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# Wow! Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM)

Plu Amika, I have done some research, read through the NSM Homepage, and love it!!!

     Anna Wierzbicka just sat down and thunk ... and spent a  number of years doing it.

She didn't get caught up in "parts of speech"; she didn't  get caught up in "Classifications of Grammar": she just said there  are basic categories of thought and language, and there is a small  number of fundamental concepts (or semantic elements) in each category.
The sixty-three primes are distributed amongst seventeen  categories, and amazingly - unlike most Linguistic theoreticising -  the NSM Project does not claim to know all the answers, and  acknowledges that it is a 'work in progress'.

And, if the Glosa fraternity play our cards right, an offer  from us to act as a testbed for the further refinement of the NSM  hypothesis could be accepted.

I don't hesitate to reprint, here, the table of semantic  categories and primes:-
- - - - - - - THE CURRENT MODEL


The NSM model has changed a lot since it was first advanced in the early 1970s. In Anna Wierzbicka’s 1972 book Semantic Primitives, only 14 semantic primitives were proposed and in her 1980 book Lingua Mentalis, the inventory was not much bigger. Over the 1980s and 1990s, however, the number of proposed primes was expanded greatly, reaching a current total of 60 or so. The same period also saw the development of some important new ideas about the syntax of the semantic metalanguage. The current proposed primes can be presented, using their English exponents, in the Table below. Perhaps not surprisingly, the inventory of primes looks like a natural language in miniature. Table: Proposed semantic primes (2002); new candidates in parentheses

Substantives: I, YOU, SOMEONE, PEOPLE, SOMETHING/THING, BODY

Determiners: THIS, THE SAME, OTHER

Quantifiers: ONE, TWO, SOME, ALL, MANY/MUCH

Descriptors: BIG, SMALL

Intensifier: VERY

Mental predicates: THINK, KNOW, WANT, FEEL, SEE, HEAR

Speech: SAY, WORDS, TRUE

Actions, events, movement, contact: DO, HAPPEN, MOVE, TOUCH

Existence and possession: THERE IS / EXIST, HAVE

Life and death: LIVE, DIE

Time: WHEN/TIME, NOW, BEFORE, AFTER, A LONG TIME, A SHORT TIME, FOR SOME TIME, MOMENT

Space: WHERE/PLACE, HERE, ABOVE, BELOW; FAR, NEAR; SIDE, INSIDE; TOUCHING

“Logical” concepts: NOT, MAYBE, CAN, BECAUSE, IF

Augmentor: VERY, MORE

Taxonomy, partonomy: KIND OF, PART OF

Similarity: LIKE - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

     Now I know where they get the stuff for The President's  speeches: GW Bush talks in 'primes'.

But, on a serious note, I really do think we ought to offer  our services, en masse, to the people running the NSM Project.  And I  propose Bill Branch as our spokesman.
After all, Glosa is an up-and-running metalanguage, which is  almost perfectly planned on the NSM line.


Saluta,