Mark J. Reed wrote:
> On 1/17/06, R A Brown <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>But, with the best will in the world, I still cannot fathom how 'ago',
>>in its modern use, can be analyzed as an adjective. So far no one has
>>explained this analysis.
> I think the idea is that "three years ago", the "ago" is telling you
> what kind of "years" are under discussion, 

Sort of like "ago years", as opposed to any other sort? The 'full form'
"a-gone" could be used with 'to be', e.g. "Fours years are a-gone" =
'Four years have passed'. But we do not say *"Four years are ago". It's
rather strained IMHO to call 'ago' an adjective.

> and the adverbial
> relationship is merely implied.  I could be wrong.  It's not a very
> good analysis, in any event. :)

Well, I think most of us are agreed on that one, so it's probably best
not to flog this aspect of the thread further.

>>Meanwhile, it's interesting seeing how this is done Conlangs. How, just
>>out interest, does Esperanto do it?
> With antaĆ­ (=antaux if you can't see the last symbol; it's a U with a
> breve), literally "before".  So "Three days go" is "antaĆ­ tri tagoj".

Right - that's like the German method, I think.

I have since discovered that Novial simply has 'X-time before now'. The 
example given in 'Novial Lexike" is: "_multi yares ante nun_  = many 
years ago."

So 'long ago' would be: longitem ante nun

> A more interesting question to me is this: how does Lojban do it?
I agree.

'long ago' is apparently expressed by _puzu_ from the two cmavo: pu 
(time in the past) + zu (long time distance). the example I have found are:
4.7 le nanmu puzu vu batci le gerku
     The man [past] [long time] [long space] bites the dog.
     Long ago and far away, the man bit the dog.


4.8)  le nanmu batci le gerku puzuvuku
     The man bites the dog [past] [long time] [long space].
     The man bit the dog long ago and far away.

I've found an example of 'puzi' for "a short time ago" (Guess what the 
cmavo 'zi' means!):
4.2)  le nanmu puzi batci le gerku
     The man [past] [short distance] bites the dog.
     A short time ago, the man bit the dog.

But, altho I've looked at several sites, I haven't discovered what 
happens with the Lojban equivalent of phrases like "three years ago".
(BTW I get really put off by the use of all terms like cmavo, bridi, 
sumti, gismu, selma'o etc.  :=(

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