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Re: inalienable possession

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Wednesday, November 18, 1998, 20:46
Christophe Grandsire wrote:
> Yes, at present, they just don't exist. That doesn't mean that they > can't exist, or that they never existed (maybe a language now extinct > without any descendor had a split-nominative like Sally's one). Who knows? > There are only 5000 languages all over the world, and certainly millions > (perhaps an infinity) of systems that could be languages. So it's normal for > me to think that everything is possible.
Okay, granted some unattested systems quite possibly existed somewhere, but not all. I seriously doubt that a center-embedding system could exist, the human brain simply can't handle it. I'm confident that there *are* systems that simply can't exist in human languages. Perhaps some that we think are impossible are actually possible, but I don't think that every unattested system is possible. The human brain can only process certain types of systems. -- "It has occured to me more than once that holy boredom is good and sufficient reason for the invention of free will." - "Lord Leto II" (Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert) ICQ #: 18656696 AOL screen-name: NikTailor