Questions on Kebreni verbs

Posted by Philip Newton on 00:03 7/14/01

In reply to: Questions on Kebreni verbs posted by Mark Rosenfelder on 13:22 7/13/01

For the volitional, if the verb begins with a vowel, insert an h before switching vowels: adnedu 'I add it' --> ahednedu 'I add it on purpose'.

Does that mean that the verb es'u 'to not be' is irregular? In the conjugation table, it forms its volitional as eves'u and not as ehes'u.

The first explanation I came up with is that verbs like 'to be' and 'to do' tend to be irregular in many languages. But perhaps a better one is this: according to the lexicon, it derives from Methaiun wech-, and the v in the volitional may be a reflex of the Methaiun w (similar to how some stems change their consonants in, say, Verdurian due to the underlying consonant in the Cadhinor word).

Of the vowel-initial verbs I found in the lexicon, this is the only one whose original form starts with a consonant, which probably accounts for this irregularity. Do you perhaps want to state that reason somewhere? :-)


Mark responds:

Yes, es'u is irregular, for historical reasons. Methaiun w normally becomes Kebreni v. In this case it was lost word-initially, but it was retained in the volitional.

(This implies that the volitional has worked like this since ancient times... a rare clue about Methaiun morphology. :)

And yes, vowel-initial roots are rare in Kebreni. They were probably prohibited at an early stage; but derivations and borrowings eroded this constraint even in Methaiun times (cf. Meth. ams- 'touch').

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