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Re: Sawilan Constructions

From:Boudewijn Rempt <bsarempt@...>
Date:Saturday, August 7, 1999, 18:20
On Tue, 3 Aug 1999, Ed Heil wrote:

> Boudewijn, this is a very simple version of "construction grammar," > and I included the "based-on" relationships so you could be amused by > seeing object orientation used in a grammatical description of a > conlang. :)
Hmmm. I don't think I'm really convinced that this isn't merely a notational variant after all ;-). I don't see any special constructions, like inheritance (multiple or otherwise - Panini already had inheritance of rules, if not of objects). Likewise, I have some trouble taking serious a paper that thinks a certain theory is desirable because it is natural (especially if the definition of naturalness includes symbolic links - a clear influence from Unix ;-), conceptual unification and theoretical austerity, instead of success in describing the variety of languages found in the world, and explaining the coherence of each language. I could try to offer a more substantial and less flippant review, if I were tempted to take it serious - but I really can't. Scott DeLancey is at the outer boundaries of what I can take - and I seldom agree with him (if only because I've found that he uses his data sometimes in a slip-shod way). I agree with Langacker that grammar encodes meaning, though, and I've enjoyed Wierzbicka's theoretical work to some extent, but Ronald Langacker is not for me... As for the language: more data, please! Boudewijn Rempt |