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AUXLANG  November 2006, Week 4

AUXLANG November 2006, Week 4

Subject:

Re: "mal-" is funny to people (Re: Attachment to nouns)

From:

"Donald J. HARLOW" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

International Auxiliary Languages <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 23 Nov 2006 10:52:27 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (45 lines)

Je 08.21 atm 2006.11.23, Rex MAY skribis
>This is VERY fascinating, and it almost seems like Eo has a tendency 
>to behave somewhat like an
>isolating language when turned loose.  It is very tempting to do the 
>"mi frapitas la sxtonon" thing,
>and I have a feeling that an experiment where you taught a 
>population of non-grammarians the
>language, and they used it unselfconsciously, it'd develop even more 
>in that direction.

I think it depends on the source languages of your population. 
Consider the following expressions:

La cxambro estis plena je homoj.
Estis plene en la cxambro je homoj.
Encxambre homplenis.

They all have pretty much the same meaning. The first would be the 
standard form used by speakers of (at least Western) European 
languages. The second variant was used in a letter a friend in China 
wrote me. The third would be the expression of choice of a group 
(possibly in India?) who considered such agglutination to be natural 
and elegant.

>I think what it comes down to is that "mi morditas la hundon" is, 
>tho currently ungrammatical,
>completely understandable and unambiguous, is it not?  And with the 
>normal tendency to drop
>unnecessary syllables, almost an inevitable development.

Actually, it's not; the object is obviously not the same as the agent 
of a passive. You'd want "mi mordiNtas la hundon" or "mi morditas DE 
la hundo", depending on what you're trying to say.

As far as dropping unnecessary syllables, it's not clear (Zipf's 
"law" notwithstanding) that there is such a tendency. Otherwise the 
English "immediately" would somehow be as terse as the Esperanto "tuj".


-- Don HARLOW
http://www.webcom.com/~donh/don/don.html
Opinions (in English): http://www.harlows.org/don/opinions/
Esperanto (in English): http://www.harlows.org/don/esperanto/
Literaturo (Esperante): http://donh.best.vwh.net/Esperanto/Literaturo

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