On Tue, 21 May 2019 at 04:14, And Rosta <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> On Tue, 21 May 2019, 06:45 Logan Kearsley, <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > I have come up with a sketch of the core of a grammar with a two-way
> > lexical distinction that pretty clearly ends up preserving verbs, but
> > replaces lexical nouns entirely with adjectives.
> >
> > To be more precise, one lexical category in this lang is a set of intransitive
> > roots with non-agentive arguments, whose base form is attributive, but
> > which can be inflected to become nominal or predicative.
> >
> > The second major open class is basically verblike, and includes transitives,
> > intransitives with agentive subjects, and ditransitives. Derivational
> > operators can turn transitives into adjectives (hence nouns) referring to
> > the direct object (from which a passive construction can be derived), but
> > using an intransitive verb in an attributive capacity requires a relative
> > clause, as does referring to the subject of a transitive verb in an
> > attributive capacity.
> >
> Would 'mother' and 'nose' be treated as nonagentive intransitives or as
> transitives? The logic of the scheme would say Transitives.

That depends on which semantic features you consider more central to the logic.

I have experimented with treating kinship terms specifically as
stative transitives, inspired by Oneida, but doing so in this case
would cause too many problems, I think. In the absence of an agentive
argument, I think it makes more sense to lexicalize each half of those
kinds of binary relations as a separate intransitive root (as is
typical in most human languages).

There certainly is, however, room to expand the scheme with a third
basic lexical class just for inalienably-possessed things, though!
That could be interesting.

> I have betimes mentally doodled an artlingual scheme similar to yours,
> except that the dichotomy is based not on agentivity (plus transitivity)
> but eventivity (plus transitivity); the stative intransitives get singled
> out for special nounlike treatment.
> --And.