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Tiny Grammar-Comments

From:Jim Grossmann <jimg@...>
Date:Thursday, March 18, 1999, 2:22
1.    If you don't actually dispense with parts of speech, then it's best
that you never say you do at any point.

2.    I agree with others that it's best to have a small number of slot
patterns and define the parts of speech in terms of them.

Recall that, in natlangs, some lexical entries contain syntactic
information, e.g. "put" requires a prepositional phrase complement.   You've
done this with ALL the words.    That doesn't make your language simpler;
it makes it more complex.

To a certain extent, enough of your words would wind up having enough in
common to make word-classes IMPLICIT in your lexicon.   Wouldn't there be a
lot of verbs that fit into the "takes an object" category?   If so, then
you're complicating the description of your language, treating possible
generalizations about word classes as if they were isolated facts about each
member of the class.

3.    In general, the vaguer your rules, the fewer of them you need.   But
the vaguer your rules, the less they can be said to specify the grammar of a
unique language.

4.    Say, how does this diagram specify your word-order?

ball [ - ball ]
gives [ <what> <to whom> <who> gives ]
John [ - John ]
Mary [ - Mary ]

If word-order is implicit in your verb-slots, then can Rupin permit any
changes in word order?   If not, how do you shift emphasis or topic?

5.    How are commands formed in Rupin?

IN SUM:    You haven't eliminated grammar, you've just stuffed most of it
into the lexicon.

However, if you have a small number of slot patterns, as others have
suggested, you could make this work.