Terminological differences (was Re: Georgian)
|From:||Paul Bennett <paul-bennett@...>|
|Date:||Monday, June 5, 2006, 12:54|
>From: "Mark J. Reed" <markjreed@...>
>On 6/4/06, Tim May <butsuri@...> wrote:
>> So how is it transitive? What kind of construction is this used in?
>> Isn't it just an antipassive?
>OK, maybe it's intransitive. I just tend to think of transitivity as
>a semantic property rather than a syntactic one.
A common problem, and the source of several long and rambunctious discussions
here and elsewhere. There are a number of terms, like this, that have similar
but not always identical meanings across several domains of linguistics, or
even science in general.
I recall a rather heated discussion on this list that ultimately hinged on two
incompatible meanings of the word "arbitrary" not so long ago, and there was a
post on the Language Log just a couple of days ago that relied on the
difference between the layman's definition of "vocalize" as "produce vocally",
compared to the phonetician's definition as "turn into a vowel", which seemed
to actually quite stymie the poster until it was discussed in the comments to
Science, in general, I feel, is a terminological mess, with new definitions for old
words being added just about as fast and minutely as possible. If it were in
any a plausible suggestion, I'd recommend an Egyptian / Japanese /
Mayan-inspired set of semantic "determinatives", obligatorily tacked onto any
term that exists across multiple domains of discourse. IMO far more needed than
a spelling reform, and it would also complement any reform that increases the
number of homonyms/homophones.