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Noun to Verb

From:Jim Grossmann <steven@...>
Date:Sunday, December 2, 2001, 9:01

I've mentioned my language, Palo, before.   I'm revising it, again,
partly because I've just discovered that vocabulary development can
be as much fun as developing syntax.

Anyway, Palo uses a combination of tone and vowel alternations for
derivation.   So now I have this easy way to unambiguously derive
nouns from verbs, etc.   I call derivation done with sound-
alternations "basic derivation."   (I've also got additional
derivational morphemes, but that's not important here.)

For "basic derivations" of verbs from nouns, I've been working on
specifying the semantic relationships between the nouns and their
corresponding verbs, like so:

noun:   art, artifact, or biological structure:   e.g.   karate, gun,
claw, fork

verb:    to use the art, artifact, or biological structure in a
manner it is suited for    e.g.   to use karate on, to shoot, to
claw, to use a fork on

noun:   clothing, e.g. clothes, coat

verb:    to dress, to put on a coat

noun:   containers, e.g.   bottle, box, house

verb:    to place in specified container, e.g.  to bottle, to box, to

noun:   food, drink, or drug, e.g.   food, cracker, milk, morphene

verb:    to feed, to feed one or more crackers to, to feed milk to,
to give morphene to

noun:   place or topographic feature

verb:   to go to specified place or topographic feature

noun:   young organism or pre-organism:   e.g.   baby, egg

verb:   to produce specified young organism or pre-organism:   to
have a baby, lay an egg

noun:   position or title:   e.g.   president, sergeant

verb:   to bestow specified position or title upon:   to make
(someone) president, sergeant

noun:   adjectival:   e.g.   red

verb:    to assume or bestow the quality named by the noun:   to

noun:   natural phenomenon that exhibits some typical spontaneous
behavior:   e.g.  sun,

verb:    (for the sun to) shine,  to rain

Yes, I have tried to make this scheme artificially simple.   The
situation is a lot messier in a real language like English;   verbs
like "to baby," "to circle," "to corner," "to curl," "to
candy," "to shell," "to husk," and countless others wouldn't fit into
the Palo scheme.

But I want my scheme as productive as I can and yet still be able to
specify all the semantic relationships between the noun and
the "basically" derived verb in a reasonably short space.

Anybody got any additional ideas for "basic" derivation of verbs from


Jim G.


Pavel Iosad <pavel_iosad@...>