R A Brown, On 02/05/2010 15:23:
> And Rosta wrote:
>> R A Brown, On 01/05/2010 16:32:
>>> juna beletan amindumas fraulinon viro "The young man
>>> woos the pretty young_lady"
>>> Two questions: 1. Are such words orders ever
>>> encountered in Esperanto verse? (I don't imagine such
>>> things would occur in prose)
>> Good question. One would, I think, predict that such an
>> order would not occur in well-formed Esperanto,
> I think you are right.
> It has just struck me - and I feel a little sheepish at not
> having noticed it before - the trouble with the Esperanto
> example is that we know _juna_ and _beletan_ are adjectives,
> because Esperanto marks them as such.  We can't let attributive 
> adjectives be separated from their noun by a finite verb.
> That, it seems to me, is also the problem we're having
> getting our heads around the Latin construction.  We find
> (mistakingly IMO) two adjectives without accompanying nouns and then run 
> smack into a verb: "Eeek!" is our reaction.
> But we only know that in the Latin sentence _ultima_ and
> _Cumaei_ are adjectives *after* we have read the whole sentence and 
> parsed it.  This is quite different from the Esperanto sentence above.
> Now IMNSHO any generative analysis (or any other analysis) of that Latin 
> sentence that fails to take into account that the first three words 
> (i.e. as far as the verb) is a complete, potentially meaningful and 
> *well-formed* sentence in itself - the rest amplifies and resolves an 
> uncomfortable semantic tension - is not truly reflecting the Latin 
> sentence.

Can one have something like "warrior-NOM wept prince-NOM", "the warrior prince wept", where "warrior" and "prince" are both substantives (assuming there is some way to tell if a word is a substantive)?

If Yes, then I think an analysis different from what I'd already sketched would be called for. (But I won't discuss further until I know if it's Yes.)

if No, then I think the syntactic stucture would be as I'd suggested, and what you've done is explain the ergonomic rationale for why the structure is permitted. The What and the Why of grammatical rules are both important, but they're different, and it is possible to address the What without the Why (which is my own predilection) or the Why with only a rough-and-ready version of the What (which I think is probably more to the taste of many conlangers, who are drawn more to linguistic typology than grammatical theory).

Hope I'm not being unintelligible...