Print

Print


Je 07.52 ptm 2007.03.19, Rex MAY skribis
>On Sun, 18 Mar 2007 19:14:15 -0700, Donald J. HARLOW <[log in to unmask]>
>wrote: (in reply to Todd MOODY, here indicated by >>)
> >
> >>I come across the "na" particle in use from time to time, but it's
> >>too soon to say whether it will become widespread.
> >
> >Not really. I'd be glad to make a prediction, with 99.9% confidence
> >that I'd be right.
>
>As somebody mentioned previously, the idea of using it to mark
>foreign names and other words that just don't feel right adding
>-on to might be the most useful function for it.  And those iom
>constructions, which always seemed incomplete to me  they
>definitely rely on word order for clarity:
>
>iom da hundoj mordis mi.

This is, however, a perfectly clear sentence with 
no reliance on word order -- as would be its 
opposite number, 'iom da hundoj mordis min".

The main problem with "na" is that it's not 
necessary. There are a number of alternative ways 
of solving the purported problem(s) it purports 
to solve, mainly "unassimilable" proper names. To wit:

(1) Assimilate them. "Unassimilable" is a term 
based on prejudice, not linguistics.

(2) If prejudice has to predominate, simply use 
some appositional term (in the case of human 
names, an honorific, for instance). So "Mi 
vizitis na Youngstown" can easily be replaced by 
"Mi vizitis la urbon Youngstown" (which has the 
added advantage that it tells somebody in India, 
who has never heard of Youngstown, exactly what it is).

(3) If the subject of the sentence is not itself 
an "unassimilable" foreign term, simply leave 
things as they are; the lack of an -N on the 
subject will tell you which part of the 
proposition and which the object. "John Smith konas mi."

(4) Finally, if you see no other option, use 
"je", which is already substitutable by -N 
according to the 16 rules, and so one might 
(unofficially) assume that -N can be substituted 
by it: "Mi konas je John Smith".

So, again, "na" is superfluous -- the main 
problem it purports to solve is spurious, and for 
those who nevertheless persist in perceiving the 
problem, there are other solutions already extant.

Hence the prediction I would make -- "na", like 
such other "problem-solving" solutions as "ri", 
"par", "icx" etc., will be forgotten in ten years.


-- Don HARLOW
http://www.webcom.com/~donh/don/don.html
Opinions (in English): http://www.harlows.org/don/opinions/
Esperanto (in English): http://www.harlows.org/don/esperanto/
Literaturo (Esperante): http://donh.best.vwh.net/Esperanto/Literaturo