|From:||Vasiliy Chernov <bc_@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, November 8, 2001, 17:23|
Just an idea.
No, I don't think nouns can be got rid of on the semantic level.
But it seems that on the level of formal syntax, all main cases/roles
typical of nouns can be expressed by (forms of) derived verbs.
topic: 'to consider X'
agentive: 'to be caused/controlled by X'
accusative: 'to affect X'
'to percieve X'
'to produce X'
'to obtain X'
genetive: 'to belong to X'
essive: 'to be X'
vocative: 'to be considered by X'
locative: 'to be at/in/on X'
dative: 'to address/direct to X'
'to give to X'
instrumental: 'to use X',
So, it seems that there can be a language using no nominal forms proper
(on the surface level).
The list of standard derived verbs from a semantically nominal stem must
probably include also such meanings as 'to know X', 'to have X', 'to be
like X', etc., but hardly more than two dozens of first-level derivates
in total. That is, the derivates can in principle fit into a paradigm of
quite realistic dimensions.
The 2nd level verbal forms used in such a system could include: imperative,
compredicative, some finite forms (with incorporated pronouns?), and
participles (yes, I do believe that syntactic links can connect
semantic components, besides formal words/morphemes).
An example of a transitive construction:
Consider-CAT belonging-to-ME, he-CAUGHT(-something) (which-)affected-MOUSE.
Consider-MOUSE, it-got-CAUGHT (which-)was-controlled-by-CAT
(lexical meanings are capitalized; the rest is expressed by affixes)
Interestingly, such nounless system could in principle express very
explicitly the topic-focus relations (thus avoiding even incorporated
Consider-CAT belonging-to-ME (and-)know-HIM having-CAUGHT(-something)
And there seem to be other interesting possibilities.
What do you think?