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Re: Telek Nouns

From:SMITH,MARCUS ANTHONY <smithma@...>
Date:Monday, May 1, 2000, 0:43
On Sun, 30 Apr 2000, Christophe Grandsire wrote:

> Well, as we say in French: "les grands esprits se rencontrent"!!! ("great > minds think alike", but the French saying sounds stronger than the English > one to me...) My personal language Chasmäöcho happens to distinguish > between animate and inanimate nouns, as well as alienable and inalienable > possession!
> Like in Telek, it's generally quite obvious what noun is animate and what > is inanimate. Generally speaking, everything alive (including plants and > even microbes, unlike Telek) is animate, as well as parts of the body and > everything that comes from an animate without transformation. The rest is > inanimate. As for abstractions, they are generally inanimate, while > feelings are animate. Things that are not alive but seem to move by > themselves can be animate or inanimate, there is no way to be sure. Gender > is grammatical in Chasmäöcho, so you have exceptions to the rules I gave > (languages are animate for instance) and you cannot change a noun's gender > at will.
Telek gender is grammatical as well. That is why some agentives can be marked as animate, but others cannot. Also, all loan words are originally inanimate, but can become animate given time. The word for "eruption" is an example of this. It is also important for agreement with verbs (verbs in Chasmäöcho
> agree with both subjects and objects, and their genders are reflected in > it)
It seems your language and mine have this in common as well. I'll explain in more detail at another time, but Telek verbs agree with the primary subject and primary object (you can have multiple subjects and objects). Agreement morphemes are different for animate and inanimate, with animate being well developed, but inanimates lacking a number distinction. and with one of the three classes of adjectives, the AR- adjectives
> which agree with the nouns in gender. So, except for a few differences, the > gender system of Telek and Chasmäöcho are quite similar!
They are pretty small differences, IMO.
> Inalienable possession works the same way in Chasmäöcho and Telek: body > parts and kinship terms are always inalienable, plus a few others (like > "home" - so you see that inalienable possession in the language has nothing > to do with actual inalienability in real life :) -).
"Home" is inalienable, as is "dwelling, residence", but "house" is alienable. I've also discovered that words like "person", "man", and "woman" cannot be possessed at all; and words like "child" and "animal" have one form that can be possessed (denoting relationship "my child" and "my animal (= my pet)" and another which cannot be ("a child" "an animal"). As for gender,
> inalienable possession is very grammatical and only partially semantic. The > main difference between your system and mine is that Chasmäöcho doesn't > have an "indefinite possessor" affix. When the possessor is irrelevant, > inalienably possessed nouns are completed with the short form of the third > person plural possessor suffix.
The indefinite possessor is a relic that will show up in verb conjugation as well, with a very different function. This is part of my way of trying to give the language some historical depth. (Dropping a hint: the indefinite subject has be reanalysed as a passive marker.)
> Well, funny that we came up with similar ideas like that :) .
Quite. :-) Marcus