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Re: Greenberg's Universals applied to Lyanjen

From:Roger Mills <romilly@...>
Date:Friday, September 15, 2000, 19:11
Matt McLauchlin wrote, inter alia:

>>22. If in comparisons of superiority the only order or one of the >>alternative >>orders is standard-marker-adjective, then the language is postpositional. >>With >>overwhelmingly more than chance frequency, if the only order is >>adjective-marker-standard, the language is prepositional. >I don't understand...
The _prepositional order_ as in English: blacker than ink, or Indonesian lebih hitam daripada tinta. Postpositional would be : *ink than blacker. I guess. Kash of course is prepositional.
>>23. If in apposition the proper noun usually precedes the common noun,
>>the >>language is one in which the governing noun precedes its dependent >>genitive. >>With much more than chance frequency, if the common noun usually precedes >>the >>proper noun, the dependent genitive precedes its governing noun. > >Uh, either is possible:
Likewise in English-- Elizabeth, the queen, or, the queen, Elizabeth. Likewise in Kash. Seems rather trivial to me.
>>26. If a language has discontinuous affixes, it always either prefixing or >>suffixing or both. > >What's a discontinuous affix?
Others have answered; here's a real-world example: Indonesian ke---an, per--an, peng--an, nominalizers. hilang 'lost' : kehilangan 'loss' (but also 'to suffer a loss'-- probably a Javanism); kubur 'grave' (mengubur 'to bury') : pe(r)kuburan 'cemetery' : penguburan 'burial'. The rule of thumb is: ke-an = abstracts, pe(r)--an = place of..., peng--an = act of...; but there are idiosyncracies. These are also _derivations_, to answer your next question. One could view French ne...pas as a discontinuous affix.