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On Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 6:39 PM, Jim Henry<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> On Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 6:40 PM, Garth Wallace<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> In normal English writing, the semicolon is used* to connect two
>> sentences, where the second sentence is opposed to or follows from the
>> first in some way: "He's not a pro wrestler; he's a schoolteacher". In
>> speech, it more or less corresponds to a drop and pitch (and, I think,
>> additional emphasis on some words in the second sentence). Do any
>> languages use a coordinating conjunction for this purpose, or is this
>> always handled with prosody? It's distinct from the meaning of "but",
>> which shows a connection that is contrary to expectation.
>
> I don't know much about how it's used -- I no longer have access to
> the book on it I was reading last year -- but Hixkaryana has a
> particle, maybe a postpositive conjunction, "xa" /S&/, which expresses
> contrastiveness; in some sentences I think Derbyshire glosses it as
> "on the contrary".
>
> I borrowed it into gjâ-zym-byn as {ŝe}, with a similar meaning and
> use; but it's not a conjunction in gzb, but rather an adverbial or
> adjectivial particle that follows a sentence element which is in
> contrast to (typically) some corresponding element of a previous
> sentence.  E.g., in the story I'm working on, a spirit gets a girl and
> her twin brother confused; the girl says:
>
> Ќ ŝu-i nĭm mĭ-i źu-ram ŋĭn-i heŋ. kě'pâ-ram ŋĭn-i ŝe. Ќ lĭw-i tâ sǒ ŝe
> ŝu-i nĭm mĭ-i źu-ram ŋĭn-i.
>
> 1 property-at name TOP-at hope-name CMT-at not.
> happy.bewilderment-name CMT-at CONTRAST.
> 1 relationship-at sibling certain CONTRAST propert-at name TOP-at
> hope-name CMT-at.
>
> My name isn't Hope.  My name, on the contrary, is Happy-bewilderment.
> A certain sibling of mine, on the contrary,'s name is Hope.
>
> In the past I've sometimes used a semicolon in gzb much as in English;
> I think going forward I'll probably reduce the use of it in favor of
> constructions like this.

Interesting. Seems almost like the opposite of the Japanese particle
"mo" (meaning "also, too, as well").