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Re: Syntactic differences within parts of speech

From:Chris Bates <chris.maths_student@...>
Date:Wednesday, August 23, 2006, 15:35
>Also, who can provide similar examples from their conlangs? Does your >conlang have an extra part of speech (two separate kinds of verbs, >perhaps, which operate differently)? Does it contain subclasses within >parts of speech (verbs, perhaps, that can't be nominalized? Yes, I'm >rather stuck on verbs...) Words which don't fit into any part of speech >in the language? Any other relevant examples or thoughts? > >
My current conlang ngwaalq has additional word classes not found in English: noun classifiers and verb classifiers. These are closed classes (about 50 items in each) which have distinct distributional and morphological properties to verbs and nouns: namely, noun and verb classifiers are the locus of nominal and verbal inflectional morphology respectively, and can occur independently (nouns and verbs require a classifier, but noun and verb classifiers do not require anything explicit to classify). On the other hand, ngwaalq lacks a class that English has: adjectives (treating adjectives as verbs basically). It also lacks true inherently stative verbs (except for verb classifiers): verb classifiers distinguish various Aktionsart and telicity related distinctions, and stativity is indicated by the choice of a stative type verb classifier. When a telic verb classifier occurs with a verb related to a state, say "to be red", it is interpreted as an accomplishment, in this case "to become red". I do not regard these verbs as inherently stative, since neither meaning is more basic or more marked than the other... telicity and Aktionsart (as well as valency) related distinctions are simply mostly marked by the choice of verb classifier rather than being inherently associated with a root. As for nominalization, verb classifiers (if you count them as a subset of verbs) cannot be nominalized. You can form a relative clause that contains them, but the nominalizing morphology available to open class verbs is unavailable to them. Noun classifiers (again, if you count them as nouns) also resist denominalization strongly, since one of their main functions is to mark nominality.


eldin_raigmore <eldin_raigmore@...>OFFLIST: ngwaalq (was: Syntactic differences within parts of speech)