From: clayton stirling bartholomew (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Apr 21 1999 - 18:22:31 EDT
Carl, John, and those who responded off list.
I didn't intend to question that this is a common feature of
Indo-European languages. It may even be a feature of Semitic languages.
I am only saying that natural language is untidy. If all the
morphological forms had multiple simultaneous syntactical functions and
all the semantic tokens had multiple simultaneous sense and/or reference
then the difficulty of determining the sense of any given clause or
paragraph would increase geometrically.
If one was going to sit down and design a language there are certain
language features one would want to avoid. Multiple simultaneous
syntactical functions for a single instance of a morphological form in a
single context, is a language feature which would cause nasty problems
if it were not well constrained by other language features. It just so
happens that in Indo-European languages this feature of participles is
well constrained by other language features so that little ambiguity
I am sure that this is just so much gobbeldy gook to many b-greek people
so I will drop it.
-- Clayton Stirling Bartholomew Three Tree Point P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062
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