Nik Taylor wrote:
> Nik Taylor wrote:
> > Perhaps
> > "John is someone other than my brother" (or is "other than" considered a
> > negative?) or just being more specific - "John is my friend" or "John is
> > my cousin" or "John is a guy I know" or something like that.
> OR
> "It is false that John is my brother"

Ah, but isn't that cheating? ;-)  "It is false" could easily be
construed as
a "no."  The point of the exercise, it seems, is to avoid contradicting
someone with a "no."  This is a fascinating concept; reminds me of
where all forms of the copula are eradicated--you can't *affirm*
or *equate* them but must find a circumlocution, and even though I just
bought Elgin's _LAadan_ I haven't got that far into it to note if she
mentions this construction.  But I share your skepticism, Nik.  Teonaht
definitely needs "no" and so do I <GGGG>.  This way strikes me that you
end up giving more information than you need to, which can work against
you logically.  I like a speaker who withholds (wish *I* could), who
his cards close to his chest.  A language like this encourages lying by
encouraging the disclosure of more detailed information than you need
especially if you don't want to tell the truth.  Which is useful, at

Also: how does a no-less language work in dangerous situations?  How
can Suzette Hayden Elgin make a language where there is no "no" for
When the word "no" is such a staple part of feminist rhetoric recently?
("She Said No"-- a television movie about rape, "No Means Yes,"
articles about date-rape, etc.)  On a lighter note, what do you do with
kids.  The kid is putting his little hand near the electrical outlet,
you are across the kitchen from him.  The first words my mother taught
were "no" and "hot."  <GGGG>  Guess I come from a strictly authoritarian
tradition where saying "you're wrong about that" was part of my life.

I suppose "stop!" could be a substitute for "no" in these situtations,
what do you say to the child who asks:  "shall I unplug the toaster for
If you have a verb that means "refrain!" then you are developing a "no."
"It refrained from raining."  Cheating again.

Ai VERA def!!!!!  "Don't do it!"