Re: tonal languages?
|From:||Herman Miller <hmiller@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, December 16, 2003, 4:18|
On Mon, 15 Dec 2003 13:58:49 -0500, Etak <tarnagona@...> wrote:
> I'm not sure I was completely clear in saying the
>tone of a word would say one thing and the grammar
> I'll try and explain what I was thinking. Suppose
>you were in a dark room and you said, "I can't see. I
>need light." Now I was thinking that using my tonal
>language you might have the noun "light" and the verb
>"to see" as the same word with different tones. I
>want to make my language inflecting too. So you might
>be able to say, "I can't see. I need light/to see,"
>because you would use the infinitive form of the verb
>"to see" but with the tone that says that the word is
That seems reasonable. Nouns can be formed from verbs in a number of ways;
in English you get the noun "permit" from the verb "permit" with a change
of stress, and that's not much different from a change in tone. I don't
know any examples of a language with this exact sort of derivation, but it
seems reasonable to have the word for "light" derived from "to see".