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