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"H. S. Teoh" wrote:

> On Wed, Sep 20, 2000 at 12:12:17AM +0200, Jörg Rhiemeier wrote:
> [snip]
> > Ah, degrees of volition!  And an interesting morphology.
>
> Oooooh!! So *that's* what degrees of volition means! :-)
> I'm having a hard time figuring out a good word to describe my
> incidental/deliberative/consequential. I currently call it "focus", but
> that doesn't sound very appropriate. Is "degrees of volition" an
> "official" term for this concept? Or at least, a widely-understood term?
> I'd like to adopt it if so.

I haven't found the term in any linguistics book (though "volition" is
"official" terminology), but coined it myself.  I think it is pretty
intuitive, and it did catch on quite well in that old thread.

> >
> > Admit that you have stolen the idea from Nur-ellen! ;-)
>
> Well, I was seeing these huge threads about degrees of volition in active
> languages not long ago, but I had no idea what it was referring to! Little
> did I know that I already have the same concept in my own conlang :-)

I think this is something that happens quite often to conlangers.
When I designed Nur-ellen, the concept of an active language was
something
I had "discovered" by myself, and didn't know that it already existed
even
in natlangs and there was a term for it.

> [snip]
> > Nur-ellen also grammaticalizes degrees of volition, though in a very
> > different way, namely by using different cases and prepositions with the
> > subject.
> [snip]
>
> Ah, this is interesting. The speakers of my conlang view things in a more
> impersonal, 3rd-person type of way, so the main thing in a verbal sentence
> is the verb, the main event. Hence, the degree of volition is associated
> with the verb rather than the noun.

This is the difference between "head-marking" and "dependent-marking"
languages, I think.  The former mark semantic relations on the verb,
the latter on the noun.  Nur-ellen is dependent-marking; it doesn't
inflect verbs for person or number, only for tense.  Semantic relations
are marked on the nouns by cases and prepositions.  Most active
natlangs,
however, seem to be head-marking, as exemplified by Dakota.

> Of course, this also makes for some weird noun cases, but I'll save that
> for my next tidbit post to the list :-)

I look forward to them!

Joerg.