Re: Articles, determiners, quantifiers, whatever...
|From:||Sally Caves <scaves@...>|
|Date:||Friday, July 9, 2004, 6:20|
----- Original Message -----
From: "Remi Villatel" <maxilys@...>
> Sally Caves wrote:
> >>>Essentially, then, anything that can "determine" a noun
> >>>in a closed list (short of words like "flowery," "shadowed,""unctious,"
> >>>"unhallowed," "benighted," "free," or any other endless parade of
> >>That's more or less the description of an agglutinative language.
> > Not at all, Remi. Ergative, accusative, synthetic, analytic and
> > what-have-you languages use articles, determiners, quantifiers and
> > adjectives. I don't quite understand you.
> Yes, Sally, it is! I understood that you suggested to put together the
> (real) articles and all the possible adjectives in one word, that lookslike
> much agglutinative too me. Partially agglutinative, accretive,
> (poly)synthetic are just variations around the theme of agglutination.
I don't mean to be monomaniacal about this, Remi, :) but my objection to
your use of this term "agglutinative language" is that "agglutinative" has a
specific meaning in English linguistics as a name for a particular language
type, such as Finnish.
Also, "short of" in English idiom means "without." In other words,
"stopping short of," "avoiding." So I was *not* putting the closed class of
determiners with the open class of regular adjectives. I was separating
them. Let me rephrase. "Essentially, then, anything that can "determine" a
noun in a closed class (and NOT words like "flowery," "shadowed," "unctious,
... "free," or any other descriptor that belongs in an open class of
attributive adjectives)." Is that clearer now, I hope?
> > What I was trying to suggest for
> > your category (but it seems that you have to work this out yourself) isa
> > "closed class" or list of words that determine or quantify or modify anoun.
> > This doesn't make it agglutinative. A closed class (you obviously know
> > this) is a series of words that are not subject to innovation or change,
> > like our English words "the, that, a, an, each, all, every, his, hers,
> > theirs, my, your," etc. as opposed to a list of attributive or predicate
> > adjectives that one can borrow endlessly into the language and expandit.
> > Words like "flowery, unctious, shadowed, unhallowed, benighted,magnifique,
> > typical, brazen, agglutinative, bizarre, existential, fast, blue, azure,
> > muslim, karate-like..." That's what I meant.
> That's clearer this way.
Good! So my wordiness pays off, sometimes! :)
And that's exactly what I've done in Shaquelingua
> with the closed (although very large) class of the quantifiers ("real" or
> possessive or adjective articles) and the open class of the qualities
> ("real" or attributive adjectives, adverbs and more).
> >>Shaquelingua is agglutinative sometimes but not that far!
> > You might be using this term a little loosely just to mean "accretive."
> Very loosely! I should learn more about natlangs' grammar. I didn't knowthe
> word "accretive" applied to grammar.
It doesn't, as far as I know. Perhaps I should have used "additive." To
"accrete" simply means "to increase in size by adding on." The way a
language increases the size of its open class vocabulary by borrowings and
neologisims. I suppose you could also say that it applies to a growing list
of a thing's qualities. "He's nice. And he's dark-haired. And he's
intelligent, and well-mannered, affluent, single, TALL, available, mature,
with very pretty iridescent wings, and he seems to like offspring."
That's the sense in which I meant it.
>I thought that accretion only concerns
> the formation of the planets.
Well, I don't know how extensively it's used in French. In English, it
means "the growth or increase in size by gradual external addition," or
"something added externally to promote an increase." In biology it means
"the growing together or adherence of parts that are normally separated"
(thus increasing the size of an organ or a limb or a branch)." In geology
it means the additon to land by depositing sediment. In astronomy, it means
increasing the mass of a celestial object, such as your remark about the
formation of the planets. To "accrete" means 1) make larger or greater
through increased growth. 2) to fuse separate things together. 3) to grow or
increase gradually, as by addition." American Heritage Dictionary. I
suppose my use of "accretion" was a little whimsical, but I meant
"addition." Any language is capable of adding descriptors one after
another, I suppose. I wanted to steer you away from "agglutinative" in the
sense you used it.
> Certainly but it doesn't really matter; I won't say on my site what kindof
> language the Shaquelingua is. I don't really know. There are constructed
> particles which must be used sometimes alone, sometimes bound to other
> words. Maybe should I say that Shaquelingua is polysynthetic to make
> everybody happy. ;-)
Or invent your own typology. These are non-humans, aren't they?
Good, because I couldn't find the crucial pages on your other site.
I'm having to cut out a lot of interesting descriptions of Shaquelingua
because it's two in the morning, and I'm still packing for California. Or
rather taking a break from packing.
> >>If you want so much to read more from me, go to my site and come back to
> >>tell me that it is beautiful. (I like compliments too...) ;-)
I did go to your site, and you had not yet set up the pages that you were
working on. I think your series of pages is beautifully presented. I would
suggest one thing, though, and that is that after your long and interesting
discussion of the Shaquelingua people, who are clearly aliens, you might
write a couple of paragraphs summarizing the main features of their alien
language before you head us into the sections on your grammar. That is
where you will have to decide what language group it falls into, if any that
> > I will! But now I have to go shopping for items for my trip. I'll getback
> > to you. But I'm a slower reader with a poor memory--so many thingsgoing
> > on--so have patience! :)
> No problem. The more you wait, the more you'll get to read. I'm a quick
> writer too...
I'll have to wait and see after I get back from my trip home. Have fun!