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Re: describing names

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Sunday, August 4, 2002, 15:55
Quoting Majken M <blueelkgirl@...>:

> 1. Her name is Mary > 2. Her name is beautiful > > The first sentence tells me her name, while the second > only describes it. But the only difference is the last > word. There is no way to be sure that she isn't called > Beautiful, except that is an unusual name. How do > other languages solve this problem?
There are two points to be made here. First, different languages often have very different ways of indicating the copulative relation. Some, like most IE languages and English, use a fully inflected verb. Others (like Chinese) never use any copula, use invariant particles in the place of verbs, or (like Phaleran) use a mixture of these: copulative particle in ongoing or habitual actions, fully conjugated verb in other aspects. Second, as has been recently noted on the list it's important to know whether your language has adjectives or not. Phaleran doesn't except for a handful of particles, and many natural languages don't. If your language requires all attribution to be through verbs, then your question doesn't arise. ========================================================================= Thomas Wier Dept. of Linguistics "Nihil magis praestandum est quam ne pecorum ritu University of Chicago sequamur antecedentium gregem, pergentes non qua 1010 E. 59th Street eundum est, sed qua itur." -- Seneca Chicago, IL 60637


Padraic Brown <elemtilas@...>