On Mon, 11 Nov 2002 17:17:32 +0000, bnathyuw <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> --- "H. S. Teoh" <[log in to unmask]> wrote: > On
>Mon, Nov 11, 2002 at 03:00:06PM +0000, bnathyuw
>> wrote:
>> [snip]
>> > naive question this, but don't most conlangers
>> have
>> > mobile phones ? :->
>> [snip]
>> I don't, and I don't intend to get one anytime soon.
>btw, in case anyone misinterpreted, that was an
>advanced |not| == 'is it the case that most conlangers
>don't have mobile phones?'

I try to avoid the temptation of getting involved in minute discussions of
English grammar trivia, but this one is interesting because it illustrates
how easy it is to get caught up in the mindset of your native language
without realizing how illogical it is. I can only interpret "don't most
conlangers have mobile phones?" as meaning "presumably, most conlangers
have mobile phones, don't they?". Oddly, rephrasing it as "do most
conlangers not have mobile phones?" doesn't come with the same presumption.
This may be yet another case where the variation between English dialects
impedes understanding.

Negative questions are tricky in general, but it seems pretty strange that
a distinction like this would be made in such a confusing way. Tirelat
doesn't allow both a negative suffix and a question suffix on the same
verb, so the problem doesn't arise (but it does make it harder to express
negative questions). Lindiga is too new to have negatives or questions, but
I'm thinking it might be a good idea to keep them as far apart as possible.

Oh, and I don't have a mobile phone either (or any plans to get one, as
long as I can avoid it.)