183477Re: Further info on tense marking for nouns
- Oct 12, 2011On Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 3:48 PM, Adam Walker <carraxan@...> wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 5:21 PM, Matthew BoutilierIf those are the only extant sentences, sure, you could reanalyse
>> > Now I don't really speak Hebrew, but
>> > ordinarily I would interpret "Adonai melech," as lord zero-copula king
>> > two nouns juxtaposed to show equation. But then how to interpret the
>> > clearly parallel "Adonai malach" and "Adonai yimloch"? Is this a case of
>> > tense marking on a noun?
>> so...in semitic (maybe you know this) you have nouns and verbs and
>> adjectives and all kinds of parts of speech deriving from triliteral
>> (three-consonant) roots. in this it's case it's M-L-K, which gives us both
>> nouns *and* verbs. melekh "king" is a noun (in hebrew, after vowels and
>> when non-geminated, k > kh /x/). but malakh "to rule" is a *verb* in every
>> sense. "adonai malakh" = LORD ruled-3ms. the inflection goes malakh
>> mal'khah (3fs), malakhta (2ms), and so on. yimlokh is a different form on
>> the same verb. yimlokh "he rules / will rule," timlokh "she rules / will
>> rule," etc. kind of weird that in the perfect hebrew uses suffixes but in
>> the imperfect it uses prefixes to indicate person, number, gender. but it
>> does (not uncommon in semitic...but just as a side note i was reading that
>> this apparently reflects a historical ergativity in proto-afro-asiatic).
>> Yes, but what is there to stop a conlanger from reanalyzing melech as also
> a verb (or all three as tense marked nouns) in the first example? and thus
> setting up a situation where you could evolve a Semitic type language into a
> nounless (or verbless) language depending on how you developed things and
> how you described/analyzed them? I understand that my analysis isn't
> concidered true of Hebrew in any stage of its development in the real
> world. But why couldn't a situation like the one I presented be
> reanalyzed/engeneered into a situation where you need to analyze it as tense
> marked nouns something like
> David melech. David kings.
> Davad malach. David kang.
> Yidvod yimloch. David will king.
> Now do you have three sentences composed entirely of tense-marked nouns, or
> three sentences composed entirely of verbs -- some of which are proper
> names? Either way it's weird, but why couldn't it work?
"melech, malach, yimloch" as all nouns or all verbs because of the
ambiguity caused by the zero copula *in this situation*. But "melech"
probably appears in a lot of other sentences where it's unambiguously
treated syntactically as a noun, and likewise "malach" and "yimloch"
probably appear in positions that can only be filled with a verb.
Also, "melech" follows a pattern that is also followed by other nouns,
while "malach" and "yimloch" follow patterns that are followed by
other words that are clearly verbs. You can't really re-analyse them
in a vaccum like that; in the context of the full language, it'd be a
lot harder to justify that shift. For it to work, I think that
ambiguity would have to be persistent throughout the language, not
just in some isolated cases.
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