On Wed, 5 Feb 2003, Roger Mills wrote:
> Well, you've done a very good job of squeezing every possible drop of
> juice out of a very small sample :-)
Gee, thanks! I was half-expecting to have my arguments butchered as being
too speculative or too simplistic or too whatnot. I always feel slightly
intimidated when I try to follow the discussions around here.
> 1. the near identity of ur-anar in #1 and uranar in #3. If one or the
> other is an error, and if the language is SOV, this might be _anar_ 'to
> have' plus an optative/future/conditional particle ur-. #1 could then
> be guessed as:
> ara darith uranak garak tha-ithil
> I wish(n.) Opt-have ..... able/Opt-understand
A very interesting and not unplausible idea. I was thinking about the
similarities between the two myself, but decided that the most likely
option was that uranar and ur-anar merely show that the phonology is
rather limited. The beauty of your explanation is that it explains why
there is only one compound word in #1.
> 2.garak _may_ be the sentence connector g...k circumfixed to ara. 'that
> I' ~'so that I...'
Again, I was thinking along the same lines but not quite on the same level
of detail as you do. The most plausible alternative to this seems to be
that "ara" is understood in the subordinate phrase. Is that common in
natlangs? The strength of your suggestion is that it more or less
translates every word in the fragment.
> 3.tha might then be the Optative form of du (#2) 'able-indicative'. It
> doesn't surprise me (in #2) that the subject can be postposed in a short
Perhaps the postposition serves to emphasize the subject ("*I* can speak
it." rather than "I can *speak* it.").
> 4.More guessing, in #3, b'ka seems to me more likely to be 'too, also';
> e irin would then be 'sweetheart(+acc+-pl)', but it's difficult to say
> what indicates accusative, what plural.
That is my favourite hypothesis, too, although I had not considered the
possibility of an accusative form. I just figured that "e" is probably a
plural marker. But as you say, this is mere guessing (which goes for most
of my reasoning anyway).
> Perhaps instead of optative, I should be calling ur- an irrealis marker;
> both examples involve events that may or may not happen
I have never encountered the term "irrealis" before. What does it signify?
Thanks for your input!