Feayran recently (as in, since the LCC relay) became nounless, because I
discovered that due to a number of other systems already in place in the
language, nouns were being used less and less, and in fact weren't necessary
at all. What's left now are verbs (which in the absence of nouns maybe
should be called predicates?) which are used to describe identities and
relationships of entities.

Rhrúk ulshikátenùoshl elàeruthálshi hé, uá náa gó elàeruthálku ulkuvávirrol.
next she_went_in_the_house she_is_my_friend that, ah well other
he_is_my_friend he_was_in_that_place_of_mine
"Then my friend went in my house, but my other friend was already inside."

There are two things going on that help things track without nouns to
represent things:

Feayran marks participants on verbs using a flexible noun class system--when
entities are (or become) salient enough to require disambiguation, speakers
assign them a noun class which is not already in use. In this way, the
participant markers on verbs reference particular entities without requiring
an independent word to do so.

The language then arranges predicates in order of newsworthiness. Predicates
which indicate topic changes or introduce new or surprising information
occur first, while predicates giving clarifying or background information
come later. In the example, the predicate "elàeruthálshi" is reaffirming the
identity of the woman who went into the house, and so (as
background/clarifying information) it goes after the predicate indicating
her action. However, "elàeruthálku" introduces a new entity into the
narrative and must come before the descriptive predicate "ulkuvávirrol."

Both "elàeruthálshi" and "elàeruthálku" are morphosyntactically
indistinguishable from other predicates as far as I can tell (their
construction, including TAM marking, is the same, and more semantically
verby predicates can occur in all the same syntactic structures), so I
haven't found a good reason to analyze them as any kind of "noun" distinct
from other "verb" predicates. Does that sound like solid nounlessness, or is
there a better analysis I could use?


On Fri, Jul 15, 2011 at 11:12 PM, Larry Sulky <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Correct, Jörg, and that's just what Loglan and Lojban do. Every "predicate"
> has 1 or more "places". A 1-place predicate would be "X is a lion", and
> indeed, after thinking in this model for a while it becomes hard to think
> of
> "just a noun". Every predicate truly is a verb.
> On Fri, Jul 15, 2011 at 1:03 PM, Jörg Rhiemeier <[log in to unmask]
> >wrote:
> > Hallo conlangers!
> >
> > On Friday 15 July 2011 17:13:42, And Rosta wrote:
> >
> > > Loglan/Lojban does have nouny words, but all open-class words are
> verby.
> > > Same goes for Livagian, in which all stems are verby and nothing is
> > nouny.
> > > Probably a lot of your loglangier engelangs are similar, because this
> > > results from an attempt to model pure conceptual structure without
> > imposing
> > > on it a layer of redundant purely syntactic categories.
> >
> > If I understood that loglang business correctly, the lack of a
> > noun/verb distinction is due to the fact that from the standpoint
> > of logic, nouns are predicate symbols just as verbs are.  There
> > isn't really that much of a difference between a predicate like
> > "X is a lion" and one like "X roars".  Hence, there is little
> > reason to treat the concept of being a lion differently in the
> > machinery of the grammar than the concept of roaring.
> >
> > --
> > ... brought to you by the Weeping Elf
> >
> > "Bęsel asa Ęm, a Ęm atha cvanthal a cvanth atha Ęmel." - SiM 1:1
> >
> --
> *Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and
> original in your work.* -- Gustave Flaubert