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CONLANG  March 2006, Week 4

CONLANG March 2006, Week 4

Subject:

Re: "to be" and not to be in the world's languages

From:

Rob Haden <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 22 Mar 2006 12:48:34 -0500

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On Mon, 20 Mar 2006 16:14:29 -0500, Roger Mills <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>Taliesin wrote:
>
>> There's a guy in Oslo (Pål Kristian Eriksen) who's just finished/gotten
>> his doctorate in typological linguistics. His dissertation is on "to
>> be": which languages have a separate word for it, which languages don't,
>> and why.
>>
>> Unfortunately, his uni the University of Oslo isn't too fond of the
>> riffraff (that is: anyone not at the university of Oslo) paving on their
>> precious dissertations[*] so I don't know if there exists an electronic
>> copy at all
>
>Probably waiting for all those offers from publishers to start rolling
>in.........Maybe someone could hack into Mr. Eriksen's computer and lift his
>copy---but it would be wrong.
>
>(Snip some summary)
>The reason why "to
>> be" is needed is because you can't add a particle/word meaning "not"
>> directly to a noun used as a predicate, you need a buffer-word of some
>> sort, hence "to be".
>
>Immediate counter-ex (perhaps he knows it)-- Indonesian/Malay uses a
>different word to negate noun predicates--

What about Slavic languages, e.g. Russian?  Is the following allowed:
"Alexei nyet doktor" = "Alexei is not (a) doctor"?

- Rob

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