Derivational morphology and non-decomposable roots

Stephen Hughes
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Derivational morphology and non-decomposable roots

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 11th, 2016, 12:50 pm

Does the addition of an extra prefixed preposition an indication that the word with the prefixed preposition was already seen as simple? To state that in another way, can a morphologically complex root get another prefixed preposition and still be readily understandable?

An example of that might be ἐπαναπαύεσθαι "rest upon" composed from the addition of another prefixed preposition to the middle ἀναπαύεσθαι "to rest", "to come to rest" of the verb ἀναπαύειν "cause to rest". The word ἐπαναπαύεσθαι is used syntactically to relate the action of the verb "to rest" to a place also mentioned with it. That seems to be the addition of a syntactic capability to the word ἀναπαύεσθαι rather than a change in the meaning.

The bound root παύεσθαι is used in quite a different way syntactically with a participle to express what one stops doing. .
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MAubrey
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Re: Derivational morphology and non-decomposable roots

Post by MAubrey » April 11th, 2016, 5:23 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:Does the addition of an extra prefixed preposition an indication that the word with the prefixed preposition was already seen as simple? To state that in another way, can a morphologically complex root get another prefixed preposition and still be readily understandable?
Well, I think the answer is pretty clearly 'yes', though once we step away from the *παύ, we're no longer talking about roots, but instead talking about stems. The process of attaching preverbs is certainly recursive to stems, at least within limits. The constructional rules for their ordering and multiplication would make for a fascinating dissertation for someone to write.

Or perhaps Smyth or one of the other Classical grammarians already covered it, I don't know. I bet Carl would...
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Re: Derivational morphology and non-decomposable roots

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 13th, 2016, 1:59 am

MAubrey wrote:once we step away from the *παύ, we're no longer talking about roots, but instead talking about stems. The process of attaching preverbs is certainly recursive to stems, at least within limits.
From the point of view of theoretical linguistics, yes, the root is technically παυ and αναπαυ is a stem, I was hesitant to put that subject heading out there, but it is generally better to make a mistake trying, than to make nothing by not trying. Terminology is difficult to classify and master. Here however, I'm wondering whether, from a psycholinguustic point of view ἀναπαύειν was processed with παύεσθαι in mind. The fact that they are used in quite different syntactic structures suggests that they were not. There are different structures to be processed.

Au contraire, the similarity between the meaning and usage of ἀναπαύεσθαι and ἐπαναπαύεσθαι suggests that the prefixed ἐπι performs a syntactic function, rather than a lexical one. Although it is all written and spoken as one word, ἐπαναπαύεσθαι, it is actually a syntactic variant of ἀναπαύεσθαι, allowing the specification of another element in the sentence. In terms of what Eeli was saying, the syntactic change is that it might allow the monovalent ἀναπαύεσθαι gets to become divalant (allowing the specification of the place or basis of resting). Obviously the form (ἐπαναπαύεσθαι) and the syntactic structure it is used in are built upon the easier one, but the meaning is not changed. From a psycholinguistics point of view then, the processing of the divalant ἐπαναπαύεσθαι is directly dependent one's understanding of the monovalant ἀναπαύεσθαι.

What would be interesting is to understand why the unmarked is used in 1 Peter 4:14 τὸ τῆς δόξης καὶ τὸ τοῦ θεοῦ πνεῦμα ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς ἀναπαύεται.
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Re: Derivational morphology and non-decomposable roots

Post by MAubrey » April 13th, 2016, 7:56 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:Here however, I'm wondering whether, from a psycholinguustic point of view ἀναπαύειν was processed with παύεσθαι in mind.
I can't imagine how that could be knowable.
Stephen Hughes wrote: The fact that they are used in quite different syntactic structures suggests that they were not. There are different structures to be processed.
Any syntactic difference between ἀναπαύειν and παύεσθαι is surely a voice distinction. Not a preverb distinction.
Stephen Hughes wrote:Au contraire, the similarity between the meaning and usage of ἀναπαύεσθαι and ἐπαναπαύεσθαι suggests that the prefixed ἐπι performs a syntactic function, rather than a lexical one. Although it is all written and spoken as one word, ἐπαναπαύεσθαι, it is actually a syntactic variant of ἀναπαύεσθαι, allowing the specification of another element in the sentence. In terms of what Eeli was saying, the syntactic change is that it might allow the monovalent ἀναπαύεσθαι gets to become divalant (allowing the specification of the place or basis of resting). Obviously the form (ἐπαναπαύεσθαι) and the syntactic structure it is used in are built upon the easier one, but the meaning is not changed. From a psycholinguistics point of view then, the processing of the divalant ἐπαναπαύεσθαι is directly dependent one's understanding of the monovalant ἀναπαύεσθαι.
That's probable.

You still get instances where the argument is realized as a full PP that is grammatically required to fulfill the argument structure of the verb, however.

Both ἐπαναπαύεσθαι and ἀναπαύεσθαι ἐπὶ take the meaning "to [come] to rest on X"

καὶ ἀναπαύσεται ἐπʼ αὐτὸν πνεῦμα τοῦ θεοῦ
And the spirit of God will come to rest upon him (Isaiah 11:2).

vs.

ἵνα ἐπαναπαῇς τοῖς λόγοις αὐτῶν
that you might find rest on their words (Didache 4.2).
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Re: Derivational morphology and non-decomposable roots

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 13th, 2016, 8:32 pm

MAubrey wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:Here however, I'm wondering whether, from a psycholinguustic point of view ἀναπαύειν was processed with παύεσθαι in mind.
I can't imagine how that could be knowable.
I also think that is in itself unknowable. The best that can be done is asking the living. Do you think of "create", when you hear the word "recreation"? I can not find any studies online about Modern Greek speakers who have suffered expressive aphasia (εκφράσεις αφασία) after a stroke or some other injury to the brain. If there was evidence that a productive pre-verbal such as ξανα "again" was said very differently by a patient who couldn't find the right word (Wernicke's Aphasiac), then that might suggest different processing. For example, if γυρίζει and ξαναγυρίζει etc. were treated differently, that might indicate different processing, or similar. On the whole, it is not so easy to find studies on aphasia on inflectional languages.
Stephen Hughes wrote: The fact that they are used in quite different syntactic structures suggests that they were not. There are different structures to be processed.
Any syntactic difference between ἀναπαύειν and παύεσθαι is surely a voice distinction. Not a preverb distinction.
παύεσθαι is used with a participle, almost as a modal, with the participle expressing what they are stopping doing. ἀναπαύεσθαι is used intransitively. Perhaps because I changed voice in the verbs, that confused you.
ἵνα παναπαῇς τοῖς λόγοις αὐτῶν
that you might find rest on their words (Didache 4.2).
What is the original language of composition for the Didache?
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Re: Derivational morphology and non-decomposable roots

Post by cwconrad » April 14th, 2016, 8:44 am

Stephen Hughes wrote: The fact that they are used in quite different syntactic structures suggests that they were not. There are different structures to be processed.
MAubrey wrote:Any syntactic difference between ἀναπαύειν and παύεσθαι is surely a voice distinction. Not a preverb distinction.
Stephen Hughes wrote:παύεσθαι is used with a participle, almost as a modal, with the participle expressing what they are stopping doing. ἀναπαύεσθαι is used intransitively. Perhaps because I changed voice in the verbs, that confused you.
Just a couple thoughts about this:
(1) παύεσθαι is indeed commonly used as a sort of auxiliary with a participle to express the notion of "stop doing x", but it's worth noting that παύεσθαι (middle) is also used absolutely with a genitive in the sense of "cease from x"; it's worth noting also that παῦε in the active imperative is used in the intransitive sense, "cease, desist!" -- it would appear that the active imperative is not uncommonly used in an intransitive sense in the case of middle verbs (cf. ἔγειρε "get up" for ἐγείρεσθαι with middle sense of "wake up, rise up").

(2) Another thought that I can't readily prove: ἐπαναπαύεσθαι, rather than involving a sense that is distinguishable from that of ἀναπαύεσθαι, may be an instance of "adding-on" for emphasis when the original verb seems to have lost its emphatic character in usage -- or might be thought to have lost its emphatic force. This would be in the same category as wanting something that sounds more forceful than "big" and using in its place "humongous" (a couple decades ago) or "huge" (pronounce that à la Trump: "you-ge!"). I guess that's a "psycholinguistic" factor -- the wish to differentiate and underscore the importance that a speaker attaches to adjectives or verbs used. I guess this is also related to the oft-touted proposition, "difference means choice"; I'm inclined to think that the preference for "half a dozen" over "six" is not because the one expression means something different but because the speaker imagines that somehow the one expression is more emphatic than the other -- that may be the intent, but I suspect that's not necessarily what the other person hears and understands.
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Re: Derivational morphology and non-decomposable roots

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 14th, 2016, 12:12 pm

cwconrad wrote:(2) Another thought that I can't readily prove: ἐπαναπαύεσθαι, rather than involving a sense that is distinguishable from that of ἀναπαύεσθαι, may be an instance of "adding-on" for emphasis when the original verb seems to have lost its emphatic character in usage -- or might be thought to have lost its emphatic force. This would be in the same category as wanting something that sounds more forceful than "big" and using in its place "humongous" (a couple decades ago) or "huge" (pronounce that à la Trump: "you-ge!"). I guess that's a "psycholinguistic" factor -- the wish to differentiate and underscore the importance that a speaker attaches to adjectives or verbs used. I guess this is also related to the oft-touted proposition, "difference means choice"; I'm inclined to think that the preference for "half a dozen" over "six" is not because the one expression means something different but because the speaker imagines that somehow the one expression is more emphatic than the other -- that may be the intent, but I suspect that's not necessarily what the other person hears and understands.
Arguements about how Greek lost emphasis and needed extra elements, how diminutives became more common, and how the case system simplified generally lack two elements, and have lacked them for over a hundred years. The first is the stability that would come from understanding what happened on tne other side of the loss or change - something like holding a hosetwo metres from the nozzle. The second thing is plausible reasons why, within the system of grammar that they happen. I would like to see both of those aspects be more convincingly covered.

It seems from the selection in LSJ - using a dictionary as a concordance is a fool-hardy stop-gap at best - that ἐπαναπαύεσθαι is not used of rest without indication what is being rested on.

What I mean to say, is that before wiping a broad brush over the canvas, consider something like Romans 1:12 τοῦτο δέ ἐστιν, συμπαρακληθῆναι ἐν ὑμῖν διὰ τῆς ἐν ἀλλήλοις πίστεως ὑμῶν τε καὶ ἐμοῦ. If a lexicon were to combine the lexical meaning of παρακληθῆναι with the syntactic element to give some sort of conglomerate meaning "to mutually encourage", combined with the dative ἐν ὑμῖν the result is sort of an overtranslation. If the συν- is seen as a syntactic element to mark that another element will be added to verb παρακληθῆναι, then the tone of the Greek steps down a few notches to something like "we will both be encouraged" or "to be encouraged along with you". The encouragement is not mutual - from each other - but rather it is a shared encouragement "through ...". I think that these are places where the methodology behind the presentation - separation between lexicon and grammar, and providing a "full" meaning for words in the dictionary - leads to a slightly affected understanding.
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Re: Derivational morphology and non-decomposable roots

Post by MAubrey » April 17th, 2016, 10:03 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:Perhaps because I changed voice in the verbs, that confused you.
Obviously. But that was your own fault. You can't just arbitrary swap voices between verbs with casuative actives and then talk about transitivity without causing confusion. I need to know what data you're looking at if I'm going to follow the discussion and different voices = different data.
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Re: Derivational morphology and non-decomposable roots

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 17th, 2016, 10:35 am

MAubrey wrote:causing confusion
Perhaps cause and spread are close synonyms in this situation.
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Re: Derivational morphology and non-decomposable roots

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 17th, 2016, 11:29 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:Arguements about how Greek lost emphasis and needed extra elements, how diminutives became more common, and how the case system simplified generally lack two elements, and have lacked them for over a hundred years. The first is the stability that would come from understanding what happened on tne other side of the loss or change - something like holding a hosetwo metres from the nozzle. The second thing is plausible reasons why, within the system of grammar that they happen. I would like to see both of those aspects be more convincingly covered.
Looking at that, I wonder what sense it could make...

There is sometimes a negative to the descriptions of change from the Classical to the Koine periods. Language connotating bereavement or conquest is employed - the optative was lost, the accusative took over the role of the genitive, something gave way to something else, various things were simplified. There are other ways to look at the changes. Neutral or even positive descriptions can be employed.

During the Koine period, extra prefixes were added to the front of verbs (some of which already had prefixed prepositions), expressing different meanings - making either the syntax or the meaning clearer. The process did not go on ad infinitum ending up with great long German-like words. The dynamism and innovation of the process of adding new prefixes to roots (and stems) happened most in the Koine period. The loss (a negative sounding word) of the force of the diminutive actually produced a very stable system that has lasted much longer than the relatively short time that the change took place over. The process of the lost of diminutive force didn't go on repetitively till the present. There were also a lot of words for which their primary format did not become what was once the diminutive. That stock of non-classical words also remained very stable. Once the case system changes that we read about with the the loss of the dative and the almost complete restriction of the genitive to the possessive took place, that is the way that the language basically remained. The Greek language has not gone further in the reduction, and reduced to a system of no cases, but rather has remained stable.

And argument like that something lost force, and additional elements were needed to make up the loss, doesn't fully express the beauty of the creative process.
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