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Yep, it eliminates the possibility of *merely* negating a statement;
to negate a statement you have to say *why* it's not true -- which is
often much more specific.

I guess that's an available dimension along which to customize
conlangs -- permitted degree of specificity in different situations.


Ed Heil ------------------------------- [log in to unmask]
"Facts are meaningless! You can use facts to prove anything
   that's even _remotely_ true!"           -- Homer Simpson

Matt Pearson wrote:

> Patrick Dunn done wrote:
>
> >My language Hatas-Oa, the notes of which have been lost, had no negative
> >forms.  To say, "don't shut the window!" you'd have to say "let the window
> >remain open."  It required a strange sort of precision, actually.
> >
> >"Do you want somethiing to drink?"
> >"I am satisfied."
> >
> >"Do you want some tea?"
> >"I like coffee."
>
> Very interesting.  Reminds me of Laadan, in which it is allegedly
impossible
> to directly contradict someone (although, as we've discussed on this list,
> that's not strictly speaking true).
>
> It seems that the Hatas-Oa system would work for concepts that have
> opposites ("open" and "shut", for instance), but that it would run into
> problems with non-polar concepts.  How, for instance, could you express
> something like "John is not my brother" or "It didn't rain yesterday"?
> I suppose you could come up with non-negative paraphrases which would
> get those ideas across (e.g. "John is someone else's brother", "It was
> sunny yesterday"), but of course those don't convey exactly the same
> meaning.
>
> Hatas-Oa speakers must have a rather unique understanding of truth-
> conditional semantics...  :-)
>
> Matt.
>
> ------------------------------------
> Matt Pearson
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> UCLA Linguistics Department
> 405 Hilgard Avenue
> Los Angeles, CA 90095-1543
> ------------------------------------
>