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Re: Re Grammatically radical languages (was Re Newbie says hi)

From:Mat McVeagh <matmcv@...>
Date:Monday, November 4, 2002, 9:15
>From: Jeff Jones <jeffsjones@...> > >On Sat, 2 Nov 2002 07:12:03 +0000, Mat McVeagh <matmcv@...> wrote: > > >>From: Jeff Jones <jeffsjones@...> > >> > >> First of all, welcome to the list, Mat! I suppose you don't mind my > >> jumping in to the discussion. > > > >Thanks - Please do ;) > > > >>On Fri, 1 Nov 2002 06:16:51 +0000, Mat McVeagh <matmcv@...> >wrote: > >> > > >> >What I thought would be cool is a system that totally did away with >the > >> >conventional categories and created whole new parts of speech. > >> > >> Yep. The catch is, you'd have to come up with a whole new set of terms, > >> which would have to be explained. For example, in some of my would-be > >> languages, most words can be used _syntactically_ as verb (head of > >> clause), coverb (adverb/adposition), adjective (qualifier), or noun > >> (head of phrase) with 2 or 3 cases, regardless of the word is > >> _semantically_ a verb (denoting an action), an adjective (denoting a > >> quality), or a noun (denoting a set of entities). > >> > >>I'd like to see what you come up with for your language. > > > >I haven't decided yet, because this language we're talking about is one I > >haven't started yet, I only have the vaguest plans for it. It would > >basically be an exercise in seeing whether such a project was possible; >it > >wouldn't have to work specially otherwise. > > > >I think of it as kind of 'alien'. My motivations are coming from places >not > >just to do with linguistic considerations ("can we communicate this >way?") > >but also philosophical, psychological, even spiritual considerations. I'm > >interested in seeing if we can break out of our conventional worldviews >by > >exploring previously unknown linguistic structures. Lateral thinking via > >lateral speaking. I'm thinking that maybe the most important way in which > >the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis might be true is not in terms of one specific > >human language trait over another, but in terms of language universals - > >all the more so because we cannot see them. > > > >I would like to scrap nouns, verbs etc. and start again. If I can find a > >way to express the same reality/experience in terms which don't use > >established word classes, but instead other ones, I will have shown that > >some supposed linguistic universals are not really universal at all. And >I > >will have opened human awareness up to whole new ways of looking at the > >world. > > > >Mat > >Definitely an interesting project. I've wondered about those things myself >on occasion. I wouldn't know how to go about something like that, though. >Maybe by looking at conventional classes and "getting under the hood" to >see how they work and examine the assumptions they're based on ??? My own >projects are a lot less ambitious -- I have so much to learn about >languages. > >Jeff
It's ambitious alright. Priority #1 is starting a website and putting all my previous conlangs on there, at least in a representative form, while also checking out what everyone else has been doing. I studied linguistics for years as a kid, then for a couple of years at university, but I still have loads to learn about languages. I have some major blind spots. I am still being surprised. Mat _________________________________________________________________ Unlimited Internet access for only $21.95/month. Try MSN!