Analytic languages and their function. (4)

Salinas17 at Salinas17 at
Tue May 30 03:58:08 UTC 2006

In a message dated 5/29/06 12:23:10 PM, lise.menn at writes:
<<  [And on the topic of pidgins, remember that - definitionally! -  speakers 
of pidgins have some OTHER language as their native language.  They are not 
naive as to how languages are constructed - e.g. that they have embedding - 
even though the various speakers of the pidgin - again by definition - have 
different native languages to draw on.  >>

The point was not that pidgin speakers were not naive to how language works, 
but rather the description of certain pidgins as a language with the 
bare minimum of grammatical features -- "...nouns, verbs, adjectives, and so 
tend to have only one invariant phonological form... The verbal root itself 
does not express any particular tense or aspect. When used in a clause, it is 
to the listener to interpret this aspect of meaning in accord with the 
context."   Unless "pidgin" does not match this discription, speaker 
familiarity with other languages is irrelevant.

Steve Long

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