janKipo wrote:In both lists? Did I miss any in the full list?
I don't follow the question. The first link is a BBC article that lists the 100 statistically common words in English. The 2nd link is readers attempts to write something long with only those words.
On the list I see, "year", "work", "day", "think" and a few more as content words.
Anyhow, maybe your right. Pinker, Paine and everyone else writing conventional linguistic text books are a bunch of crackpots and no languages have content words, function words (nor predicates, nominal, adjective or otherwise), nor both, nor neither, not the conlangs, nor the natlangs, because at the end of the day, I can't slot those conjectures into algebraic proofs, turn the crank and generate an evaluation of contradiction, contingency or tautology from it. But that goes for everything you say as well.
Amateur linguistics isn't like philosophy, where scholars tilt at windmills and universally fail to answer any questions and are only judged on how valiant their struggle was before it's all revealed as an edifice built on hot air it all falls apart because the questions just don't have answers (what's Ethical & Moral? Not that I care much, it's a theoretical issue and not knowing the answer doesn't cause me any problems. If people had to understand Kant before they could be moral, we'd all be Charles Manson)
Likewise, reference grammars need to be written, lessen plans drawn up to teach the fans, and that doesn't require airtight mental models. In fact, even the reference grammars written by Spanish missionaries that treat all languages as a dialect in Latin, while grossly wrong in their taxonomy is probably good enough to (painfully) teach someone how to say something intelligible. Now this guy on WoTC, has a taxonomy that looks promising, certainly all words can be usefully categorized as Okra, Twinkie and Tofu
, and arguments about taxonomy as well.
Anyhow, seriously, I feel like I'm the guy in Being John Malkevich, who has lived with someone with a listening impediment for so long that he suspects no one understands him, so I'm going to go back to blogging and writing fart jokes in toki pona.