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Tamas Racsko wrote:


> On 19 Sep 2004 J"rg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@WEB...> wrote:
> > > Quality verbs (used for adjectives) take S_o
> > >
> > > "Transitive and Intransitive verbs may be placed in the imperative.
> > > Quality
> > > verbs cannot."
> > >
> > > This sounds pretty cool!
> >
> > And it makes sense, as the quality verbs are not about actually *doing*
> > something.  It is the same way in my conlang Old Albic (a fluid-S
> > language).
>
>   AFAIK |tasy| 'be-ill' is a quality verb in Guarani: |xe rasy| 'I
> am-ill', |nde rasy| 'you are-ill', |hasy| < *|ha'e tasy| 'he/she is-
> ill', |nda.ore.rasy.i| 'we-are-not-ill'.
>
>   If this verb has no imperative, how can English sentence 'Do not
> be ill!' is translated into Guarani?  Or in Old Albic?

The problem is, lots of "quality" verbs, in English and many languages,
can't have imperatives either, and it may be a near-universal. There are
questions of logic, real-world possibility, applicability to humans,
volition.  Thus, "don't be ill/sick" is not an acceptable sentence, just
like "don't be green", "don't be intelligent".  Similarly, "don't know
that!", "don't understand that!"-- some in this last class are acceptable as
positives, though rather formal.

"Don't _get/become_ sick" i.e. stay healthy, is OK.

There are some special cases, but the meaning is not the same:

Don't be sick! (i.e. don't vomit)
Don't be stupid! (i.e. don't act stupid)
Don't be black! (advice to a chess player)

(To someone who is currently sick, one might say, "Don't be sick next
weekend!" (because we're having a party for you)-- and so on; very special
cases.