On Adaptation of Suffixes in Congeneric Classes on Substantives (Classic Reprint)

Maurice Bloomfield

Excerpt from On Adaptation of Suffixes in Congeneric Classes on Substantives The term adaptation is used here to designate the infusion with some definite grammatical or lexical value, of a formal element originally either devoid of any special functional value, or possessed of a value which has faded out so completely as to make this infusion possible. Thus in English sing, sang, sung German werde, ward, (ge-)worden the different vowels are felt to be the carriers of the tense-distinction. Here the association of the vocalic variations with temporal distinctions is a comparatively recent development: the variation (ablaut) is due to phonetic causes, very largely differences in accentuation, which had no direct connection with temporal distinctions. But with the decay of the inflectional elements which did convey the distinctions of tense, the vowel of each form was associated more and more with the special vocalic color of the root, until in modern English radical i is to all intents and purposes the significant vowel of the present, a of the imperfect, and u of the perfect passive participle. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.