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Christophe Grandsire scripsit:

> Take for instance Latin and all other IE languages with a
> neuter gender and case distinctions. The neuter gender has always identical
> nominative and accusative,

This fits nicely into the other thread about IE-ness: it is indeed a salient
IE property, and can still be seen just barely above water even in English,
where (alone among the personal pronouns) "it" is both nom. and acc.

> Remark that I put nouns
> and adjectives in the same PoS because the overlap is big there. English
> doesn't seem to mind using nouns without modification as adjectives, and
> even if the other way is less common, and somewhat restricted, it's not
> unknown.

I think this blurs a necessary distinction.  Adjectives to nouns is just
typically English zero definition: as nouns can be verbed, so adjectives
can be nouned as in "the good, the bad, and the ugly", a practice not
unknown in other IE languages, and even provided with a special neuter
article in Spanish.

But constructs like "mission suitability" (a phrase beloved of NASA) are
not an instance of a denominal adjective "mission" zero-derived from the
noun "mission", but rather a noun-noun compound, a type much more common
in non-IE languages.  Chinese and Turkish are full of them, for example.

In short, I think that nouns and adjectives are tolerably separate in
English, and ought not to be lumped.

> And I've only talked about two of the languages I know. So I don't know if
> it's that uncommon to have languages with more PoS than English.

ObConlang:  In Lojban, there are basically 3 POS:  predicates, proper names,
and particles.  The latter, however, can be divided into exactly 125
subclasses, many containing only a single word.  The resulting 127 groups
have the property that if a sentence is grammatical, it will still be
grammatical after replacing any or all words by words in the same group
(if there are any).

--
Values of beeta will give rise to dom!          John Cowan
(5th/6th edition 'mv' said this if you tried    http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
to rename '.' or '..' entries; see              [log in to unmask]
http://cm.bell-labs.com/cm/cs/who/dmr/odd.html)