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157561Re: Semantic Content of Grammatical Gender?

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  • Njenfalgar
    Feb 2, 2009
      2009/1/31 Daniel Bowman <danny.c.bowman@...>

      > Has anyone else attempted a grammar that made strict semantic distinctions?
      > Did you run into similar problems, and if so, how did you solve them?

      I have made conlangs with semantic distinctions, but usually I a) go for
      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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