--- On Thu, 4/30/09, Garth Wallace <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> From: Garth Wallace <[log in to unmask]>
> An adjunct is just an optional modifier.
> It appears that you can have SOV where O is an object of V.
> But since
> S is a noun phrase N, and N can be modified by a following
> O, you can
> also have SOV where O is modifying S. 

So far I'm trying to leave out and reference to semantics from the syntax. In effect my "SOV" is just a string of arbitrary characters, and maybe "O" was the wrong character to pick since it evokes thoughts of "object" in the traditional grammatical sense.

If I understand "adjuncts" then "O" really just means "adjunctive phrase". But "O" ALWAYS starts with a preposition in ai Basata, and is not necessarily an object:

SV: I left.
SVO: I lefy [by train].
SVOO: I left [by train] [from Denver].
SVOOO: I left [by train] [from Denver] [to Boston].
SVOOOO: I left [by train] [from Denver] [to Boston] [on track nine].
SVOOOOO: I left [by train] [from Denver] [to Boston] [on track nine] [at noon].
SVOOOOOO: I left [by train] [from Denver] [to Boston] [on track nine] [at noon] [with Harold].
SVOOOOOOO: I left [by train] [from Denver] [to Boston] [on track nine] [at noon] [with Harold] [foo yesterday]. (Where "foo" is a preposition that doesn't exist in English, but does in ai Basata, for the sake of consistency.)

As for ambiguous cases, something like:

I saw the girl [with the red dress]. is clear, but:

I saw the girl [with a telescope]. is ambiguous.

The fact that ai Basata syntax also allows: OSV means that such an ambiguity could be easily cleared up by saying: [With a telescope] I saw the girl. or SOV: I [with a telescope] saw the girl.

Notice that the SOV case can be interpreted S = NO, so that [with a telescope] modifies "I" only. But that's OK, because it means essentially the same thing.

Other category O words might be things like "THAT", or "WHO":

[The boy (THAT he holds the book)] is [the one (WHO you are seeking)].
Clearly different from English, but it seems to make sense.


> A subordinator is what used to be called a "subordinating
> conjunction". AIUI that traditional term is no longer used
> because
> they're no longer considered a type of conjunction, and the
> term
> "conjunction" is now reserved for "coordinating
> conjunction".

Ah, I see.

Maybe I introduced semantics too soon again. At this stage I'm thinking of "C" as a syntactic joiner of elements, with no semantic overtones. In fact, even possessives might be category C structures:

NCN => "father of Henry"; "brother of me"; or possibly "John his book", "hammer its handle", or even "Fred 's hat" (where 's is taken to be a separate element of category C, probably a contraction of "his").

> Subordinators introduce subordinate clauses, which are
> clauses
> embedded inside another clause, while conjunctions join
> constituents
> (words, phrases, clauses, etc.) on equal terms.

At this stage the syntax produces structured strings of characters. I haven't yet given much thought to classifying those structures into subbordinate or otherwise, or even as clauses vs phrases. I'm kind of trying to set up a simple generative system and see where it leads. It is entirely possible that the same structures might turn out to be subordinate depending only on the semantic content of the particular C word. Or it might turn out that subordinate clauses are the result of category O elements. Or it might turn out that the syntax rules need to be modified to handle those cases.

I need to take a bunch of sample sentences of varying complexity and translate them into ai Basata syntax and then look at how to relate the semantics to the syntax, and find out if the syntax actually works in practice.

Thanks for you help and observations!