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This week, we have Jim Henry on the show to talk about his long-term labor of love, the “engelangy artlang” gjâ-zym-byn.  But first we talk in great detail about noun phrases and many of the things you can do with them.

Top of Show Greeting: Qakwan

Links and Resources:

Featured Conlang: gjâ-zym-byn

7 Responses to “Conlangery #49: The Noun Phrase”

  1. Tony

    Very enjoyable and informing.

    A thought – when having guests on, perhaps have a trial run to be sure the participants’ systems all cooperate. (and not sound faint or primarily glottal stops)

    • admin

      I always take some time to talk to each guest beforehand. Unfortunately, there is only so much I can do with a bad cell phone connection.

      • Tony

        a cell phone makes sense.
        not sure why I thought all guests had Skype or other teleconferencing programs on their computer. (I’ve had Skype conversations that came out sounding like that, which helps me follow the conversation)…I also had thought it was something only noticable after it was recorded, sounding fine during the live conversation.


  2. Andrew J Smith

    Hmm, just for earlier in the show when y’all first discuss adjective order, I can say that the numeral classifiers in Japanese more often then not follow the noun so counted. The classifier can precede the noun, though, in a classifier-no-noun construction. Examples: “Watashi ha sono ookii inu wo yonhiki mimashita. (I-topic those big dogs-object four saw)” or “Watashi ha sono yonhiki no ookii inu wo mimashita. (I-topic those four-relational big dogs-object saw)” The major difference is that the prenominal classifier focuses on the number, rather than the noun.

  3. Roman Rausch

    Talking about piling up the articles on one side of a noun phrase, this example from Ancient Greek freaked me out quite a bit:
    τὰ γὰρ τῆς τῶν πολλῶν ψυχῆς ὄμματα
    ‘the eyes of the soul of the many’
    There is even a particle in between the three articles for good measure. And no, German doesn’t do this… It can at most kick out the head of a noun phrase (but doesn’t put it at the end): das Haus des Mannes ‘the house of the man’ → das des Mannes ‘the [one] of the man’.

    A similar semantic reversal to the mentioned one is δαίμων (‘divinity’) to ‘demon’, isn’t it? And besides, complete reversals of meaning are quite common, I’d say. In German, albern ‘ridiculous’ derives from *al-war- ‘all true’. In Russian, наверно ‘probably’ is transparently formed as ‘for sure’ and was still used in this sense in the 19th century. And so on…

    • Douglas Koller (aka Lao Kou)

      Listening to this on 1/2/13. WRT German, I think what is being alluded to here are such locutions as: das vom dreifingrigen Mann gebaute Haus — the house built by the three-fingered man


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