On 9 August 2015 at 03:27, And Rosta <[log in to unmask]> wrote: > On 9 Aug 2015 01:52, "Logan Kearsley" <[log in to unmask]> wrote: >> >> On 8 August 2015 at 08:58, And Rosta <[log in to unmask]> wrote: > >> > But I certainly wouldn't agree that it isn't possible for there to be a >> > syntax such that there is a rational consensus that it has just one PoS. >> > Setting aside special quotative devices, my Livagian has one PoS, and > this >> > is not especially impressive or surprising. The one PoS corresponds to > the >> > logical category of predicates. The cobinding of arguments, standardly >> > notated with variables, is expressed by inflections. Trad logic's >> > quantifiers, connectives and constants are also treated as predicates. >> > There are no syntactic subcategories of predicate. So just one PoS. >> >> >> Palno is similar (some versions of it, anyway- others have two or >> three, due to splitting out atoms and conjunctions from predicates). >> I don't know how well this would apply to Livagian, but my Devil's >> Advocate position on Palno is that, even in the version designed with >> only the one part of speech for predicates, can reasonably be argued >> to have 4 parts of speech by an outside observer, based on the >> different syntactic behavior of predicates with 0, 1, 2, and 3 arity. > > For Livagian, the outside observer would see only one PoS. I take it that > the essence of a PoS is that it allows you to attribute more than one > property to (the members of) the same set of lexical items. > >> There are, however, definitely more than one kind of internal >> syntactic node in all versions of Palno. > > Not for Livagian. It is completely left-branching and every node (terminal > and non-) is a predicate. The mother node is a complex predicate formed of > its daughters. I am getting the impression that Livagian must have some similarity in function to J. S. Jones's indexing languages. Or possibly Davin, the "phonology on top of set theory" language. Either way, I suspect that major difference between Livagian and Palno that results in Livagian only needing a single lexical category is that Palno associates arguments with sub-expressions, and thus the morphology on each sub-expression is required to express whether it is representing a particular relativized argument of itself, or the proposition, which results in two kinds of syntax nodes. Whereas referential arguments are not identified with any one specific phrase in Livagian, instead being implicitly described by the inflections distributed across multiple monocategorial predicates. Does that sound right? >> I also can't speak as to how well Livagian avoids the linguistic >> equivalent of the Turing Tarpit, but as I have noted before I find >> basic monocategorial Palno *incredibly* difficult to actually use >> fluently. Experience with other conlangs suggests to me that this is >> to some extent inherent to the language, not purely a result of my own >> unfamiliarity with that kind of language. So I am still waiting to be >> convinced that an unambiguous monocategorial language is not merely >> *possible*, but that one can be made *ergonomic* and *practical*. > > My intuition is that Livagian cannot be processed as a human language. Well, then, I guess the search continues! > I don't think that monocategoriality or any other sort of excessive > simplicity is the main problem. The main problem is how to keep track of > which argument places across the sentence share the same value. I know of > just two sorts of solution to that. One is Livagian's, which is to maintain > an abstract list of argument places in the sentence so far, and encode with > inflections interactions -- list-merging operations -- between the > arguments of the rightmost word in a phrase and the arguments of the > sentence so far. The other solution is every other loglang I know of's, > including standard notation, which is to give each argument a unique (but > recyclable) name. This latter solution is even more unergonomic than the > former. The Palno solution is not quite the same as that standard loglang solution. As stated above, it identifies every argument with a relativized phrase that projects the referent of that argument as its semantic head. If one argument needs to be used in more than one position, where one of the positions is not an ancestor or descendent node of the other, it uses pronominal predicates; but, while that maintains total syntactic disambiguity, there is room for ambiguity in pronoun binding. I don't worry about that too much because I consider it roughly on the same level as lexical ambiguity and polysemy, which I don't any loglang can completely eliminate- you'd need and infinite number of basic roots for every possible way of slicing up subsets of the world! This exchange has, however, brought me to a couple of Obvious-In-Retrospect realizations: First, Patrick's language can trivial be transformed into a truly monocategorial-at-the-lexical-level by introducing some regular inflectional morphology for distinguishing preposition-like and noun-like words, rather than encoding the distinction in the roots themselves (although that does retain a distinction between two types of internal syntactic nodes). Second, there is a logical equivalence between isolating bicategorial languages and inflecting monocategorial languages; and one language could be analyzed as either due to the ambiguity of word boundaries and the fuzzy line between morphology and syntax. In any case, a usable language must encode two different kinds of information: the basic conceptual atoms out of which more complex ideas are built, and structural information that tells you how those atoms are combined and produces compositional semantics. An isolating bicategorial language divides those two functions into two parts of speech. And it probably says something about human cognition that there exist natlangs with exactly that split, but none known that are truly monocategorial. Monocategorial languages, on the other hand, must be inflecting, and divide those functions between roots (concepts) and inflections (structure). If the morphology is sufficiently transparent, then such a language can be re-analyzed as bicategorial simply by changing where you choose to put the word boundaries. -l.