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Re: Noun tense was Re: bac . . . some info

From:julien eychenne <eychenne.j@...>
Date:Monday, July 22, 2002, 9:14
le lun 22-07-2002 à 08:46, Ray Brown a écrit :

> >> I'm sure there is a natlang with noun tense in Campbell, but I can't > >> find it, and I'm beginning to suspect that I dreamt it. Does anyone > >> know any examples of natlangs that mark tense on a noun?
> I'm fairly sure they do exist, but I haven't been able to track one down > yet. > At the back of my mind is some idea that Innuit does this. Can anyone > either > confirm this or tell me that my mind is playing tricks?
Well... french, english !?!? In french we have |ex-femme| ("ex-wife" ?), |ex-président| ("ex-president" ?), and I guess there is a strong PAST value in |ex|, although I guess there is a PERFECTIVE value too ("who used to be X but who isn't anymore", very roughly).In french, you can say |futur président| (with a FUTURE value), and this is hard to decide if it is a complex word of an Adjective+Noun structure, although orthograph suggest the latter. But I'm pretty sure that what you meant was something more systematic. Nahatl is a good example of such a feature. For instance, |tlâ-namaka-k| "things-sell-PERFECT" means either "the seller" or "he has sold". |Ka tlahtoâya in siwâtl| means "the woman talked" (or 'she talked, the one who is a woman' = 'TOPIC things-tell-PERFECT DETERMINANT woman') whereas |ka siwâtl in tlahtoâya| means "the one who talked is a woman" ('she is a woman, the one who talked' = 'TOPIC woman DETERMINANT things-tell-PERFECT'). So when peceeded by |in| a word gets a "noun value", in a european-minded way. Eskimo has this too, as the "man drinks" is 'the drinking of the man'. Unfortunately I don't have any sentence sample of eskimo. But it seems that, whenever (natural) languages have this feature (as a true one, not like french above), there is no nead boundary between noun and verbs (at least for those two langs). I hope someone could tell us more about it :). Julien.


Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>