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CONLANG  June 2003, Week 1

CONLANG June 2003, Week 1

Subject:

Re: Question about anaphora

From:

Dirk Elzinga <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 2 Jun 2003 17:01:46 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (55 lines)

On Monday, June 2, 2003, at 08:33  AM, Stone Gordonssen wrote:

>>> Here's an idea which I took from Numic languages (Shoshoni, Paiute,
>>> etc). Instead of gender, third person pronouns can be differentiated
>>> by
>>> relative distance; referents which are closer (proximal) have
>>> different
>>> pronouns than those which are further away (distal). This relative
>>> distance can be metaphorical as well; referents which are mentioned
>>> first or which are agents can be referred to with proximal pronoun
>>> forms, while referents which are mentioned later or which are lower
>>> in the
>>> agency hierarchy can be referred to with distal pronoun forms.
>
> Interesting. I've similar pronouns in Bes Dis'z.

The Numic languages also have switch reference, but that system has its
origin in the tense/aspect system of the language. I had switch
reference in Tepa (the precursor to Miapimoquitch), but it has now
become entwined with deixis in Miapimoquitch. There is a three-way
deictic distinction which is cross-cut with same subject/different
subject as follows:

           same subject   different subject
proximal    te=             ta=
distal      ke=             ka=
neutral      e=              a=

The consonant encodes deixis and the vowel encodes same/different
subject. All of these forms are proclitics which appear on the first
element of subordinate clauses.

And lest you think that the Miapimoquitch system is just too orderly,
here's a look at Shoshoni's deictic prefixes.

                definite   indefinite
near             si-        i-
not at near      se-        e-
far              sa-        a-
out of sight     su-        u-

These prefixes are combined with a group of several deictic stems,
including -t1n 'demonstrative', -pai 'time', -s1n 'emphatic', etc. The
correspondence between deictic distance and the F2 of the prefixal
vowel is particularly to be noted; it's one of the best examples of
iconicity in natural language grammar that I know of.

Dirk
--
Dirk Elzinga
[log in to unmask]

"I believe that phonology is superior to music. It is more variable and
its pecuniary possibilities are far greater." - Erik Satie

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