157561Re: Semantic Content of Grammatical Gender?
- Feb 2, 20092009/1/31 Daniel Bowman <danny.c.bowman@...>
> Has anyone else attempted a grammar that made strict semantic distinctions?I have made conlangs with semantic distinctions, but usually I a) go for
> Did you run into similar problems, and if so, how did you solve them?
naturalistic, which means messy, so I don't solve problems, I just let them
make things interesting, and b) don't develop my langs in very much detail,
so that I only rarely get to the point where there are problems.
But maybe the Vietnamese system could be of inspiration. There are rather
correct semantic distinctions, apart from some words which are in the wrong
category (rivers, knives and roads are animals). As a first: Vietnamese has
a great many categories (long object, round object, object one can sit
inside of, house, king, vehicle, sheet of paper...). I've been learning the
language for several years now, and I can read books (with the necessary
patience), but sometimes I still discover new categories I had not seen
before. So that solves the problem for a great many words already. And when
it comes to the remainder of the words (those which still don't fit), the
solution is simple: they don't have a class. Usually it's the more abstract
nouns that remain, and as a rule uncountable nouns are classless. And
lastly: there is one class for just "objects". So if necessary, any
leftovers can be placed there.
Idustvok va yentelkvil gifpir, puk gifpir, ivan kitil.
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