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Re: Wordless language (WAS: NonVerbal Conlang?)

From:R A Brown <ray@...>
Date:Sunday, July 2, 2006, 6:48
Eldin Raigmore wrote:
> On Fri, 30 Jun 2006 11:37:15 +0100, R A Brown <ray@...> > wrote:
>>Surely all natlangs are either or were once "mouth-to-ear phonological >>kind of language"? > > I was allowing for the possibility that at least one of Ameslan, BSL, > and/or Nicaraguan Sign Language counts as a natlang.
Yes, of course - I had forgotten about sign languages. Sorry. AFAIK most (all?) are natlangs
>>Such languages are sequences of phones, i.e. 'strings >>of phones', > > Do Sign Languages constist of phones? > Are Sign Languages natlangs?
They won't consist of phones - but signs languages are not things I'm familiar with. I do not know how they are analyzed.
> >>then they must, as I see it, contain elements that are >>'words' ("a string that is a member of a language" [Trask]). > > I imagine Sign Languages do in fact consist of words in this sense.
I am sure they do. [snip]
>>I am very puzzled by this question. AFAIK And has not yet given a >>comprehensive description of Livagian, but there is an example given on: >>
And has now replied. The example I found is no longer valid Livagian. Nevertheless, it is clear from And's mail that Livagian has 'words'.
> I may have meant Jonathan Knibb's or Simon Clarkstone's conlang. In fact I > have not been able to track down the specific conlang I meant.
I can't find anything about Jonathan Knibb's conlang, and Simon Clarke's conlang, at least what I've found, seems to have 'rademes' instead of phones; but I understand it is expressible in an alphabet. I do not see anything that suggests it does not have 'words'. [snip]
>>What do you mean by 'particle'? (Another ill-defined word) Do you simply >>mean 'bound morphemes'? > > I don't have an answer yet.
Sort of tricky to discuss particle, methinks, unless we define what each means by 'particle'. [snip]
> > The conlang I meant to mention -- not And's apparently -- had just > two "parts of speech" -- "linkers" (a small closed class) and content- > morphemes. > > The syntax is the same as the morphotactics; the morphotactics is the same > as the syntax; in this conlang there is no difference between morphotactics > and syntax. > > The content-morphemes include many whose semantics would strike a speaker > of a natlang as "particles".
Maybe - but while 'linkers' may be considered 'particles', I do not think content-morphemes would be considered by most to be particles. I would certainly not call them that. "Linkers" & "content morphemes" reminds me of the traditional Chinese distinction between 'empty' and 'full' words. Whether one calls them 'linker words' and 'content words', or whether one would consider 'words' in that language to be composed of content & linker morphemes, there will surely be elements that can be called 'words'. [snip]
> No, you said a certain kind of language without words would be > unsatisfactory.
No, I did not. I said that IMO a one-dimensional language must necessarily have elements which can be called 'words', i.e. to have a wordless 1D language is impossible. I have during this thread come very much to the conclusion that probably a >1 dimension language must also have 'words'.
> I was saying, if And's language is an example of that kind > of language, it is nevertheless not unsatisfactory. This remark no longer > has any force, since And's language is not an example of that kind of > language.
True - and And says that the present state of Livagian is "unsatisfactory" :) -- Ray ================================== ================================== "A mind which thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language." J.G. Hamann, 1760


Kalle Bergman <seppu_kong@...>SV: Re: Wordless language (WAS: NonVerbal Conlang?)