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Re: CHAT: Synesthesia and conlanging (was Re: The Conlang

From:Charles <catty@...>
Date:Saturday, December 4, 1999, 2:11
Ed Heil wrote:
> > I found a web page which explains in passing that Emile Benveniste > claimed that Aristotle's categories derived from Greek grammar, and > that Derrida somehow criticized this, attempting to turn it on its > head (that Aristotelian philosophy created Greek grammar?). Whatever. > But you are correct that someone a bit more eminent than Alfred > Korzybski made claims about Greek philosophy deriving from Greek > linguistics -- whether or not they were > correct. > >
Being and existence and ontology and even adjectives all have not-so-fuzzy connections with that verb "to be". I can't imagine Chinese being held back by lack of it, though. "Aristotle distinguished between several types of categories including kind, quality, quantity or size, relation, location, time or date, action, and undergoing." Some of these correspond more or less directly with Greek cases, or even parts-of-speech. Reading the source (almost) directly makes this more clear; grammar is certainly very close to logic in our Western tradition, though again I don't think it warped us too badly ... Now, back to my half-baked linguistic theory: In the beginning were the man, the fish, and his desire to eat it. Therefore man realized he needed a verb. Soon after, the man DID-catch a fish, he HAD it, and the fish WAS eaten. Thinking it over, the man realized he had invented factive, genitive, and predicative, by his necessity of existence. Later, he forgot his first analysis and called them noun, verb, and adjective, and was confused ever after. But I doubt it very much.