Tom Wier wrote: > We're not talking about semantic relations here, but syntax. > Nouns and verbs are abstract grammatical categories that only > exist if there is reason to posit they exist in the syntax of a language. > No one (except maybe solipsists) denies that there really are things > out there that fit into semantic equivalents of those abstract > categories -- but those are semantic categories, not grammatical > categories. OK, let's play that game. > So, when we're talking about syntax, we can't talk about "disguising" > the existence of a category -- the category itself either exists or it doesn't. > (whether or not it's reasonable to have that category is a different > question). If a language (like Yupik Eskimo) likes to incorporate > stems whose semantic meanings represent physical objects into > an abstract category called "verbs", there's nothing stopping it from > doing that. It's not disguised; that's a confusion of semantics and > syntactics. For example, in Oneida, you can incorporate the noun > itself directly into the verb: > > lanV,stayV,'sthos "he [or she] plants corn" > (where my <V,> here is [V], I think) > > la- 3rd person singular affix > yV,- to plant > -s present tense > nV,st- incorporated form of o-nV,ste?, 'corn' Well, that's cool, and English stuffs nouns into verbs too, anyway even here it is difficult *not* to see "corn" as essentially nominal and "implant" as very verb-like. I don't think either can be analyzed away. My own analysis would try to break down "implant" to "make be planted", but I can't because the Yupiks apparently made it a basic concept. So, I must admit "implant" as a true verb-type-thing. > > In that sense, Spanish may not "warrant". But it's nonsense, > > e.g. in "I'm telling you this" I count 1 verb and 3 nominals. > > Why are you assuming I agree with Comrie? Not. I just respond to the ideas as stated. You explain well. > All I meant to > do was to show you that the world doesn't usually fit into our > neat little categorizations as often as we'd like it to. Granted. But I still don't think any natlang dispenses with either nouns or verbs, however fuzzily defined. Would you propose Yupik as a good counterexample? > When you > make a claim about linguistic typology, one needs to be > able to back it up with facts, closely analyzed. Well, I do not necessarily agree with Comrie's (etc) methods of analysis. It is a good survey, but not the last word. > And please -- don't dismiss Comrie unless you've read what > he has to say. :) Not dismissing, and did read through. I thank you for your attempts to enlighten me on this, but I am such a poor student. Once any field is named, there must be experts, and dogmas, which change frequently; and this is a good thing, overall. But I have little faith in these things.