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From:Muke Tever <alrivera@...>
Date:Thursday, May 16, 2002, 21:30
Ray Brown scrivei:
>>Moving on to the general Dublex experiment, I don't really see >>anything magically special about roots. The inventory of >>a language's morphological or etymological roots tends to be >>rather accidental -- accidents of history. They don't represent >>semantic primitives or anything truly elemental to the cognitive >>structures underlying language. > >That's exactly how I feel about the matter. Are there such things as >"semantic primitives"?
Well, there's Wierzbicka's list, explained e.g. here: Which basically includes, "I" (first person), "thou" (second person), "someone", "something", "people" (in general, I think), "this", "the same", "other/another", "one/one of", "two", "many/much", "all", "some/some of", "more", "think/th. about", "know/kn. about", "want", "feel" (undifferentiated between what we'd call 'emotions' and 'sensations'), "see", "hear", "say/say to/about", "word" (...which I understand is not a very certain entry in the list, because of Chinese), "do", "happen", "move", "there is/are", "alive", "good", "bad", "big", "small", "when/then", "before", "after", "a long time", "a short time", "now", ... ... Why am I doing this? It's all on that page. The thing about primitives is they are _primitive_. Ordinarily we work at a much higher level... you have to add a lot to "something" before it becomes "machine", and more yet before you ever get as high as "door" or "lynx". *Muke! --