synthesis index (was: Of of)
|From:||Yahya Abdal-Aziz <yahya@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, April 4, 2006, 6:57|
On Mon, 3 Apr 2006 Peter Bleackley wrote:
> >>Consider a language where the genitive construction is of the form
> >>PARTICLE POSSESSOR POSSESSED
> >>so, for example, "The King's horse" would be (using English glosses)
> >>of King horse.
> >>Now, suppose we want to say "The King's knight's horse". The logical
> >>extension of the paradigm is
> >>of of King knight horse.
> >>This seems somewhat inelegant. What do natlangs (or conlangs for that
> >>matter) with similar syntax do?
> A little background to this - at some point I'm thinking of translating a
> lengthy text (most probably Tam Lin) into a isolating conlang. I will then
> use a computer program to automatically fuse together the most commonly
> occurring pairs of words, thus gradually increasing the synthesis index,
> and producing a family of related conlangs, all with the same phonology,
> syntax and underlying vocabulary, but differing synthesis indices. I'm
> planning to go from synthesis index 1 up to 8 in steps of 0.5.
Well, I hadn't heard of the "synthesis index" before,
so did a google for it which returned thousands of
(mostly chemical) results, but very few to do with
linguistics. One of the few was Bickell & Nicholls,
Typological Enclaves, at:
and another (found when I added "linguistics" to the
search terms) was Bickell, The Autotyp Research
Bickell's definition is:
SYN = Nmax(categories) + Nmax(formatives)
(page 159 of the latter reference), and he shows a
map of its distribution for N (languages?) = 199 (page
8 of the former reference) with values of SYN from
0 to 28.
Is this what you mean by "synthesis index"? If so,
is there any particular reason for stopping at 8, or
could the process go on to 28? Come to think of it,
is there any a priori reason to prevent SYN from
going even higher?
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