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On Tue, Jul 01, 2003 at 08:55:25AM -0700, Costentin Cornomorus wrote:
> Just goes to show! When you ask an idiot to mess
> around with texts like this, you get a second
> rate answer!

Which idiot would be the responsible party here? :)

> > The relative
> > pronoun is considered third person because
> > "father" - and indeed, all
> > nouns - can only be third person in modern
> > English.
>
> Uh - how so? If you're addressing it (a noun
> other than yourself), then it's second person.

Sorry, let me clarify.  Nouns which are the subject of a verb
can only be third-person, or at least always take a third-person
verb form.  A noun of direct address cannot be the subject of the
sentence according to English grammar.

> The curious phenomenon is that the third person
> verb is used generally with relative pronouns:
> "it's me who does all the work around here!";

I suspect that's related to the use of a predicate objective instead
of a predicate nominative.  Objective pronouns are not eligible
to be the subject of a clause, and are therefore also regarded as
ineligible to be the antecedent of a relative pronoun acting as
the subject.  So the rle of antecedent falls back to the "it" for purposes
of verb agreement.  "It's me who do ..." sounds very wrong, while
"It's I who do ..." sounds grammatical but a tad stuffy.
On the other hand, "It's I who does . . ." also sounds okay to me.


> "you're the one who always drives on the wrong
> side of the road.";

I would say examples like this are not parallel.  Here, the
antecedent of "who" is not "you" but "one", and "one" is either
a noun or an indefinite pronoun, either of which is third-person.

> The vocative is always first or second person (in
> English). The real question is: how does your
> conlang handle the vocative?

Methkaeki at one point had a vocative marker prefix -, but it has fallen
out of disuse much as the vocative O has in English.  So vocative nouns
are generally unmarked.

I'm definitely leaning toward using second-person verbs with the relative
pronoun when the antecedent is a vocative noun, though.

> Consider my remarks above somewheres betwixt
> actual usage and esthetic opinion. [Personally, I
> find the 'new' English versions of prayers highly
> ugly. For context, and while in no way an Old
> Catholic, have successfully resisted using the
> 'new' forms of these prayers, still say the kyrie
> in Greek and would prefer the mass to be in
> Latin.]

Hear, hear!

> As for conlangs, on the odd occasion a Kerno
> speaker might have to recite this prayer in Kerno
> rather than Latin, they'd say "ke biase", who
> art. Of coruse, Kerno still has a fairly discrete
> verbal conjugation:
>
>   ke biame  who am
>   ke biase  who are
>   ke biathe who is
>   ke sumus  who are
>   ke ez     who are
>   ke vionte who are

Hm.  Kerno would appear to have some Latin influence.  Is it
a Romance conlang?  If so, where did the "bia" forms come from?
Germanic influence?

-Mark