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<Wilhelm Ulrich Schlaier> sikyal:

> my only real thought was, couldn't a verb be a adjective instead of having a
> seperate catergory? verbs are just describing a noun's movment so they really
> ought to be nouns, right?

Yes, but you're looking at it backwards. There are many languages in which
verbs and adjectives are the same part of speech, but in all such
languages it is *adjectives* that are really *verbs*.

This is not just arbitrary. In languages like English and German, where
adjectives and verbs are separate parts of speech, verbs have properties
like tense, aspect, person, number, etc. Adjectives do not. However, in
languages like Japanese or Thai, where adjectives act like verbs, we find
that adjectives *also* have properties of tense, mood, etc. Thus, they act
like verbs (but not nouns).

As for your second question: no. All languages[1] have at least two
categories: verbs and nouns. Sometimes adjectives act like nouns (English,
German), and sometimes they act like verbs (Japanese, Thai). But verbs
never act like nouns without special morphology/syntax.

[1] Except for some Languages Of Unusual Structure (LOUS's [2]) which are
reported to exist by a thread here a few days ago. Personally, I don't
beleive they exist.

[2] I'm full of whimsical coinages today, but I especially like this one
as a term for a nat-freaklang, like those OSV weirdos, and Georgian. Can I
keep it? Please, please?


Jesse S. Bangs [log in to unmask]
http://students.washington.edu/jaspax/
http://students.washington.edu/jaspax/blog

Jesus asked them, "Who do you say that I am?"

And they answered, "You are the eschatological manifestation of the ground
of our being, the kerygma in which we find the ultimate meaning of our
interpersonal relationship."

And Jesus said, "What?"