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CONLANG  October 2006, Week 1

CONLANG October 2006, Week 1

Subject:

Re: How to kick the infinitive habit

From:

Carsten Becker <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 4 Oct 2006 19:38:19 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (46 lines)

From: "Gary Shannon" <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, October 01, 2006 7:51 PM

> Does a conlang need the infinitive? I don't think so. In
> English, sentences can
> be analyzed in a way that does not even admit the
> existence of the infinitive.
> Take the sentence:
>
>     I want to go home.

Ayeri doesn't use an infinitive but instead uses the
benefactive ending _-yam_ to cover gerunds as well as modal
verbs in some cases. The sentence above would be

  Ang no saráyin rangea.

This sentence uses the whatchamacallit _no_, which is the
uninflected stem of the word for 'to go'. You might want to
call it an infinitive, but this construction doesn't apply
to *all* verbs, but only to 'to want', 'must', 'can', 'may'
and probably to a couple of others I don't know off-hand.

I want him to go home:

  Noayang saraiyáng rangea.
  Want.1s.A go.3s.A home.LOC.

German uses a very similar construction:

  Ich möchte, dass er nach Hause geht.
  I would-want, that he to home goes.

There are no infinitives used *here*. Of course, German
*has* infinitives, but it doesn't use one in this case.
*"Ich will ihn nach Hause zu gehen" is awfully wrong, but
this would be a one-to-one translation of the English
sentence.

Yours,
Carsten

--
"Miranayam kepauarà naranoaris." (Kalvin nay Hobbes)
Siruena, Nankyu 5, 2316 ya 29:48:26 pd

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