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At 9:04 pm -0400 30/4/02, Nik Taylor wrote:
>ebera wrote:
>> In the way they work, adjectives are nouns.
>
>In European languages, yes, but not in all languages.  Japanese, among
>many others, treats certain adjectives as verbs, complete with past
>tense, negative inflections (Japanese verbs inflect for
>positive/negative), polite forms (altho for adjectives that consists
>merely of adding _desu_), and so on.  There are other languages that
>treat *all* adjectives as verbs.

Yep - and I have seriously considered (and may well implement) having all
'adjectives' as verbs in BrSc.  It makes sense to have them as finite verbs
when predicative, and as verbal participles (or maybe 'relativized verbs')
when attributive.

>FWIW, Uatakassi (my conlang) treats adjectives like nouns when they're
>used descriptively (e.g., "old woman"), but as verbs when they're used
>as predicates (e.g., "the woman is old")

But not, I guess, as a noun case when used descriptively and as a verb mood
(tense/voice/aspect??) when used as a predicate   ;)

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At 10:59 pm +0200 30/4/02, Christophe Grandsire wrote:
>En réponse à ebera <[log in to unmask]>:
>
[snip]
>
>It all depends on the language. You seem to forget one thing: cases are
>grammatical features, and thus depend on the language you're talking about.
>That's why we also talk of roles. Roles are semantic functions that can be
>expressed differently by different languages, but are basically language-
>independent.

What a relief it is to see sanity & common sense!  Thanks, Cristophe -
maybe Gallic logic and clarity is a myth; it's the Normans who are so
endowed  :))

[large chunk snipped - but agree entirely with Christophe]

>
>> If you consider 'case' is only the name of case-markers and the
>> meaning
>> they convey in the sentence is 'role', then case-markers should be
>> named
>> role-markers.
>
>No. Both things refer to two different layers: grammar (for cases) and meaning
>(for roles). Grammar is just the way languages express meaning. Both need two
>different ways to be discussed about.

Exactly! There are differences between morphology, syntax and semantics.
Good grief! even my better computer students know the difference between
syntax and semantic.

> Then we should not at all talk about cases because it
>> becomes
>> pointless, with role being the real name.
>
>No they're not. You're mixing two different things. Learn to separate them
>first. Then you can discuss about them.

AMEN!!   AMEN!!

[snip]

>We don't. We just use the word "role" when we're talking about roles, and the
>word "case" when we're talking about cases.

Précisement.

[snip]


>   Learning the right word often helps thinking the thing better.

...and how often have I had say that to my students  :)

Ray.

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