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Re: CHAT: I'm back

From:Julia "Schnecki" Simon <helicula@...>
Date:Friday, August 26, 2005, 11:49

On 8/25/05, Nik Taylor <yonjuuni@...> wrote:
> Julia "Schnecki" Simon wrote: > > Now I'm looking into noun class systems. I'm envisioning a system with > > a handful of inflectional classes and a somewhat larger number of noun > > classes; each noun would be assigned to a certain inflectional class > > based on its phonetic structure, and to a certain noun class based on > > its meaning. > > Cool. Genders can be fun. :)
I'm German, and I have foreign friends who are learning or have learned the language. So I know all about fun with genders. ;-)
> My Uatakassi has 7 genders in the > standard dialect. Sentient Female, Sentient Male, Sentient Epicene,
... interesting; so far I had only thought about whether I should distinguish between "masculine" and "feminine" (and a bunch of other classes) or whether I should simply have a "common" gender to cover both, but it had never occurred to me that it's possible to have all three... :-)
> Animals associated with people [domesticated animals and certain > agricultural pests], animals not associated with people, other animate, > inanimate. The distinction between the last two is somewhat vague. > Gold is animate, copper is not, for example. :)
Is there a (con)cultural reason behind this? IIRC, in Sumerian stars and mountains are classified as animate because they're associated with deities, and deities are obviously animate. So, is there perhaps a spirit/deity/whatever associated with gold but none associated with copper; or are noble metals considered to be higher in the animacy hierarchy than common metals; or is gold traditionally used in certain artifacts with moving parts but copper isn't; or...?
> Things that can move on > their own, like wind and fire and insects, are considered animate, while > things that do no are often - but not always - considered inanimate. > Nouns referring to social/cultural entities are animate (e.g., > "language", "word", "city", "law")
I hope I'll still remember this when I've come up with a nice noun class system and want to add some quirks or irregularities... ;-) Regards, Julia -- Julia Simon (Schnecki) -- Sprachen-Freak vom Dienst _@" schnecki AT iki DOT fi / helicula AT gmail DOT com "@_ si hortum in bybliotheca habes, deerit nihil (M. Tullius Cicero)


Nik Taylor <yonjuuni@...>