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Hi!

Harold Ensle writes:
>...
> I discovered in the analysis, that most definitely, verbs and nouns must
> exist and are distinct.
>...

Could you give an outline of your analysis and reasoning?

In abstract considerations about engelangs, my conclusion was usually
the opposite: I had severe problems defining a criterion to
distinguish verbal and nominal lexicon entries (I am not talking about
functions in a sentence) that was not totally arbitrary.

>...
> It turns out, of course, that both of these things are
> required universally. That is, a language needs a way to express actions and
> it also needs a way to express the verbal function in a sentence. (Consider,
> for example, in Loglan where a "function" and an "argument" are required.)
>...

Anyway, predicates with arguments (=clauses) can be arguments
themselves: 'I know that you study.'  And there are sentences that
have arguments only for purely syntactical purposes: 'It is raining.'
Further, why should having zero arguments define a different word
class than having one argument, but having two arguments define the
same as having one?  If you distinguish by argument count, then why
boil it down to two categories?  What is special about having zero
arguments?  And what is special about being an argument when the
default is a nested structure?

My considerations where about both levels, as are yours: morphosyntax,
and lexicon, e.g. how to map semantics to lexicon entries.  There is
more than actions and objects, for which the assignment of verbal
vs. nominal stem is obvious.

Looking at English verbs, there are really strange ones like 'to have'
and 'to be', there are state verbs 'to lie', 'to stand', there are
events 'to fall', there is 'to like', 'to fail', 'to understand', 'to
freeze' (intransitive) etc.etc. -- none are actions.  Then conversion
from noun to verb and the other way around works on arbitrary
semantical content -- it is often a purely morphosyntactical operation
for shaping some lexicon entry to be usable in a certain situation in
a sentence.

Then looking at the English lexicon itself, why is 'freeze' the basic
lexicon entry in English but not 'frozen' (the state)?  OTOH, why is
'hot' (the state) the basic entry but not 'make hot' or 'become hot'
(mere temperature!)?  And corresponding to 'cold' you have the extry
lexicon entry 'to chill'.  This is often the case, so I'd unify
'speed' vs. 'fast' in an engelang, too.

From all this I found that having one open word class feels easiest
for my engelangs, and I also do not distinguish 'noun' or 'verb' on
morphosyntax level, where the distinction is given as it is: to be an
argument and/or to have an argument/several arguments.  Qyn|gi
demonstrates this quite clearly: lexicon entries are inflected by
prototypical verbal *and* nominal categories like case, mood/evidence,
semantical valence, syntactical valence.  They can be arguments and
have arguments, and both, and none.

**Henrik