LINGUIST List 9.1664

Mon Nov 23 1998

Disc: Re: 9.1634, Disc: Morphosyntax

Editor for this issue: Brett Churchill <>


  1. Paul Llido, Re: 9.1634, Disc: Morphosyntax

Message 1: Re: 9.1634, Disc: Morphosyntax

Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 14:24:16 -0500 (EST)
From: Paul Llido <>
Subject: Re: 9.1634, Disc: Morphosyntax

To Robert B., Jose C. and all,

This discussion could be very interesting indeed. The terms, "nomen",
"verbum", "adverbum", etc. definitely were a legacy of latin grammarians.
Their use in English as primitives needs to be defined distributionally.
In Latin, the "nomen" morpheme class follows a very clear paradigmatic
pattern and distribution for the different declension classes. But the
same is not so clear in English. [Casa, -ae, -ae, -am, -a] is
morphologically distributionally locked in Latin for "nomen" but the same
is not the case in English [house-houses (nouns),
house-house-house-houses-house-housing (verbs)]. They look like they
belong to only one morphological and distributional class where marking by
a definitizer makes it a substantive and marking by a personalizer
(pronoun) makes it an action word. I would proffer the idea given the
evidence that they indeed are just one morphological-distributional class
and not two as in [house-houses-housed-housing].

The case would even be more acute in Malayo-Polynesian or Austronesian
because reference grammars have been using the terms "noun", "verb".
In Cebuano, the roots can be converted into a substantive, a modifier, an
action word and the different classes of action words by affixation. In
this language which is agglutinative, one can even find one word sentences
comprising of a root with its machinery of affixes.

[owan] 'rain'
[ga-owan] 'it is raining'
[ang gi-owan-hang yuta] 'the rained-upon land'
[mo-owan] 'it will rain'

The glosses are rough translations of the word and their syntactic or
morphological patterns do not mirror the complexity of the morphology of

Paul LLido

**************************************************** Paul C. LLIDO *
******************************* e-mail: *
**** Georgetown University (Graduate School - Dept. of Linguistics) *
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