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Parts of Speech

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Wednesday, June 12, 2002, 21:02
John Cowan wrote:
> Second, words proper are not only not self-segregating, Chinese people > don't even agree on where the boundaries fall: as I was posting a while > back, the term "word" (ci2) is a technical term in Chinese, almost like > "morpheme" in English; the natural term is zi4, meaning "morpheme/ > syllable/written character."
Likewise, the Kassi have a term _uasaga_ which I normally translate as "word", but is a little broader than the English term. For example, derivative affixes are counted as _uafsagai_, specifically classified as "weak words". The Kassi divide words up into 3 major classes, each of which are divided into three subclasses. The first class is called simply _Uafsagai uatai_ "First words". This corresponds to our "verb" category. They have that name because the verb is usually first in the sentence. First words are subdivided into three subclasses. The first is called Noble. These are independent verbs. The second is called Common. These are what I call semi-auxiliaries, they are verbs that may be used as independent verbs or as auxiliaries. The third is called Slave. These are the auxiliaries. The second class is called _Uafsagai uablalassif_ "Visible words". This corresponds to "noun", "free pronoun", and "adjective". The first subdivision is called Adult. These are most nouns. The second subdivision is called Child. These are free pronouns, demonstratives, and relationship nouns, i.e., nouns whose meaning is derived from context or other nouns (e.g., "sister" cannot exist in isolation without another sister or brother). The third subdivision is called Describing. These are adjectives. The third class is called _Uafsagai uaflatiasi_ "Other words". These are all other words. The first subdivision is called Connectors. These are conjunctions and prepositions. The second subdivision is called Weak. These are affixes and clitics, "words" that can't stand by themselves. The third subdivision is called Little. These are interjections. -- "There's no such thing as 'cool'. Everyone's just a big dork or nerd, you just have to find people who are dorky the same way you are." - overheard ICQ: 18656696 AIM Screen-Name: NikTaylor42


H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>