And Rosta wrote:
> That of course begs the question of how to translate 'X gives Y to
> Z.' etc.  This is achieved by having one word for 'gives
> (something)' and another for 'gives to (somebody)', and then the
> syntax goes like: { X [ (gives Y) (to Z) ] }

What is "to" here? Do you mean "{X[(gives Y) (gives-to Z)}"?

Yes, just so.

In Livagian the max adicity is 3. Some common triadics:
X says information Y to Z

I could certainly use some of those ideas when I need a word like
'gives-to' above.

Telona is head-first and iirc it is fully predicatable whether a
node is terminal or (binary) branching. So yes, T4 is parsable in
that way.

Hooray!  :))

Although engelangs are less common than artlangs, one does see
recurrent goals and solutions. A common goal is self-segregating
words, for example.

Yes, that is certainly true.  Perhaps I was being a little dogmatic.

Now, tell me how you say "Not all goblins sleep"! My guess: you have a
word meaning "not all".

To my mind, a speaker who utters "Not all goblins sleep." is likely to
believe that his/her interlocutor believes that all goblins do sleep.
The contexts in which I can imagine somebody saying it include:

A: "If we're put in a cave with a goblin, we can sneak out while it's
B: "We might not be able to do that.  Not all goblins sleep."

..or perhaps the speaker is doing the voiceover for a documentary on
goblins: the previous scene has shown a group of sleeping goblins, but
now the scene changes to a goblin hunting by night - the narrator
says: "Not all goblins sleep.  This one is stalking its prey."

You see what I mean - it's not a neutral utterance.  Therefore, I
would tend to translate it as simply "Some goblins [*do*] sleep.", and
qualify this with a marker of surprisingness-in-discourse-context
('However, ...') - perhaps also marking 'sleep' for extra

If so, let's change to
(i) There are three books on my shelf that are not written by tolstoy.
(ii) There aren't three books on my shelf that are written by tolstoy.
Having a predicate "X is false" would make those easier!

The first one is easy - "There are three books on my shelf that are
{not + (written by Tolstoy)}.", that is, "...that are not describable
as written by T.'

As for the second, I would ask again what context you're imagining:

A: "Do you like Russian authors?"
B: "I have three of Tolstoy's books on my shelf."
A: (ashamed) "There aren't three books on *my* shelf that are written
by T." [although A and B both know that A has many books on the shelf]


B: "Three of T.'s books is a lot to have on your shelf."
A: "There aren't *three* books on my shelf that are written by T. -
there are ten!"

One can imagine various other scenarios with other parts of the
sentence focused.  The topic-comment structure of an utterance is
always made explicit in the syntax of a T4 sentence, so it's crucial
to know the context for this sort of example.  In the contexts I've
illustrated, the example sentence could be translated respectively as
"My shelf is not describable as supporting three books by T." and as
"The books on my-CONTRASTIVE shelf that are written by T. are not
[describable as] three."  There would be other alternatives, putting
more or less of the sentence into the topic or comment and marking
different parts for contrastiveness.

Thanks again for your interest,

[reply to jonathan underscore knibb at hotmail dot com]
'O dear white children casual as birds,
Playing among the ruined languages...'
Auden/Britten, 'Hymn to St. Cecilia'