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Re: Syntactic differences within parts of speech

From:taliesin the storyteller <taliesin-conlang@...>
Date:Tuesday, August 22, 2006, 20:13
* Amanda Babcock Furrow said on 2006-08-22 17:11:50 +0200
> I've been intrigued lately (the past six months?) by discussions on > the list which expose variations in the syntax of words considered to > be of the same part of speech.
> At any rate, I want to be able to apply this level of detail to a > conlang, maybe even to the extent of devising a grammar with more > parts of speech (and I mean open classes - creating a small closed > class is easy) than we are used to. But I need ideas. Does anyone > know of a resource (preferably online, or in books I already own ;) > which addresses the detailed syntactics of parts of speech, or of > groups of words within a part of speech, ideally with examples in > English?
There's the series Timothy Shopen edited (borrow, don't buy): "Language typology and syntactic description". As in most works of descriptive linguistics, you won't find only English examples though.
> Also, who can provide similar examples from their conlangs?
It is possible to analyze Taruven such that it has two open word-classes: statives (adjectives) and experiencer-verbs. Verbs and nouns are then basically subsets of statives, while all/most of the closed-class words derive from the experiencer-verbs (which, really, really ought to be renamed complement(ed)-verbs. One of these days...) Furthermore there's a closed class of words (tentatively) called front-words. These must always be the first word in a clause if used at all. One definite goal of Taruven is to do away with adverbs. This does have a discernible effect on the entire system :) Adverbs truly is a class of "leftovers", ripe for splitting up into smaller classes. You might find interesting discussions about word classes on Language Log btw. t.