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Thread: -ic vs. -ical

  1. #21
    CHOMAT is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: -ic vs. -ical

    Here there is matter to think that the principle of economy can't be a satisfying explanation= the longer the noun( affixation), the shorter the adjective. The chosen examples are obvious.
    Some searcher believed that -ic adjectives were chosen according to the essential link between noun and adjective:
    Electric shock :the shock is no more than electricity .Here, the adjective is almost a noun
    versus
    electrical equipment or component : these things deal with electricity but are not essentially electricity it is peripheral.
    PerhapsThe electric car instance points out the fuzzy extent of the essential link noun and adjective .

    There must be other determining factors weighing on the choice between pairs:
    electric car :the phonological factor : euphony electrical car*[l]/ [ka:] idem shock or current which take the stress upon the first syllable
    yet electrical components : [l][k] but components takes the stress on the second syllable . prosody ? e'lec/tri /kal/ com'po/nents ? E'lec/tric com'ponents Are the two stresses too close ?
    Electric company : 'company most of the time shortened into Electric co

    Semantic or/and phonological factors?
    We could try on a larger corpus of pairs since the diachronic key should be abandoned.
    Alain

  2. #22
    Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: -ic vs. -ical

    Alain you mean electric is closer to noun than electrical. True adjectives are closely related to nouns because they either define them more precisely or limit them. I believe one of the French writers once wrote the adjective is the enemy of the noun. The stress plays another role.

  3. #23
    CHOMAT is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: -ic vs. -ical

    It's not me who means so : Marchand a linguist thought ic adj derived from the basic substantive and carried the notion more in essence.
    What makes you believe the stress plays another part ?

  4. #24
    CHOMAT is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: -ic vs. -ical

    Quote Originally Posted by CHOMAT View Post
    It's not me who means so : Marchand a linguist thought ic adj derived from the basic substantive and carried the notion more in essence.
    What makes you believe the stress plays another part ?
    Ah the French writer is Voltaire.

  5. #25
    Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: -ic vs. -ical

    Quote Originally Posted by CHOMAT View Post
    Ah the French writer is Voltaire.
    1.Yes indeed It was Voltaire now I remember. Do you know in what context he said that? I like the idea because adjectives reflect the subjective view.
    2. with stress I was referring to your example. I meant exta-linguistic factors can be at work but I don't really know about their role in this issue. BTW the difference at least in meaning between electric and electrical has been abandoned. Maybe this will be the fate of the other pairs as well.
    Last edited by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim; 21-Jun-2007 at 01:43.

  6. #26
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    Default Re: -ic vs. -ical

    I'm not sure . I should look up in my old books . It might refer to Aristotle's tenet on the quintessential place of the verb and the substantive. Adjective was looked down just as an ornemental ivy that stifles the substantive tree.
    It reminds me of the Embodied Verb= the Saint and the Bible's precepts.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: -ic vs. -ical

    Beside diachronic analysis, could it also be, at least partly, an example of iconicity? The -ical ones seems having a faint tendency of being more abstract than the -ic ones.

  8. #28
    bianca is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: -ic vs. -ical

    I don't think this is a matter of abstractness. Adjectives with -ic and -ical are not identical, they modify the meaning of the nouns they precede in different ways. They are similar in their forms and origins but somewhat different in their meanings and uses.

    Check out for more info:
    Content Frame
    Last edited by bianca; 28-Aug-2007 at 14:54.

  9. #29
    Blakist is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: -ic vs. -ical

    Symmetric and symmetrical can be an example Dr Ibrahim

  10. #30
    LwyrFirat is offline Member
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    Default Re: -ic vs. -ical

    Dear Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim,

    I’ve an academic/ academical article which analyses the matter very deeply(44 pages)

    I hope it would be satisfactory for you http://icame.uib.no/ij25/gries.pdf
    Last edited by LwyrFirat; 13-Sep-2007 at 06:31.

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