On Tue, Jun 25, 2013 at 10:02:57PM -0400, Zach Wellstood wrote:
> Another question this brought to mind: in łaá siri, proper nouns are
> often discernable because they are uninflected noun roots, and if they
> refer to a person, usually occur with an honorific of some form. In
> others' conlangs, are names and proper nouns unique in some way that
> makes them apparent in a text (besides capitalization)?

In Ebisédian, all proper nouns are marked with a prefix, /Hy/ for
feminine, /E/ for masculine, /ho/ for plural. So they are very easy to
pick out.

In Tatari Faran, however, there is no morphological or syntactical
distinction between regular nouns and proper nouns. You basically have
to learn which nouns are names, and which aren't. In the main clause, TF
noun cases are marked by NP-final particles, so no inflections are
applicable here. In subordinate clauses, nouns inflect with case
prefixes. There is no syntactic distinction between proper and regular
nouns in both cases (pun intended ;-)).  Pronouns also behave similarly,
though they do also double as vocatives/demonstratives, so they can be
distinguished that way, given a large-enough corpus.

1) Proper noun:
	fia sei     tapa bata.
	Fia CVY:FEM walk FIN
	Fia is walking.

2) Pronoun:
	tara' sei     tapa bata.
	3SG   CVY:FEM walk FIN
	She is walking.

	tse   sei     tapa bata.
	2SG   CVY:FEM walk FIN
	You(fem) are walking.

3) Regular noun:
	tiki   sei     tapa bata.
	rabbit CVY:FEM walk FIN
	The rabbit is walking.

4) Pronoun doubling as vocative:
	fia tse sei     tapa bata
	You, Fia, are walking. (_tse_ is both the 2SG pronoun and the
	vocative marker)

5) Pronoun doubling as demonstrative:
	diru tara'   sei     tapa bata
	girl 3SG.DEM CVY:FEM walk FIN
	That girl is walking. (Lit. girl she is walking.)

Where pronouns differ from regular/proper nouns is that they can appear
uninflected in the so-called "adjectival position" (between the head
noun and the trailing case particle), when functioning as a vocative
marker or demonstrative. Regular/proper nouns cannot be in adjectival
position unless they are genitive (-n, -an), partitive (-s, -is), or
appositive (i-...-n, i-...-an).


Life is complex. It consists of real and imaginary parts. -- YHL