Understanding noun class

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Ehesh
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Understanding noun class

Post by Ehesh » Wed 20 Sep 2017, 00:00

I'm trying to incorporate noun classes and make sure to understand them propperly and I beliwve I got the grasp of it but I still want to make sure.

If I have a noun class for Plants (fko) and a class dor body parts (sla) can these be added to the same noun as a prefix to mean different things?

Example:

putko = extremity

fko + putko = fkoputko = branches

sla + putko = slaputko = arms

Please correct me if i'm wrong, i'd really appreciate it
Sumelic
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Re: Understanding noun class

Post by Sumelic » Wed 20 Sep 2017, 00:10

Typically, in a language analyzed as having noun classes, every specific instance of a noun is analyzed as belonging to some noun class. So one question I would have is, when you say "putko" = "extremity", do you mean it can be used as a stand-alone word to mean "extremity", or is that just the meaning of the morpheme "putko" and it has to have an additional prefix to become a complete word? If it can be used as a stand-alone word, that could be analyzed as it belonging to a noun class that is marked by a lack of affixation (or if the noun class system as a whole is known to be consistently marked by prefixing, you could analyze it as having a "null" prefix).

There is nothing wrong that I can see with the derived forms you describe, and their meanings.
Ehesh
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Re: Understanding noun class

Post by Ehesh » Wed 20 Sep 2017, 00:25

Sumelic wrote:If it can be used as a stand-alone word, that could be analyzed as it belonging to a noun class that is marked by a lack of affixation (or if the noun class system as a whole is known to be consistently marked by prefixing, you could analyze it as having a "null" prefix).

There is nothing wrong that I can see with the derived forms you describe, and their meanings.

Now that you mention it. I may be able to have a standalonte putko as a non living thing. To make it as an abstract or a inanimate thing. [:D] thanks
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gach
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Re: Understanding noun class

Post by gach » Wed 20 Sep 2017, 11:00

Sumelic wrote:Typically, in a language analyzed as having noun classes, every specific instance of a noun is analyzed as belonging to some noun class.
You can even ditch the word "typically" from that. Noun class/gender systems always involve every single noun in the language being assigned a class. It's possible that the class of a noun is fluid or that it's altered for derivational purposes (like "extremity" <> "branches" <> "arms") but there are never cases of nouns not having a class.

It's not a problem at all that you have nouns that don't have their class visibly marked on them. You can perfectly well have a language where there are no clues in the shape of the nouns for what their class is. What is important is that the class system is involved in some sort of an agreement process. This is pretty much definitional for calling a noun classificatory system gender or noun class, the class of a noun has to have an effect for example for the verb or adjective morphology or the shape that's chosen for pronouns or determiners. If your nouns have classificatory affixes that group them into broader semantic fields but do not trigger agreement anywhere else in the sentence, it's more accurate to call these noun classifiers or simply derivational affixes.

Lastly, I want to give a terminological reminder that the terms "gender" and "noun class" both refer to the same grammatical phenomenon. Gender is simply a customary label for noun class systems that contain only a handful of classes and is a reference to their main distinction very often being between a "masculine" and a "feminine" class. Larger noun class systems are best represented in the Bantu languages with their noun and agreement prefixes but this is by no means the only way you can do rich class systems. Yimas for example has a system of ten or more noun classes that can reasonably often be guessed from the ends of the nouns and affect a delightful mix of agreement prefixes and suffixes on verbs and modifiers.
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Re: Understanding noun class

Post by lsd » Wed 20 Sep 2017, 17:48

I used to see my monosyllabic roots as class marks...
Any word is marked by the class of the meaning of its root...
But any word is nothing but a compound of roots...
A vast set of compounded classes...

Unfortunately, I do not use words I do not distinguish word sand sentences...
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Re: Understanding noun class

Post by Creyeditor » Wed 20 Sep 2017, 20:43

I was actually thinking about just what lsd mentioned. If you have overt marking on nouns that convey part of the meaning (the categorization), you would just call it derivational morphology, if there is no agreement or concord, right?
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Dormouse559
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Re: Understanding noun class

Post by Dormouse559 » Wed 20 Sep 2017, 21:22

Correct. Class/gender is defined by agreement, and anything on the noun is simply derivation.
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Re: Understanding noun class

Post by lsd » Wed 20 Sep 2017, 21:43

A word is a class of things ...
the word chair defines only one class of different things ...
Compound words are only the intersection of different classes ...
In my conlang, sentences, all speech, is an intersection of classes that defines a moment ...
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Re: Understanding noun class

Post by Creyeditor » Wed 20 Sep 2017, 21:55

(Sorry for derailing [:x] ) How do you treat non-intersective adjectives like 'former' then?
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Re: Understanding noun class

Post by lsd » Wed 20 Sep 2017, 22:04

what difference between chair-things , old-things or old-chair-things...
just classes of things...
classes can be an englobing way of seeing the world...
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Re: Understanding noun class

Post by Creyeditor » Wed 20 Sep 2017, 22:06

Well something that is a former something and a president does not have to be a former president, right?
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Re: Understanding noun class

Post by lsd » Wed 20 Sep 2017, 22:23

needs just a little morphosyntax to disambiguate...
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Re: Understanding noun class

Post by Creyeditor » Wed 20 Sep 2017, 22:39

Okay, thank you. I got it now.
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