Saturday, September 4, 2010

Parts of Speech

This division of nimi is based primarily in how the words shift meanings as they are used in various slots, rather than on some intuition about their "natural" place (though these usually agree pretty well).  That  is, these POS tell very little about  grammatical roles the words play. .Everything here is tentative and I hope you will join in the corrections, expansions, and general working over of both these general remarks and of the specifics of various words.  I will try to collect and comment on comments as often as it seems profitable.

Group A
Principal use: modifiers (adjectives, adverbs)
As nouns: the property, something with that property
As verb i: has the property
As verb t: cause DO to be subject of verb i 

Group F
Principal use: functions: mark syntactic boundaries
No other uses

Group I
Principal use: interjections, vocal noises outside language proper, though perhaps meaningful.
As noun: the sound, the uttering of the sound
As verb i: to utter the sound, be the sound
As verb t: to utter the sound with the meaningful content DO
As modifier: given to uttering the sound, like the emotions (if any) of the sound

Group M
Principal use: modals, take VP complement in verb position (others?), placing action under condition of some sort.
As noun: the condition/condition force
As verb i = modal
As verb t: variable – see separate entries
As modifiers: under force of 

Group N
Principal use: nouns
As verb i: to be a specimen of (either literally or figuratively – caution about culture 
As verb t: to make DO subject of verb I; to apply specimen to DO (perhaps two groups)
As modifier: pertaining to (yes, that vague)

Group P
Principal use: prepositions: take NP complement in all positions (?)
As noun: general class of the complement, details at specific entry
As verb i: to be or be in the process of fulfilling the prepositional placement (special 
interps for missing complements)
As verb t: cause DO to be subject of verb i.
As modifier: given to verb i

[Group Vi
Principal use: verb i: 
As nouns: the activity
As verb t: cause DO to do activity
As modifier: given to activity] I don't think this exists separate from N and A.

Group Vt
Principal use: verb t: take e + DO
As nouns: the activity, generic class of DO
As verbs i: assume suppressed generic DO or reflexive
As modifier: given to the activity

Group X
Principal use: pronouns: nouns of a contextually determined meaning
As verb i: identification
As modifier: possessive

[As verb t: make DO belong to subject]


  1. Re: interpretation of verbs in modifier position
    From, "give to" means "addicted or disposed (often fol. by to ) given to making snide remarks." also "Tending toward, inclined to, as in She was given to eating crackers in bed ."

    So jan tawa means a person who habitually walks or who would like to walk if they could?

  2. As one meaning, yes. Thanks for pointing out a problem here, that these descriptions are only fragments of the generalities possible and moor can be said. This applies to all the cases, not just this one. I am looking at what actually comes up as I go through writing the dictionary and will expand as necessary. And 'given to' is probably a bad choice of words anyhow.

    But do remember that 'tawa' is not a verb in the present sense (class V) but a preposition P). The comment about modifiers is the same for both, however.