Tuesday, 6 August 2019

honorificabilitudinitatibus

Whilst the agglutinative nature of German might be more familiar with its very, very long compound words, for which there is grammatical no upwards limit though terms would become unwieldy and unintelligible eventually, Turkish also has this feature. This construction through affixes illustrated in the passage by author Koksal Karakus in addressing education reform:

We are in a teachers’ training academy that has nefarious purposes. The teachers trained here are indoctrinated on how to make unsuccessful ones from the pupils.  So—one by one—teachers are being educated as makers of unsuccessful ones. One of those teachers, however, refuses to be maker-of-unsuccessful-ones—or in other words, to be made a maker-of-unsuccessful-ones; he is critical of the academy’s stance on their performance. The rector who thinks every teacher can be made easily into a maker-of-unsuccessful-ones is quick to anger. The rector invites the teacher into his office and confronts him, “You are talking as if you were one of those we cannot easily be made into a maker-of-unsuccessful-ones, isn’t that right?” The final form is the seventy-letter:

muvaffakiyetleştiricileştiriveremeyebileceklerimizdenmişsinizcesine

Though not a case of agglutination like the Turkish example or the above medieval Latin ablative form for “being in a state capable of receiving honours” appearing in Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost, it nonetheless recalls the motto of Saint John’s College (pictured above), a sort of word play in Latin: I make free adults from children by means of books and balance.