Rules vs. Lists
vch468d at tninet.se
Sat Jul 5 14:29:30 UTC 2008
May a lurker butt in with a little thought experiment?
Re Rob Freeman's:
> Can you show me a system where there are more rules implicit in the
> examples than there are examples themselves, and explain why it must
> be so?
Assume the following (complete) lexicon of a hypothetical language:
And the rules:
C > b r m l t
V > e a u i
Root > CVCV
V2 > a
R+ba > agent
R+ma > causative
That is, 5 list items, 6 rules. This assumes, of course, that the types
of rules can be of any "kind", i.e. morphological, phonological, etc. Or
does the question suppose that there should be restrictions on type of
rules (only morphological, only phonological, etc.)?
I'm not sure how easy this would be if the lexicon's size was
considerably larger, but at least it's possible to devise a
less-items-more-rules system as a thought experiment. I have no idea why
it should be so, but it's certainly pissoble.
By the way, would a vowel-consonant inventory (list) with it's
accompanying rules (phonotax, assimilation, etc.) count as a valid
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