Semantic differentiation of "kinds"
|From:||Eric Christopherson <rakko@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, May 24, 2008, 21:44|
I'm working on a diachronic conlang, based on a preexisting
protolanguage which gives a lot of room for innovation. I'd like to
have it evolve adjective markers, and it occurred to me to use a noun
meaning something like "kind" and have it evolve into a suffix, e.g.
"red-kind house" = "red house", or maybe with a genitive particle:
Also it occurred to me that this marker could agree with nouns
according to whether they describe inanimate objects, animals, or
people; thus I would like to use one word/suffix that means "kind (of
thing)", one that means "kind (of animal)", and one that means "kind
My question is: do any natlangs have these separate words for kinds
depending on what they refer to? I am thinking maybe a word meaning
"breed" could be used for animals, and a word meaning "people" or
"race" can apply to persons, but I want the word to be at once a)
specific to humans and b) otherwise really generic, i.e. it could be
used to mean "race", "gender", "age group", "description", etc. Does
this kind of word exist in natlangs?
(The same word, when used on its own and not as a suffix, would
probably evolve later into a word with more specific meaning, like
"race" or "gender".)