Edward Sapir > Language: An Introduction to the Study of Speech > Subject Index > Page 30
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Edward Sapir (1884–1939).  Language: An Introduction to the Study of Speech.  1921.
 

Page 30
 
is an example of A + b, the -ful barely preserving the impress of its lineage. A word like homely, on the other hand, is clearly of the type A + (b), for no one but a linguistic student is aware of the connection between the -ly and the independent word like.
  In actual use, of course, these five (or six) fundamental types may be indefinitely complicated in a number of ways. The (0) may have a multiple value; in other words, the inherent formal modification of the basic notion of the word may affect more than one category. In such a Latin word as cor “heart,” for instance, not only is a concrete concept conveyed, but there cling to the form, which is actually shorter than its own radical element (cord-), the three distinct, yet intertwined, formal concepts of singularity, gender classification (neuter), and case (subjective-objective). The complete grammatical formula for cor is, then, A + (0) + (0) + (0), though the merely external, phonetic formula would be (A) –, (A) indicating the abstracted “stem” cord-, the minus sign a loss of material. The significant thing about such a word as cor is that the three conceptual limitations are not merely expressed by implication as the word sinks into place in a sentence; they are tied up, for good and all, within the very vitals of the word and cannot be eliminated by any possibility of usage.
  Other complications result from a manifolding of parts. In a given word there may be several elements of the order A (we have already symbolized this by the type A + B), of the order (A), of the order b, and of the order (b). Finally, the various types may be combined among themselves in endless ways. A comparatively simple language like English, or even Latin, illustrates but a modest proportion of these theoretical possibilities.

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