Re: Comparatives: was: Re: I came in late.
|From:||Ed Heil <edheil@...>|
|Date:||Monday, July 26, 1999, 17:50|
Tan... obviously cognate with "than." Ever Swadesh Denden and
Ed Heil ------------------------------- firstname.lastname@example.org
"Facts are meaningless! You can use facts to prove anything
that's even _remotely_ true!" -- Homer Simpson
Boudewijn Rempt wrote:
> On Sat, 24 Jul 1999, Nik Taylor wrote:
> > Boudewijn Rempt wrote:
> > > I've been looking around for information, but I couldn't find anything
> > > directly relating to this. Somewhere in the attics of my mind hovers a
> > > quote about some C19 Englishman who dismissed 'primitive' languages for
> > > not having comparatives, but that's all.
> > Well, I suspect that those "primitive" languages simply didn't have a
> > morphological comparative. I've read that, for instance, Quechua uses a
> > verb meaning something like "to surpass" to indicate comparative. I
> > don't know how it's used, my source didn't explain it. I think it's
> > something like "he is old surpassing me" for "He is older than me". I
> > don't see how a language could have NO way of indicating more and less
> > of a quality.
> That's probably the point. Since my half-forgotten source is so
> ancient, he wouldn't have regarded a non-morphological comparative as
> a comparative. I'd really doubt any statement that there are languages
> that can't compare attributes either qualitatively or quantitatively.
> Denden doesn't have a morphological comparative, but uses a
> construction with _tan_ instead:
> Hamal tan Rorayal taret
> Hamal TAN Rorayal rich
> 'Hamal is richer than Rorayal' (Perhaps literally: Hamal is,
> compared to Rorayal, rich.)
> Hamal tan Rorayal logh taret
> Hamal TAN Rorayal like rich
> Hamal is as rich as Rorayal
> One of the indications that Denden is a post-Creole, as Irina has
> suggested before, is not only the broad range of meanings of _tan_
> (cf. Holm 1988:73), but also the very free word-order, so the following
> is equivalent to the above:
> Hamal tan Rorayal taret logh
> Hamal TAN Rorayal rich like
> Hamal is as rich as Rorayal.
> Holm, John. 1988. _Pidgins and Creoles_, Volume I: Theory and Structure.
> Cambridge: Cambridge Universty Press.
> Boudewijn Rempt | http://www.xs4all.nl/~bsarempt