Try Teonaht's split nominative definite article? I'm not sure how
"imaginative" it is, but the article carries weight in determining whether
the subject is an agent, an experiencer, or an object: Li tahdo laz, "the
cat is white" (experiencer); Li tahdo nelry allon, "the cat (experiencer)
waits"; Il tah le tahdo htesa, "the cat (agent) chases the bird" (object)."
The article can also be applied to proper nouns to indicate agency: Il
tahdo le Jahan htesa, "The John (agent) chases the cat (object).
The difficulty has been in coming up with indefinite articles that
registered agency. Teonaht originally had no indefinite article; I tried
two possibilities: a postpositional article: tahdo-ilz le Jahan htesa, but
because T. is so screwy about prefixing and suffixing, I had to add the "z"
to the article to make sure it wasn't confused with the following
noun: -liz, lez, ilz. You'll see vestiges of that on my Babel page. It's
now relegated to the "ancient Madjal." :)
I added "one" to the list of indefinite articles on my latest update to
nouns and articles, but I don't like that either. Totally derivative.
Also try Matt's Tokana; at least from what I remember of his first edition,
his third person pronouns were the same as his articles, both called
"determiners," functioning most efficiently in this respect. I wish I'd
thought of that! :)
----- Original Message -----
From: "Remi Villatel" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, July 02, 2004 8:33 PM
Subject: Articles, determiners, quantifiers, whatever...
> Hi everybody,
> I'm writing the last version of my grammar and I'm about to start the
> chapter about the articles. So, I decided to browse other conlang sites to
> see if somebody present their articles in a better way than I previously
> Alas! I visited dozens of sites --and I mean it-- to discover that these
> conlangers don't really care about the articles. The most imaginative ones
> (from an europocentric point of view) get rid of the articles partially or
> totally. The less imaginative ones just mimic existing systems (mostly
> English or German to some extend).
> Hence my question: Do I have a very twisted mind? ;-) Well, in fact: Are
> there some conlangs with a very complex system of acticles that goes
> "a, the, some"?
> An (extrem) example in Shaquelingua to really mean what I'm talking about:
> zereçügativorükĝ [zexeCyga:tivoxyk9]
> = Numerous parts of almost all these
> ze linear intensifier
> re + several
> çüg part of
> a + case marking
> ti resumptive
> vo + definite (=~ demonstrative)
> rü linear diminisher
> kĝ +all the
> vir'be gea-vaba grerë ta'zereçügativorükĝ çibjas zëtos.
> [vix(i)'be: ge^a:vaba gxexE ta:'zexeCyga:tivoxyk9 Ci.bjas zEtos]
> (descriptor)'(case marking) by-rodent destruction (indicative distant
> past)'(complex quantifier) ancient book.
> = Numerous parts of almost all these ancient books were destroyed by
> Of course, such a quantifier won't be used in everyday spoken
> the Shaqueans would rather split it in two:
> tivorükuu çibjas zëtos, vir'be gea-vaba grexë ta'zera çya.
> [tivoxyku^u: Ci.bjas zEtos], [vix(i)'be: ge^a:vaba gxexE ta:'zexa: CHa]
> [relative to](almost all these) ancient book, (descriptor)'(case marking)
> by-rodent destruction (indicative distant past)'numerous part.
> (This is an extrem example too... I could set the two parts closer than at
> each end of the sentence.)
> Now, tell me that I'm not the only one to have such overly complicated
> ideas... ;-)
> See ya,