On Thu, Jun 13, 2002 at 07:23:02PM -0400, Roger Mills wrote:
> H.S.Teoh wrote:
> >That's right. The nullar number of a noun indicates its absence.
> >2) emy'kasi juli'r.
> >   (nullar)
> >   "Ekasi is not in the house."
> >
> >The prefix e- is the masculine proper name prefix, which you could think
> >of as "Mr.". So, (1) can be read as "Mr. Ekasi is in the house", and (2)
> >can be read as "Mr. no-Ekasi is in the house."
> >
> Just offhand, I see a problem here.
> (knock on door)
> A-- Is Ekasi in the house?
> B1-- no-Ekasi is in the house (he indeed lives here, but is out at the
> moment)
> B2-- no-Ekasi is in the house (no such person lives here).
> It strikes me that 2) emy'kasi juli'r. (nullar) "Ekasi is not in the house."
> is more apt as response to B2 than B1...but whatever you say.  I'm sure
> there's a way around it.

Actually, you're more likely to get (2) as a response to situation B1.
In situation B2, you'd probably get the response:
        ekaa'si ghi'?
        Ekaasi  who?
        "Who is Ekaasi?" (I know of no such person living here.)

Disregarding for the moment, of course, that Ekasi is actually a very
well-known person in his time. If you knocked on somebody's door and asked
for Ekasi, you'd probably get a strange look, and then redirected to a
certain prominent location where you would see him.


Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.
-- Napoleon Bonaparte