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Re: THEORY: irregular conlangs

From:Ed Heil <edheil@...>
Date:Saturday, October 2, 1999, 13:24
Sally Caves wrote:
> > Utterly fascinating. If you were trying to think of the hardest and > weirdest conlang to invent, I don't think you could come up with > anything > stranger than some of our own natlangs. Unless it was a different word > for every noun in the language depending on whether it was mine, yours, > or his (actually proposed!). And I think someone came up with a natlang > that actually does that. That's still a possibility for Teonaht-- in > words of relationship only. My father, your father, his father, where > "father" in each instance would be a different word. God, religion, > country, and language could also participate in this variation. > > No wonder Navajo was made the code language for the military.
:) To be fair, it was probably also because there are a LOT of fluent Navajo speakers. Navajos are fiercely conservative and do not give up elements of their culture easily. BTW, they do have mandatory possessives (you must always say "shima, nima, bima," "my mother, your mother, his/her mother"), but it's just a prefix and it's extremely regular. They also have different words for, say, "father," depending on whether you're talking about a male's father or a female's father. But generally Navajo nouns are a breeze compared to verbs. :)
> > Do any verbs repeat?
I don't know yet. I know there are "active" and "stative" verbs, and the latter have very simple conjugations. ----------------------------------------------- Boxcars are pulling an Ed of sorts out of town. -----------------------------------------------