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CONLANG  January 2011, Week 3

CONLANG January 2011, Week 3

Subject:

Re: Fixing English

From:

Philip Newton <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 20 Jan 2011 14:10:25 +0100

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On Thu, Jan 20, 2011 at 13:38, Jerry Muelver <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> My
> little brain suffers from problems in skill for classifying properties
> and qualities as nouns. Speed, beauty, size, length, blackness,
> blueness, intelligence, brightness, etc. can all be used as "mo"
> modifiers with qualifying much, little, some, none, all, etc.

I think a more common approach is to represent such properties not by
nouns but by stative verbs.

For example, Klingon has no adjectives, instead using stative verbs as
modifiers; you can distinguish that use from the "proper" verb use by
word order.

"targh qIj" (targ be-black) must mean "(a/the) black targ", while "qIj
targh" (be-black targ) must mean "(a/the) targ is black", due to the
OVS word order. In order words, an (intransitive) stative verb
preceding a noun must be a verb whose subject is the noun, while if it
follows a noun, it must be an adjective-like modifier.

This also removes one need for the copula; rather than saying "the dog
*is* black", as in English, you simply use the verb by itself (a more
literal translation in English might be "the dog blacks" - the verb
itself expresses the quality).

Japanese takes a similar approach: "kuroi inu" (black dog) = "(a/the)
black dog"; "inu wa kuroi" (dog TOP black) = "(a/the) dog is black".

Cheers,
Philip
-- 
Philip Newton <[log in to unmask]>

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