Similar to What other languages can get by in some cases without prepositions or particles like Somali?, I am wondering how we can boil everything down to just nouns and verbs (maybe adjectives, or at least noun/verb modifiers). Prepositions/postpositions can be converted into serial-verb/coverb sorts of things, but what about conjunctions, can they be converted into nouns and/or verbs (or adjectives) somehow?
Some basic ones: if, so, because, unless, while, or, and, yet, for, but. I don't know of many more.
If not, why can't they be converted? I know there are such things as "pure function words", which have little/no content meaning, but at least with "and", I could convert that to a verb like "unite", and "or" as "choose" or "match" or something. And even "if", as "test" (like in programming). But I'm not sure this is ever done in real languages, and if it would really work. For example:
- If I run and climb the tree, [then(optional)] I will get there first and can eat the fruit or pass it down.
- test I run unite climb the tree, I will get there first unite can eat the fruit fallback pass it down.
It doesn't really feel quite right (assuming this is some sort of gloss for another language), because "unite" is really majorly a "content word" but should be more a function word, I don't know. So looking for natural languages as inspiration if they do anything like this, and treat the conjunctions as nouns/verbs/adjectives of some sort.
If we used "and" as "union" (noun), then a difficult sentence might be:
- A union and possibly a union.
- A union union possibly a union.
- A union unites and creates one.
- A union unites union creates one.
If as a verb "unite":
- A union unites one and unites all.
- A union unites one unite unites all.
Doesn't seem like it would work in either case. You need a word, possibly a verb or noun, which is only used as "and" in this case, it would seem.
A Common Structure for Cross-Linguistic Conjunction Patterns seems partially relevant.