(From Lognet 94/2)

Sau La Keugru (From the Caretaking-Group = Academy)

The Keugru has adopted a proposal by the Takyrultua for a change in morphology (word-making). This rule-change requires that any CVC-initial complex be hyphenated at the first joint if the two consonants on the two sides of that joint (C/C) form a permitted initial pair. For example, paslinkui “ancestor” becomes pasylinkui, hyphenating the s/l joint, while the currently prohibited *tosmabru becomes legal as tosymabru; also the former takrultua becomes takyrultua. Existing borrowings are already constrained from having an initial CV-segment followed by a permissible initial CC, and so are unaffected by this new rule.

This change gives us two important benefits:

(A) It simplifies complex-building. Previously, in a complex made from three or more primitives, a CCV affix was always legal anywhere, and an initial CVV affix had always to be hyphenated with /r n/; but before this change it was hard to decide whether an initial CVC affix was legal or had to be hyphenated. With the change, the question has a routine answer: if the two consonants at the first joint of a trial-complex you are building form a permitted initial consonant pair, always hyphenate that joint with /y/.

There are other rules for hyphenating CVC affixes which still need to be followed, of course. For example, if any post-CVC joint forms a double consonant, or two sibilants, or a voiceless consonant before its voiced variant, or certain prohibited triple consonants, it will still have to be hyphenated. In other words, the other rules for hyphenation at C/C junctions still have to be followed.

(B) Many more borrowings are now permitted. “Slinkui” is the name of a common sort of attempted borrowing that was illegal before this change because a preceding little word would turn it into a complex. Thus *pa slinkui resolved as the then-legal complex paslinkui. But the new rule makes *paslinkui illegal because the first-joint CC is a permissible initial. So with this change, slinkui and kin will become legal borrowings.

The Keugru probably hasn’t worked through all of the implications of this new rule, or some of its finer details. Watch this space for future reports.