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How naturalistic is this? Colors & Composition in Sein'

From:Shreyas Sampat <ssampat@...>
Date:Wednesday, September 21, 2005, 18:44
So, I've just discovered that Seinundjé has an unusual way of marking
the color and composition of objects. The usual word order in noun
phrases is modifier-head, but with color marking, it turns to head-modifier:

dháta jzwul
dry earth

jzwul lúyun
earth blue

That's not all that interesting.

But there's a closed set of materials that are marked in a special way;
the head takes an infix that denotes the category of material, and the
modifier indicates the specific material, like so:


rómot lédh
sword-METAL black
"iron sword"

rómot tháya
sword-METAL red
"copper sword"

rómonh fála
sword-WOOD white
"ivory/bone sword"

rómonh sádha
sword-WOOD yellow
"birchwood sword"

Is this totally weird? Do natlangs do stuff like that?

The "Million Style Manual" is a set of sixty-four jade stones marked
with pieces of Chinese characters. It expresses the kung fu of the void,
as taught by P'an Ku's axe.

Shreyas Sampat


David J. Peterson <dedalvs@...>
Jonathan Chang <zhang23@...>