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Higgins
10-23-2007, 08:36 PM
I hadn't heard of these (from Greenberg 1963, apparently):


http://wwwhomes.uni-bielefeld.de/gjaeger/lehre/ws0607/sprachenDerWelt/greenberg.ppt#47

Gray Rose
10-23-2007, 09:36 PM
And so? There are counterexamples to most of Greenberg's universals.

Higgins
10-23-2007, 09:43 PM
And so? There are counterexamples to most of Greenberg's universals.

for that matter, they are only "more often than not" type universals.

And why are they cited as "43" when there are 45 of them?

I thought they were worth noting...anyway, I'd never heard of them.

So I was excited.

ColoradoGuy
10-24-2007, 12:40 AM
. . . So I was excited.
I think you need to get out more.

Higgins
10-24-2007, 04:20 AM
I think you need to get out more.


Wow...sorry I mentioned anything. I'll just post things I find really boring up in "Political insanity and insane current events"...

Gray Rose
10-24-2007, 04:21 AM
It is exciting, just ... kinda old, you know.

ColoradoGuy
10-24-2007, 04:26 AM
Wow...sorry I mentioned anything. I'll just post things I find really boring up in "Political insanity and insane current events"...
Relax. Sit down. Don't go--it's ugly over there just now.

Higgins
10-24-2007, 04:32 AM
It is exciting, just ... kinda old, you know.


Relax. Sit down. Don't go--it's ugly over there just now.

Christ, its always ugly over there. And I am sorry about mentioning Greenberg's 43 universals, but I swear I've never heard of them before...which is odd because we all used to make fun of "Glottochronology" which I think Greenberg was one of the inventors of...

But as long as I am getting "excited" about
old stuff...what about glottochronology? It seems to work okay in the case of Athapaskan, but nothing else.

ColoradoGuy
10-24-2007, 08:23 AM
But as long as I am getting "excited" about
old stuff...what about glottochronology? It seems to work okay in the case of Athapaskan, but nothing else.
IANAL (as in I Am Not a Linguist), but my problem with the theory, as I understand it, is that it is predicated on the notion of constant rate of change in language, analogous to a rate of nuclear decay or something. Even if you ignore borrowings from other languages, which one would expect to change sporadically as a result of sudden migrations, conquests, and similar reasons for humans to mingle, I would expect language change to reflect changing human conditions, and that is not a linear thing. Maybe one of the card-carrying linguists can speak to this point (so to speak).

Higgins
10-24-2007, 04:55 PM
IANAL (as in I Am Not a Linguist), but my problem with the theory, as I understand it, is that it is predicated on the notion of constant rate of change in language, analogous to a rate of nuclear decay or something. Even if you ignore borrowings from other languages, which one would expect to change sporadically as a result of sudden migrations, conquests, and similar reasons for humans to mingle, I would expect language change to reflect changing human conditions, and that is not a linear thing. Maybe one of the card-carrying linguists can speak to this point (so to speak).

Here's a quasi universal from me:

If a language has declension, it has nouns. This is from Wikipedia

( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declension ):

Declension has been analyzed extensively in Sanskrit (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanskrit), where it is known as karaka (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karaka). Six varieties are defined by Pāṇini (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P%C4%81%E1%B9%87ini), largely in terms of their semantic roles (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thematic_role), but with detailed rules specifying the corresponding morphosyntactic derivations:

agent (kartri, often in the subject position, performing independently)
patient (karman, often in object position)
means (karaṇa, instrument)
recipient (sampradāna, similar to dative (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dative))
source (apādāna, similar, but not the same, as ablative (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ablative))
locus (adhikaraṇa, location or goal)For example, consider the following sentence:
vrikśh[at]parṇ[am]bhūm[au]patati[from] the treea leaf[to] the groundfalls"a leaf falls from the tree to the ground"
Here leaf is the agent, tree is the source, and ground is the locus, the corresponding declensions are reflected in the morphemes -am -at and -au respectively.
Languages with rich nominal inflection typically have a number of identifiable declension classes, or groups of nouns that share a similar pattern of declension. While Sanskrit has six classes, Latin is traditionally said to have 5 declension classes (see article on Latin declension (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_declension)). Such languages often exhibit free word order (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_word_order), since thematic roles are not dependent on position