This is really cool, I like that it's quite simple but still works. It feels almost like there's a zero copula in each sentence 'John (is a) reader of-books', but if it's always zero then I suppose it doesn't exist. The something.remembered and something.predicted seems a little bit stilted; you might need more examples that they aren't just nouns. Can all nouns function as verbs? James > On 14/10/2013, at 2:02 am, qiihoskeh <[log in to unmask]> wrote: > > Note: the English translations are very approximate. > > I've been working on a possibly verb-less language. Verb roots appear only as derived nouns (action nominals and participant nominals), so the only clauses are Subject-Complement, where both subject and complement are noun phrases. There's no copula. Nominative is used for both subject and complement while genitive is used for possessors. Since the object of a noun must be expressed as a possessor, there's no accusative case. There are also dative, instrumental, and adverbial cases, since these can be used with nominal hosts. As an example, for "John reads books" one says "John is a reader of books" (John-Nom book-NR-Gen reader-NR-Nom). > > Actually, -Nom = 0 and -NR (non-referential) = 0, so these could be left out (John book-Gen reader). The other cases and determiners are enclitic, appearing at the end of the phrase. > > Basic clauses are semantically habitual (or sometimes gnomic). To change this, a couple strategies are used. First, there are the temporal adverbs. Placing "now" at the end makes the clause present progressive or stative and "then" makes it non-present progressive or stative. > > John book-DefS-Gen reader then. "John was/will be reading the book." > > The other strategy is to use an auxiliary. The content word changes from a participant nominal (such as agent or patient) to an action nominal. Its subject must take either the instrumental case (for agents) or the genitive case (for patients). The auxiliary is the inanimate patient of "remember" for past time or "predict" for future time. The determiner on the action nominal determines whether the action occurs (singular) once or multiple times (plural) and which set of aspects is intended. Specifically, definite indicates either aoristic or progressive or stative while indefinite indicates perfect (with remember) or prospective (with predict). > > Tom-Ins running-DefS somethingremembered. "Tom ran or was running." > Tom-Ins running-IndS somethingremembered. "Tom has run." > Tom-Ins running-IndP somethingremembered. "Tom used to run." (literally, "Some runnings by Tom are remembered.") > > The two strategies can be combined for compound tenses. > > Tom-Ins running-IndS somethingpredicted then. "Tom was going to run."