and pattern morphology and concatenative morphology.
Word formation in Maltese can be compared to a checkerboard on which language users may play chess and draughts, two different games with a different set of rules. For any given lexical item, a speaker of Maltese must know whether it is a piece for chess or a piece for draughts, and play the morphosyntactic game accordingly."

So well said... :-)

This is part of what I have been doing with verbs: try to figure out if they belong to the Semitic part of the language or the Japhetic part of the language.

My language studies are not advancing much at the moment. I am severely depressed and after having had a couple of PMS free months, it's back - and with a vengeance. But I'm hanging on there, doing mechanically the things I need to do, and try to think that as I don't give a crap about anything, I could just as well keep doing what I have done the last days, and it will be good one day.

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