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On Mon, Sep 26, 2011 at 9:42 AM, R A Brown <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>> I think confusion primarily arises because the grammar
>> of the conlang has not yet been specified. All we are
>> doing is throwing ideas around and hashing out our
>> interpretation of data that has not even been defined as
>> of yet!
>
> Yes.
>
>> And of course, it's only us confusing outselves!
>
> I'm not so sure.  I think rather it's making us to define ideas or different
> points of view.  Hopefully, it will give John ideas to work on.

Has certainly given me some ideas to work on!

>>> Exactly so.  Usually what is called the "past
>>> participle" in European languages&  conlangs is, in
>>> fact, a _perfect_ participle, e.g. La kato estas
>>> [pres. indicative] manĝita ['past' part.] la muson =
>>> The cat has eaten the mouse.
>>
>> That begs the question: why must we assume that aspect
>> is integrated with the tense marker *in this proposed
>> system*? (I.e., not in E-o.)
>
> Because that's the way I made any sense out of the "mixed
> tense" examples.  It may they were given with "tongue in
> cheek" and in the end John will stick with "same tense" system.

Fair enough.

> Also, of course, as I've pointed out, intransitive verbs do
> not have this facility of having subject & object with
> different time inflexions (unless - help! - every noun in a
> sentence will have its own time inflexion).

I think that quite probably some nouns at least will drop their time inflexions.
Perhaps only nouns of primary topicality are temporally marked?

A child's list to Father Christmas might have 20 or 30 different toys
in it -- but
really, only the child would need to be temporally inflected.

> One must also query impersonal verbs; they presumably will
> have to be given a dummy subject (like 'it' in English, e.g.
> it's raining).

I would think so. I don't think pronouns (or null subjects) were specifically
addressed in the initial examples, but I agree that they will have to be so
conjugated. After all, if YESTERDAY-Ray went for a walk in the park, then
it stands to reason that you might say to me: "YESTERDAY-I went for a
walk in the park".

>>> Not so certain. We seem to me to have a present state
>>> of affairs which has resulted from a past action (i.e.
>>> my poor financial decision in the past). This is surely
>>> what the _perfect_ aspect is about, isn't it?
>>
>> Only because we expect it!
>
> I don't understand.

We -- English speakers -- expect aspect to be an integral part of conjugation.
I don't think it *has* to be part of nominal conjugation in a conlang.
It certainly
could be, though.

> Either the perfect aspect does have a
> definition or it doesn't. According to Larry Trask (A
> Dictionary of Grammatical Terms in Linguistics) the perfect
> is a "distinctive *aspect* most typically expressing a state
> resulting from an earlier event."

No argument there.

> He does go on to say that in "English and other languages,
> the same form is also used to express other related but
> distinct apectual notices", and goes on to give examples of
> such from English.
>
> [snip]
>>
>> As I understand English verbal conjugation, aspect is
>> pretty integral:
>>
>> I cook = habitual aspect I am cooking = progressive
>> aspect I will have cooked = future perfect I will be
>> cooking = future progressive I had cooked = past perfect
>>
>> etc. We don't really separate time and aspect that well.
>>
> We don't.

Exactly my point: you, good English speaker, immediately read
aspect into the example (rightly or wrongly is not terribly important
at the moment). While I can see the sense of the argument, I only
point out an alternative.

>  It always apparent when my daughter, whose lived
> in the USA for the past couple of decades, visits us that
> British and US use of the so-called 'past simple' and
> 'present perfect' in English do not coincide on the two
> sides of the Pond - there is considerable variation.

I'd be interested in some examples.

> But that's really beside the point. I think it should be
> clear that by 'present perfect' I mean a present situation
> that has resulted from a past event - in this case, a cat
> who has consumed a mouse.

No argument there!

> There's always a problem with the future - because it's
> unknown. It's why some languages have use mood such as
> subjunctive to express this idea.  Even in English we don't
> have a future tense per_se, but use _modal verbs_ such as
> _will_ and _shall_.

True that.

> Ray

Padraic

-- 

Qouen loucariam! ica vindere al iscôm pneumam niscam enccanemôn
en al icaica anouram an;
orimdê eiodipositare al enccanemôn qouem, ica forato itan, meita qouemver etra;
etti ica sa laptato al iscôm pneumam. Men dê semoudat al narsas qouis,
ica accoreire al iscôm pneumam;
etti ica perfere pro al ican per empodoc pro al icaica anouram per.