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allnoun revisted

From:Raymond A. Brown <raybrown@...>
Date:Wednesday, April 21, 1999, 20:32
At 3:02 pm -0400 20/4/99, Ed Heil wrote:
> >And I don't think Tom every claims it's "all noun" -- he claims that it's "=
>noun plus some punctuation marks." Which is probably as close as you can g=
et. I was thinking of this as I was driving into work this morning :) It came to that this is not so different from the traditional Chinese classification of words into full words & empty words. Tom actually refers to his punctuators, as he terms them, as 'words'. Aren't they the empty words of his his language? Rather more than four decades ago I coined the terms 'pleremes' & 'kenemes' (from Greek) to denote these terms and actually started to develop a conlang with these two parts of speech. I'd forgotten this till I was musing in a traffic jam this morning :-) I discover BTW that the terms 'pleremes' & 'cenemes' actually do exist! What it seems to me that Tom has done is to some extent do what I tried all those years ago: to produce a language with just two parts of speech. But Tom goes one step further in that his pleremes are all explicitly interpreted by him as nouns. --------------------------------------------- At 11:08 am -0400 21/4/99, Mathias wrote:
>Dans un courrier dat=E9 du 20/04/99 20:03:42 , Ed a =E9crit : > ><< And how could you justify calling "act-of-throwing" a verb and > not calling the gerund "throwing" in English a verb? It acts like a noun =
> English, and act-of-throwing acts like a noun in AllNoun -- fits in the sa=
> slots in the grammar. > >> > >Whether it's a noun or a verb does not really matter as long as the >substantive or gerund refers to a process whose actors are the other nouns =
>the AllNoun sentence. >the verb "to throw" is present in "throwing", "thrower", "projectile", etc. > >That's what all conlangers who tried an all-noun syntax are to experience.
And I suspect that's what conlangers who try an all-verb syntax are to experience also. Maybe a better approach is to dispense with the noun-verb distinction. Kinya also has only two classes of words, rather like my pleremes & cenemes of 45 or so years ago, namely a large, open set of inflectable words and a small, closed set of uninflectables; I quote: 'A major peculiarity of Kinya is its lack of any morphological distinction between categories like verb, substantive or adjective. All words, with the exception of a limited set of uninflected conjunctions, postpositions and adverbs, have the same kind of flexion and are best approximated by the concept of "noun". ' It's actually one of my favorites - but I guess the "minimal grammar" business which, maybe is another chimaera anyway, is not part of Kinya's aims ;) Ray.