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Re: A'liath: This is completely insane

From:Andreas Johansson <and_yo@...>
Date:Saturday, October 19, 2002, 10:58
Ian Maxwell wrote:
>Andreas Johansson wrote: >>That actually works out at a mere 76 204 800 combinations, according to my >>calculator, and that assumes that you really has four genders - it says >>'4', >>but apparently only three are listed in the parenthesis. > >I already corrected myself on this.
Yes, but I hadn't seen that when I sent my reply. I've been getting posts with seems to be delays of random length lately.
>Regarding the four genders, by >"A'liathian/worldly and animate/inanimate" I meant that gender was >distinguished on two axes: A'liathian vs. worldly, and animate vs. >inanimate.
OK. I read that as (A'liathian)vs(animate and worldly)vs(inanimate), and simply assumed that "A'liathian" meant non-worldy animate.
>Regarding only having half as many prefixes as I said I did, >I forgot to list the intentionality distinction, which doubles the >number again. > >>I suspect that a language that has to incode that lot of information in >>every verb would turn agglutinative out of sheer self-defense, or the >>brains >>of its speakers'd explode. Go all the way to the agglutinative end of the >>spectrum and get a language where every verb starts with a string of >>twelve >>prefices! Would probably erode terribly fast, tho', if the speakers are >>human, at least. > >But, see, they're *not* human. In fact, they are at the extreme end of >the "brains versus brawn" spectrum, and can only sustain their frail >bodies via force of will and magic. So half the reason for this form of >language was to demonstrate just how powerful their minds really are.
>The problem here isn't with the realism, but rather with my ability to >actually *create* this language within one lifetime > >>BTW, isn't it slightly weird to agree with the number and person with both >>subject and object(s?), but agree with only the gender of the subject? > >Oh, no no no.... the verbs themselves are gendered. Or, more >specifically, they are the same words as the nouns, separated only by >what particular affix is used. (Giving a certain prefix to the base >morpheme for "to read" would give "a reader", for example, while another >might give "the thing read" [or "readee"].)
Cool. However, it'd probably be less confusing to call these classes something else than "gender" then, since "gender" traditionally refers specifically to classes of nouns. Andreas _________________________________________________________________ Broadband? Dial-up? Get reliable MSN Internet Access.