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Re: monovalence

From:Paul Bennett <paul-bennett@...>
Date:Tuesday, February 21, 2006, 12:54
On Mon, Feb 20, 2006 at  8:13 PM, Henrik Theiling wrote:

> > staving Paul Bennet: > > > Br'ga verbs each have exactly one argument. ...
> Unfortunately, I mainly created phonology and grammar outlines for S11 > so far, but no lexicon,
Same here. As stated, the problem of just coming up with which things to lexicalize is a challenge, which I want to tackle satisfactorily before deciding which European terms to borrow and from which languages, and *then* start coming up with native lexicon en masse.
> In contrast to you, Pete, I don't necessarily perceive the structure > as alien -- for me, it is a naturally elegant solution to what > e.g. Lojban tries to do the other way around: to solve the argument > vs. adjunct problem. Instead of finding the borderline of core cases > vs. secondary cases (i.e., arguments vs. adjuncts), this type of > language has a fixed borderline at exactly one argument. No problem, > just a neat, simple borderline. Combined with the concept of serial > verb construction, it feels perfectly human to me. > > Of course, it's extreme, but I don't feel it's alien.
I concur, especially with the Br'ga notion of the simple, quite generic, case-like verbs, which make the language seem quite like just another incorporating language on the surface.
> So how did you come up with the idea? As I said, for me, it was a > solution to the (my?) argument vs. adjunct problem.
I was initially inspired by Inuit, Inuktitut and similarly structured languages, with scads of compounding, incorporation and derivation. Things got *incredibly* chaotic (early Br'ga posts may have made this more or less clear), and I felt like it needed a serious simplification and rationalization. The notion to make each word consist of just one noun (plus derivations) and one verb (plus derivations) just kinda came to me, in a strange gradual way, while I was tooling around with some of my (now discarded) example sentences. Also gone for a Burton is the old vowel system, which had three rows after the pattern /i y y_w M u/ and now has /i M u/ instead. That choice naturally ruled out a bunch of lexical items, but went a long way in making the language a lot easier for me to pronounce. Paul