[Lingtyp] A list of 50 basic sentences

Hartmut Haberland hartmut at ruc.dk
Sat May 8 17:40:05 UTC 2021

I think, Denys, that a sentence about one’s mother (which is to be honoured) would automatically require a reference-honorific marker on either the subject or the verb, if available, or a verb marked as such.
Japanese okāsan (お母さん): the adressee’s mother. The purely descriptive noun is haha (母). Maybe ‘Your mother is eating’ would lead to clearer results.
Fra: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> På vegne af Denys T.
Sendt: 8. maj 2021 15:25
Til: JOO, Ian [Student] <ian.joo at connect.polyu.hk>
Cc: LINGTYP <lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>
Emne: Re: [Lingtyp] A list of 50 basic sentences


Just a random thought: you have inferential, mirative, but what about reportative?
And I am not sure that I understand correctly, but what is honorific about 'My mother ate fish'? ‘Mother’ over ‘mom’? I don’t know what to offer instead, but I would think about changing this one.

Best wishes,

On 8. May 2021, at 16:08, JOO, Ian [Student] <ian.joo at connect.polyu.hk<mailto:ian.joo at connect.polyu.hk>> wrote:

Dear all,

I am trying to make a list of 50 basic sentential meanings.
The goal is to make parallel corpora of different languages based on this list of sentences.
Each sentence on the list serves to check whether a language has a given grammatical feature, and if so, in what form the language expresses it.
When creating each sentence, I tried to limit its vocabulary to basic words that are found in most languages, avoiding culture-specific words.
I would appreciate it if you could have a look at the attached file and advise what I should add/remove/modify.

From Hong Kong,


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