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On Thu, 15 Nov 2001 06:38:31 +0000 Keith Gaughan <[log in to unmask]>
writes:
> Ok, here's my question. I've been thinking of adapting this idiom
> for use in
> Erëtas but I have doubts as to its scalability. Are there any other
> languages
> that use similar constructions. Just for reference's sake, here's
> how I intend
> on representing direct and indirect relative clauses:
>
>      Direct relative clause (`that I see'):
>          ...of my seeing...
>
>      Indirect relative clauses (`that sees me'):
>          ...with my seeing...
>
> Thoughts? Could it work well?

You might want to look at Ancient Greek syntax with regard to relative
clauses.  Theirs isn't much like what you have here, but it's
well-developed enough that you can scale almost any relative clause onto
a participle.  In fact, I can see some problems with scalability that you
might have, especially since the subject-object relations are indicated
through a preposition.  How will you keep things clear in more complex
situations where the verb has more than two arguments, or when it has
subclauses of its own?

In Ancient Greek, the subject of the participle is whatever noun the
participle agrees with in case.  The object is in its normal case.  I
found this example from Xenophon:

ándras helómenoi sún Kleárkho: pémpousin
ándr.as helómen.oi sún Kleárkh.o: pémp.ousin
men-ACC having-chosen-NOMPL with Klearchus-DAT send-3PL
Hyper-literal: "Men having chosen with Klearchus they send"
"They send the men they chose with Klearchus"

Another longer example.  I bracketed the participial and infinitive
phrases, but I've foregone the interlinear:

hoi men ephasan [[harpazontas ti] katakopenai hupo ton Kilikon], hoi de
[[hupoleiphthentas kai ou dunamenous [heurein to allo strateuma oude tas
hodous] [eita planomenous] apolesthai].

Some said (them) [[plundering something] to be cut to peices by the
Kilikians], but others [[being left behind and not being able [to find
the other army or the roads] [after wandering] to be lost.]

Some said that they were slaughtered by the Kilikians when they were
plundering, but others said they were left behind and weren't able to
find the other army or the roads, and so were lost after wandering.

This sentence has exactly one finite verb, but it packs all of those
English subclauses in with just a few participles.  All of the
participles are in the accusative plural, as well, which means that they
must refer to some group that's the object of the verb "say."  Because of
this, it's unnecessary to use an actual pronoun, though one must be
supplied in English..  In Greek, it's
perfectly clear--or as clear as anything ever is in Greek.


Jesse S. Bangs     Pelíran
jaspax@ juno.com
"We couldn't all be cowboys
Some of us are clowns" --Counting Crows