On Thu, 23 Nov 2006 10:52:27 -0800, Donald J. HARLOW <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>Je 08.21 atm 2006.11.23, Rex MAY skribis
>>This is VERY fascinating, and it almost seems like Eo has a tendency
>>to behave somewhat like an
>>isolating language when turned loose. It is very tempting to do the
>>"mi frapitas la sxtonon" thing,
>>and I have a feeling that an experiment where you taught a
>>population of non-grammarians the
>>language, and they used it unselfconsciously, it'd develop even more
>>in that direction.
>I think it depends on the source languages of your population.
Of course it would. You're quite right.
>Consider the following expressions:
>La cxambro estis plena je homoj.
>Estis plene en la cxambro je homoj.
>They all have pretty much the same meaning. The first would be the
>standard form used by speakers of (at least Western) European
>languages. The second variant was used in a letter a friend in China
>wrote me. The third would be the expression of choice of a group
>(possibly in India?) who considered such agglutination to be natural
I lIKE that third one.
>>I think what it comes down to is that "mi morditas la hundon" is,
>>tho currently ungrammatical,
>>completely understandable and unambiguous, is it not? And with the
>>normal tendency to drop
>>unnecessary syllables, almost an inevitable development.
>Actually, it's not; the object is obviously not the same as the agent
>of a passive. You'd want "mi mordiNtas la hundon" or "mi morditas DE
>la hundo", depending on what you're trying to say.
The second. No, not obvious at all, but derivable subbing -n for de?
>As far as dropping unnecessary syllables, it's not clear (Zipf's
>"law" notwithstanding) that there is such a tendency. Otherwise the
>English "immediately" would somehow be as terse as the Esperanto "tuj".
Zipf is indeed a bit mooshy. You MIGHT say that English speakers tend
to replace "immediately" with "now!"
All this interchange (actually, I ask these questions to get you started so
you can educate me) is proof of Rice's Law — fun is the most important
factor in an auxlang.