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CONLANG  September 2009, Week 4

CONLANG September 2009, Week 4

Subject:

Another Bare Bones Grammar

From:

Gary Shannon <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 28 Sep 2009 13:13:48 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (144 lines)

I keep trying to create a minimal grammar that will allow for
arbitrarily complex sentences with as few rules as possible. Here's my
latest effort with 8 grammar rules:

A Bare Bones Grammar
--------------------

1. The basic sentence is SV, where S may be a single noun/pronoun or a
phrase. V is always a single verb marked for tense, mood, and aspect.
S and V always appear in that order.
__Examples:
____"I am-running."
____"John laughed."
____"Mary would-have-smiled."

2. A basic sentence may be modified with one or more extenders, E,
which may appear before, between, or after the S and V. Examples
include ESV, SEV, SVE, EESV, ESEV, ESVE, SEEV, SEVE, SVEE, EEESV, ...
etc.

3. An extender may consist of:

__A. An adverb or adverbial phrase.
____Example: "John laughed [quietly]."
__B. A preposition or prepositional phrase.
____(Transitive verbs require a preposition of some kind
____on the direct object.)
____Examples:
______"John laughed [at the clown]."
______"John gave [to Mary] [OBJ the book]."
__C. An Adjective or adjectival phrase with a copula-like verb.
____Example: "John was [sad]."
__D. A complete sentence prefaced by a connector.
____A connector is a conjunction or any non-preposition that
____can join two complete sentences. This includes words like
____"if", "and", "before", "or", "while", "until", "that", etc.
____Examples:
______"I will-stay [AND Tom will-go]."
______"I will-go [IF it is-raining]."
______"I will-go [WHILE the sun is-shining]."
______"[UNTIL the rain stops] I will-stay [at home]."
______"I told [to Mary] [THAT John is-laughing]."

4. A noun may be preceeded by a single determiner, and/or quantifier,
and any number of adjectives or adjectival phrases. Possesive pronouns
act as adjectives in this context. A quantifier may be a single word
like "several" or a quantifying phrase like "three or four".
__Examples:
____"the dog"
____"several brown dogs"
____"three or four really ugly brown dogs"
____"my five brown dogs"

5. A noun may be followed by one qualifier phrase. A qualifier phrase
is "which" followed by a complete sentence with a pronoun that is
optionally dropped when it refers to the modified noun.
__Examples:
____"I saw the dog [which (he) chased the car]."
____"I saw the boy [which (he) ran away]." (English: "I saw the boy
who ran away.")
____"I saw the man [which (he) ran into the building [that (it) was-burning]]."
____"I found the boy [which I knew (he) had run away]."

6. A conjunction may join any two items which are syntactically
equivalent. In other words, a noun with another noun or noun phrase,
an adjective with an adjectival phrase, and so on. The resulting
compound is syntactically equivalent to its constituent parts.
__Examples;
____"[dogs AND cats](n)"
____"a [red AND blue](adj) balloon"
____"he [runs AND jumps](v)"
____"[over the river AND through the woods](prep-phrase)"
____"[John 's fourteen big red books](n)"

7. Interrogatives are formed by using an interrogative meta-adjective
where an adjective would normally be found, or by using an
interrogative meta-noun where a noun or pronoun would normally appear.
__Examples:
____"An apple is [what-color]?"
____"He gave the book to [what-person]?"
____"You will go to town at [what-time]?"

8. Yes or no questions are formed by appending "yes?", "no?",
"maybe?", "perhaps?", "I wonder", "eh?" etc. to a statement, or by
ending the statement with a question mark or questioning tone.
__Examples:
____"He went to town, eh?"
____"He took his bicycle, no?"
____"He will be back later perhaps?"
____"You will let me know?"

Some examples:

__I will-go. (SV)
__I will-go [to home]. (SVE)
__I will-go [to home] [tomorrow]. (SVEE)
__I will-go [to home] [after the game]. (SVEE)
__I will-go [to home] [if it rains]. (SVEE)
__I will-go [to home] [when you stop [that (you) are-nagging [at me]]]. (SVEE)
__I will-go [to home] [because I am-done [at here]]. (SVEE)
__I will-go [to home] [while you wait [at here]]. (SVEE)
__I will-go [to home] [before you can-stop [OBJ me]]. (SVEE) where
final E = "before SVE"
__[To home] I will-go. (ESV)
__[Tomorrow] I will-go [to home]. (ESVE)
__I [after the game] will-go [to home]. (SEVE)
__[If it rains] I will-go [to home]. (ESVE)
__[When you stop [th