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oligosynthetic (was: affixes)

From:Tim May <butsuri@...>
Date:Friday, February 18, 2005, 2:38
Doug Dee wrote at 2005-02-17 18:56:13 (EST)
 > In a message dated 2/17/2005 12:44:09 PM Eastern Standard Time,
 > joerg_rhiemeier@WEB.DE writes:
 > >The word you are looking for is "oligosynthetic".  And the claim
 > >that Nahuatl is oligosynthetic is utterly false.
 > Are there any oligosynthetic natural languages?

Basically, "oligosynthetic" is a term which was used by Benjamin Lee
Whorf in a couple of unpublished papers on Nahuatl.  Check the
archives for details. To the best of my knowledge, it's never been an
accepted technical term in linguistics.  So, basically the answer
would be "no", but... if one wished to resurrect the term, one would
have a certain degree of freedom with respect to how broadly it could
be applied.  What I'm trying to say is that "oligosynthetic", as it
stands, doesn't have any very precise meaning that's generally
accepted, which makes it difficult to say _definitively_ that there
aren't any such languages.

No discussion of oligosynthesis is complete without mention of Brad
Coon's conlang Nova:


Muke Tever <hotblack@...>