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Re: Grammar sketchlang - improving?

From:David Peterson <thatbluecat@...>
Date:Wednesday, September 29, 2004, 9:16
[Note to Rodlox: When adding new information, don't include it
*within* the quote marks (i.e., the >'s on the side), or else it's hard
to tell what's new and what isn't.]

You wrote (responding to someone else--I'm sorry, I forget who.):

<<When would you refer to a mountain as male and when would you refer to
> as > > female? Same with desert, caves, etc... > >   why do western European languages refer to ships and the ocean (for > example) as being gendered? >  would that be a good analogy?  a bad analogy?>>
Bad analogy. You seem to have missed the point of the question. Grammatical gender is a diachronic relic for most IE languages. Rather than having to do with masculinity or femininity, it has more to do with the phonological make-up of the word (though this breaks down for languages like German). What you're referring to happens in English. E.g., for people who talk that way, it's common to refer to boats and the ocean as "she". Why? Who knows? The system you set up, on the other hand, made it so that *every single noun* has a specifically masculine and feminine version. Words that do this in the natural languages (or created languages) that I know of are usually words that actually can be male or female (e.g., animals, humans, etc.). It doesn't make any sense to me why you would have to refer to a desert as both masculine *and* feminine. Perhaps, though, we're just misunderstanding what the purpose of these are in the first place. I noticed that these aren't nouns--they're pronouns. In other words, where there are pronouns in English, for example, that refer specifically to third person arguments of a particular gender, does this language have pronouns that refer only to deserts? And if so, does the pronoun have to agree with whatever the gender of the *name* of the desert is? Or is it for desert animals, or anything that dwells within the desert? Give us a clue. The main problem you're having is still explicitness. That is, many of us have no idea what anything you post is supposed to mean, and when we ask, you post very short replies that often only serve to add to the confusion rather than dispell it. You replied to Ben saying: <<well, for example, the word for "land"...when combined with
> "smooth"...makes "plain"  (smooth/smoothed land).>>
This was referencing the list you posted here: <<Wordlist:                  | word        |  word-as-noun  |  word-as-verb landslide     |  aka-ebe  |  akayebe           |  akanebe smooth       |  oa-eb     |oayneb               |  oaneb>> What Ben was trying to find out was what the category "word" was meant for. Your reply would be an example of "word-as-noun", and so we still don't know what that first column is for. My initial hunch was that that was a kind of "interlinear". So, the "word" column is an explanation of the etymology of a particular word, but is not, in and of itself, an actual word. The two columns that follow are, essentially, the nominal and verbal forms of that stem whose derivation is described in the "word" column. Is that right? Again, let me say that, at least for me, some of the things that apparently come to you intuitively are so far from what I've ever imagined language *could* be that I can't even begin to understand what you're posting on. This makes it immediately interesting to me, but, in turn, makes it all the more frustrating when you either don't explain what you're posting, or explain it inadequately. I'm not trying to criticize *your languages* in any way. On the contrary: I find your ideas intriguing, and am simply trying desperately to understand them by any means necessary--and am usually failing. -David ******************************************************************* "sunly eleSkarez ygralleryf ydZZixelje je ox2mejze." "No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn." -Jim Morrison


Rodlox <rodlox@...>Revised Grammar sketchlang