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On 18 May 2015 at 05:15, kechpaja <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I did once think of trying to do something like that in a conlang, though.
> I was going to have a single pronoun that indicated the first person in
> indicative sentences, and the second in interrogatives — the idea being
> that you would never need to ask questions about yourself, and you
> shouldn't be making statements about somebody who's currently present and
> fully capable of speaking for themself.
>
> Unfortunately, I never got beyond the basic idea to any sort of
> implementation.
>
>
An old conlang of mine has rather weird persons. Basically, in the
singular, it doesn't distinguish between 1st/2nd/3rd, but between "ego" and
"non-ego". "Ego" is basically first person, but it extends to things that
in English would be treated as 3rd person but are actually part of the
speaker's body, or a direct extension of their will. So for instance, in
the sentence "he hit my hand", that language would show "ego" agreement
with the object "my hand" on the verb (verbs in that language are
pluripersonal), since the hand in question is part of the speaker's body.
It's a bit like French "il m'a frappé la main" where the mark of possession
of the hand is effectively on the verb, but generalised.
"Non-ego", on the other hand, refers to anything that is not "ego", as its
name indicates :). Basically, it refers to 2nd person, but also to any 3rd
person that could reasonably be a 2nd person. I.e. if you can talk to it
and it can reply to you, then you refer to it via the "non-ego" person,
even if it's not the listener at that moment.
In the plural, that conlang is a bit less strange: it has a 1st person
inclusive and a 1st person exclusive, with the caveat that these persons
have the same semantics as the "ego" person: they extend to body parts and
direct extensions of will. There is also the strange thing that personal
marks on the verb must agree in number with the actual subject or object
(or indirect object). So if you wanted to say "he hit my hands", you'd have
to mark the verb for 1st person exclusive object. In other words, you can't
distinguish between "he hit *my* hands" and "he hit *our-excl* hands"
(actually you can, via context or by adding possession on the noun itself,
but without them the verbal form is ambiguous). It also has a "plural
non-ego", which has the same semantics as the "non-ego" person but refers
to groups.
Finally, that language has a so-called "non-person", which is basically a
3rd person restricted to whatever cannot fit in the "non-ego" person, i.e.
whatever it is you cannot talk to and reasonably expect it to reply in any
way. Basically anything inanimate, concepts, etc... It's usually unmarked,
and unlike the other persons doesn't distinguish between singular and
plural.

I loved playing with universals quite early in my conlanging career :P.


> -Kelvin
>
> On Mon, 18 May 2015 09:24:49 +1000
> Siva Kalyan <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > OK; so it’s the *person suffixes* that collapse first and second person,
> not the pronouns (as the Wikipedia article misleadingly suggests). A
> language that did the latter would be impractical.
> >
> > Siva
> >
> > > On 18 May 2015, at 5:38 am, Adsina A. <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> > >
> > > Thanks! Looking at one of the references on that page that seems not
> to be
> > > true however:
> > >
> > > *2.5.1 Personal Pronouns** (no ergative case; S=A;O)*
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > *SG*
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > *PL*
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > *ABS*
> > >
> > > *OBL*
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > *ABS*
> > >
> > > *OBL*
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > *1*
> > >
> > > *na*
> > >
> > > *t:u-*
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > *žu*
> > >
> > > *žu-*
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > *2*
> > >
> > > *ina*
> > >
> > > *wi-*
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > *zu*
> > >
> > > *zu-*
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > *Inklusive: žu k**’iyagu **(= **‚we, the TWO’)   *
> > >
> > > *Exclusive: žuwa k**’iwas:a** and variants*
> > >
> > > *Third Person = Deixis / ga and tā represent the preferred anaphora" *
> > >
> > > http://wschulze.userweb.mwn.de/Lak.htm#morphosyntax
> > >
> > > On Sun, May 17, 2015 at 8:23 AM, MorphemeAddict <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> > >
> > >> This is the reference I mentioned:
> > >>
> > >> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lak_language#Grammar
> > >> "Although the pronominal systems of most languages distinguish
> between the
> > >> first, second, and third persons (as well as number), Lak is one of
> the few
> > >> languages that distinguishes only between speech-act participants and
> > >> non-speech-act participants. In other words, the first- and
> second-person
> > >> pronouns are the same."
> > >>
> > >> stevo
> > >>
> > >> On Sun, May 17, 2015 at 8:59 AM, MorphemeAddict <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> > >>
> > >>> Just a few days ago I came across mention in Wikipedia of a language
> that
> > >>> makes no distinction between 1st and 2nd person, at least in the
> > >> pronouns.
> > >>> I'll try to find the reference.
> > >>>
> > >>> stevo
> > >>>
> > >>> On Sat, May 16, 2015 at 2:44 AM, Siva Kalyan <
> > >>> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > >>>
> > >>>> In Chinese and Japanese, dedicated personal pronouns are a
> relatively
> > >>>> recent phenomenon; in pre-modern texts one finds a wide variety of
> ways
> > >> to
> > >>>> refer to the speaker or addressee, with ample room for creativity;
> and
> > >> even
> > >>>> in modern Japanese, it is in many cases more common to refer to
> oneself
> > >> or
> > >>>> one’s addressee using a name or a title than a pronoun. Certainly
> the
> > >>>> category of “person” is of no direct grammatical relevance in these
> > >>>> languages.
> > >>>>
> > >>>> I think it would be hard to find a language that has *no* way of
> > >>>> distinguishing between reference to the addressee and reference to a
> > >>>> non-addressee (for obvious communicative reasons). But some
> languages
> > >> may
> > >>>> simply not care about this distinction in their grammar.
> > >>>>
> > >>>> Siva
> > >>>>
> > >>>>> On 16 May 2015, at 1:30 pm, Adsina A. <[log in to unmask]
> >
> > >>>> wrote:
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>> Are there any natural languages that make distinctions between
> > >> persons,
> > >>>> but
> > >>>>> do not do so on the basis of whether the addresser/addressee are
> > >>>> involved
> > >>>>> in the action? For instance, a language that distinguishes between
> > >>>>> proximate and obviate pronouns, but not between second/third person
> > >>>>> pronouns? Or maybe just a language that *only* distinguishes
> between
> > >>>> first
> > >>>>> person and non-first person pronouns?
> > >>>>
> > >>>
> > >>>
> > >>
>
>
> --
> kechpaja <[log in to unmask]>
>



-- 
Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets
President of the Language Creation Society (http://conlang.org/)

Personal Website: http://christophoronomicon.blogspot.com/
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