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GROUPLANG: noun and verb roots

From:Pablo Flores <fflores@...>
Date:Wednesday, October 14, 1998, 22:31
Herman Miller wrote:
> >I think I can accept the interchangeability of noun and verb roots if we >can come up with a good scheme for relating the meanings of the various >forms consistently. I don't want to end up with Esperanto where you have to >memorize that you "marteli" [hammer] with a "martelo" rather than a >"martelilo", or English where "bite" can be either the act of biting or the >impression left by the teeth. > >"Bite" might work well as an action root, with the result of the action >expressed by adding a derivational affix. But other words, such as >"photograph", may be more convenient as concrete nouns, with "the act of >taking a photograph" expressed by derivation. In English, both "bite" and >"photograph" can be used interchangeably as nouns or verbs, but the >relation between the noun and verb meanings is incompatible. >
With the new cases we've added (suggested by Mathias in earlier posts) there shouldn't be such confusions, which were the primary motive for the unending discussions we had :-) If I understood well: agent-I predicate-hammer "I hammer" (I use a hammer) absolutive-rock predicate-hammer "The rock hammers" (The rock is [used as] a hammer) undergoer-hammer predicate-fall "The hammer falls" You'll have to ask Mathias whether this caus-pred-hammer undergoer-I pred-bother should mean 1. "It bothers me to hammer", OR 2. "The hammering bothers me" (somebody is making noise with a hammer and that bothers me). I think it's 2. "It bothers me to hammer" should be more like ag-I pred-hammer [ki], caus-ki pat-I pred-bother where ki is a relative pronoun: "That I hammer, [THAT] bothers me!" What do you say, Mathias? Have I studied my lessons? :) --Pablo Flores