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"Theory informs practice" - OK?

From:Yahya Abdal-Aziz <yahya@...>
Date:Tuesday, November 11, 2008, 17:58
Hi all,

See the review by Andrew Carnie of the book "Copular
Sentences in Russian" by Asya Pereltsvaig at:

This book gives a thoroughly modern theoretical
explanation of why the two sentences:

  1) a) Lenin byl Vladimir Uljanov                    --- [Equative]
  Lenin.NOM was Vladimir Ulyanov.NOM
  'Lenin was Vladimir Ulyanov'

  1) b) Gnomy byli sucestvami rabotjascimi     --- [Predicative]
  Gnomes.NOM were creatures.INST laborious.INST
  '(The) gnomes were laborious creatures.'

  [Note: the two "sc" tokens should have haceks over both letters]
both using the verb "byl" ("to be") are not grammatically
equivalent.  I suppose English equivalents with a modern
context might be:
  2) a) Obama is President-Elect.                    --- [Equative]
  2) b) Obama is a black man.                          --- [Predicative]
although I'd hesitate to assign cases to the right-hand

I found the review informative and thought-provoking,
and would probably enjoy reading the book - should
anyone be kind enough to stump up the horrendous

My question for you practising conlang creators is this:
  How much, if at all, do theoretical considerations like
  those discussed in the review (and of course, the
  book) influence your thinking and activity?
If you choose to reply, please do so on-list.



Yahya Abdal-Aziz

Convener, Graphics SIG
Convener, Music SIG
Melbourne PC User Group (MelbPC)

Share my music, paintings, equation art, and thoughts on books, online at



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