|From:||Jeff Jones <jeffsjones@...>|
|Date:||Monday, August 6, 2001, 9:23|
On Mon, 6 Aug 2001 01:46:11 -0700, Aidan Grey <frterminus@...> wrote:
>> >No. This is a distributive/collective distinction.
>> Say you want to refer
>> >to the tools in the back yard. If they are
>> scattered all over the yard,
>> >you use the plural marker, but if they are stacked
>> up by the porch all
>> >together, then you use the singular or a collective
>> plural (depending on
>> >the language). So the distributed plural indicates
>> multiplicity of
>> >"locations" of the noun/pronoun/verbal action in
> This reminds me of a demonstrative feature of an
>Iniuk lang (don't remember which one) I adore. Shape
>is a distinctive feature of the demonstrative system,
>round and long being the two main features. How this
>works is that if I was referring to a man running, he
>would be +long, because the space he's occupied over
>time is greater in one dimension. And a man sitting
>still would be +round, because he's basically the same
>in all dimensions. A pair of gloves piled is +round,
>but one glove separated from the other is +long,
>because the two sort of bookend the space between them
>and include it as part of the set.
Well, the feature makes some sort of sense, and the terms "+long" and
"+round" can be understood within the context of that particular language.
What I object to is the use of general terms in a language-specific way
when the context is general.
>Ran teithan Jeff:
>> I hope you're kidding -- that is not at all how I
>> understand "distributive"
>> and "collective". To me, "distributive" is like
>> mathematical distributive
>> and "collective" means that the set of entities is
>> treated like an entity
> Nope, he's not kidding. And it gets weirder still,
>like in my example above. Remember that every
>occupation will have its unique uses of certain terms.
I think the lojban people have the right approach: invent new terms
appropriate to the language rather than redefining latinate words for the
>A psychologist will have a very different
>understanding of distributive than a mathematician!
In my personal observation and experience, psychologists tend to have shit