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Re: HeadFirst

From:Ed Heil <edh@...>
Date:Saturday, May 6, 2000, 15:12
On Sun, May 07, 2000 at 01:37:19AM -0700, Jim Grossmann wrote:
> Well, so far, I don't think you've restricted your parts of speech > to nouns & connectives. Is "me" a noun, or a pronoun? Does > "me" describe the whole HP, or does it name the topic? > > To get rid of the pronouns, you may want to just name > everybody, and compound the names with the names of > conversational roles for first and second person:
The difference between nouns and pronouns is not a concern to me.
> > Having with agent me and patient brother with name Steve. > > Having a brother is not an act, and "me" is not an agent in this > sentence, nor is "brother" a patient.
Again, at this stage, this kind of detail is completely unimportant.
> I'm not sure that the ambiguity you've named is that big. > There's no law against context resolving ambiguities in > natlangs. The identification of "earth" as another patient, and > the meaning of "earth" as opposed to "heaven," is probably > sufficient to let the listener know that "earth" is not just > another attribute of the heavens. > > But I don't think you have a sufficiently clear way of indicating > which attributive nouns describe which other nouns. You > could start by specifying that "and" connects constituents of > equal rank, whereas "with" introduces an attributive NP > associated with the previous NP.
Yep, that's what I was intending.
> You might also add "then" > to your repertoire of connectives, which could shorten some > sentences considerably by allowing the two heads to be > together in chronological order in one clause. > > If I'm all wet, here's hoping someone says why. > > BTW, it is most important to try your grammar out on complex > sentences. > > He who lives by the sword dies by the sword. > > Becoming with life then death with human-agent and > sword-instrument. > > DV betrayed and murdered your father. > > Betrayal and Murder with DV agent and father-patient with > this listener-son.
I hadn't thought of co-ordinating heads! Not a bad idea!
> (Wow! I'm beginning to enjoy writing like this! No joke, just fact.) > > 4. Getting rid of pronouns won't be easy and may not be desireable. How > about variables? e.g. "Anyone who goes to school will need pencils." > Try that in Headfirst.
It's definitely not desireable. Variables/words like "anyone" are a matter of vocabulary, I think, not syntax, so I hadn't considered them in detail yet.
> > Writing-source-Jim