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@...>
> >> >
> >> >What I thought would be cool is a system that totally did away with
> >> >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;
> >wouldn't have to work specially otherwise.
> >I think of it as kind of 'alien'. My motivations are coming from places
> >just to do with linguistic considerations ("can we communicate this
> >but also philosophical, psychological, even spiritual considerations. I'm
> >interested in seeing if we can break out of our conventional worldviews
> >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
> >will have opened human awareness up to whole new ways of looking at the
>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
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
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