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On Wed, May 5, 2010 at 1:58 AM, Peter Bleackley
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Suppose we have a language with a system of noun classes that includes
> I. Member of the tribe
> II. Foreigner
> III. Domestic animal
> IV. Wild animal
> ...amongst others. How could we talk about humans in general, or animals in
> general?

If the language distinguishes between tribe members and foreigners at
a grammatical level, it's entirely possible that there *is* no unified
term for "humans", and the language requires you to say "the People
and foreigners" if you really want to refer to such a class. Likewise
for animals. I'd find this to be an interesting and pleasing
cultural-linguistic approach.

-- 
JS Bangs
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http://jsbangs.wordpress.com

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle" -Philo of Alexandria