-ture

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by mathman, Mar 14, 2015.

  1. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    overture, rapture, venture, debenture, adventure,aperture

    What is the significance of -ture in all these (unrelated) words?
     
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  3. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

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  5. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Indeed. As the article points out, the element is actually -ure, from Latin -ura. The preceding consonant is part of the root: verdure, fissure, tenure, juncture, etc. It just happens that many Latin participles end in -t, so many of the words formed this way have a T before the -ure.

    However, you have to be careful not to mis-analyze words of this type. Injure, allure, procure, impure, insure, abjure... these words have a different history and the last three letters are not an inflection.
     
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  7. Robert Schunk Registered Senior Member

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    Reading the piece linked to, the meaning of the inflection reminds me somewhat of the stative form of a Native American verb.
     
  8. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    There are several families of Native American languages. Which one are you referring to?

    The Na-Dene family (which includes Navajo, Tlingit and several others in western North America) is now widely acknowledged as one branch of the "Dene-Yeniseian" family. Yenisei is a Siberian language which has many similarities to Na-Dene. The community of linguists is not yet 100% sure of this, but if it's true, it is the first time anyone has been able to trace the ancestry of a language to 12,000 years: the migration of our species into the Western Hemisphere. Until now, there was a "5,000 year curtain" beyond which we could not trace language evolution, since vocabulary, syntax, grammar and everything else has usually undergone 100% turnover in that time, and similarities are as likely to be the result of borrowing (or an actual sprachbund) as true ancestral relationship.

    BTW, Chinese also has stative, equative and transitive verbs. I don't know if this is true of the entire Sino-Tibetan family.
     
  9. Robert Schunk Registered Senior Member

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    I was thinking specifically of the Amerind phylum, not Na-Dene. The Na-Dene would have been more recent arrivals in North America than the Amerinds.
     
  10. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    wow! How does this relate to -ture?
     
  11. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    A recent article in National Geographic provided exhaustive archeological evidence that all of the native peoples in the Western Hemisphere were and are indeed descended from a single population in Beringia, during an ice age about 30KYA when sea level was much lower and that land mass existed. DNA, in particular, makes it difficult to argue for multiple migrations from Asia.

    Where in Asia they came from is not so easy to determine, since the Asians have moved around so much (not to mention chasing each other around) in the last 300 centuries. However, since (coastal) seaworthy watercraft were invented in both Japan and Korea and were in wide use at that time, one possibility is that these people are the descendants of those people. Once the Bering Land Bridge was flooded by the rising temperatures of the waning ice age, at the same time the gigantic ice barriers to the east were diminishing, it became much easier to migrate southward. Other evidence for settlement by seafaring peoples is found in copious evidence of canoe travel down the Pacific coast all the way to Tierra del Fuego, coupled with evidence of coastal villages established long before the inland areas were explored.

    Of course this kind of blows the Yenisei - Na-Dene connection, unless we're willing to entertain the possibility that the Yenisei too are descended from the Paleolithic inhabitants of Japan and Korea. This is quite a stretch, yet there is a fragment of support: The New World was populated by people who did not herd reindeer/caribou (and surprisingly, still do not), and if I'm not mistaken, the Yenisei are one of the few Siberian populations who do not herd reindeer because the terrain of their homeland is of a kind that reindeer do not find comfortable.
     
  12. Robert Schunk Registered Senior Member

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    It relates to -ture as I was answering Fraggle Rocker's question about which Native American languages I referred to when I spoke of stative verbal forms, to which English nouns ending in -ture seem to me to bear a semantic and derivational similarity.
     
  13. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    A stative verb is one which expresses the state of the subject. In Chinese, for example, gou xiao means "dog is-small." The two other kinds of verbs in Chinese are transitive (I hit ball) and intransitive (I run). It's difficult to find any verbs in English that actually serve as stative verbs. We normally use the verb "to be," as in "He is tall." Chinese does not have this construction.

    English words like culture and future are simply nouns, regardless of the structure of their Latin ancestors--which were also nouns.
     
  14. Robert Schunk Registered Senior Member

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    I understand that they are simply nouns. In my earlier posts I said "reminds me somewhat" and "seems to bear... similarity". I wasn't confusing the two.
     

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