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[David]

> Languages do make distinctions between the known and the unknown:

Yes, that was my thinking too. Thanks for the examples (I love the Latin
one).

> PL2 would obviously be called "plural". For PL1, how about
> "numerative"? It express the sense of being numbered and (unlike, say,
> "numerate") is not a word often used for anything else.

I *love* your "numerative" idea. I think I'll use singular / numerative /
plural (glossed with SG / NM / PL or something like that).

Thanks!


[Baptiste]

> The Spanish estos / esos (/aquellos) correspond to English these / those /
> those (farther).
> In addiction to indicating the spatial distance, they indicate the
> "emotional" distance from the speaker (couldn't find another way to say
it).

Hmm, I think it's a bit more complex than that. It's not uncommon to say "
Estos tíos son gilipollas" (These guys are assholes). So emotional distance
can be positive or negative. ;-)

> However, this seems a little artificial to me.

Well, being a bit artificial is not a big problem. This is for Classical
Gig (I really need to find a name...), the language of a Giants' empire
fallen long ago (thousands of years). It is preserved as a language of
culture and religion (like Sumerian, Hattic and Latin were used by those
that came after). I'm assuming that Classical Gig *is* a bit artificial, in
the sense that all literary registers are. Her daughter languages, spoken
in lesser kingdoms and by wandering tribes (and that I expect to develop
some day) do descend as much from Classical Gig as from the vulgar Gig
dialects and variants that surely existed in such a vast and long-lived
empire.

> lf l spoke Gig, l would use
> the PL1 / PL2 difference to also mark for familiarity.

I think the tendency to use PL1 to mark for familiarity, in addition or as
an alternative to definiteness, has surely happened in at least a few of
the daughter languages. Thanks for the idea.

> P.S: <nitpicker> Which plural would you use for decimal numbers? "*2.5
> litre.PL1*" or "*2.5 litre.PL2*"? ls it really the exact value? Do you
take
> into account the accuracy of the measuring instrument? 2.5 ± 0.1 litre.PL1
> / litre.PL2? </nitpicker>

Currently I think that any use of a numeral to express a fixed quantity
would use PL1; if it is used to express "many", then PL2.

In your example, no, I don't think a Gig speaker would think of the
accuracy of the measuring instrument: *2.5 PL1-litre* is what they would
say. On the other hand, if you say "I have a million books, need to get rid
of some of them to make room for a few more", *a million PL2-book*.
Depending on context, I suspect it would be idiomatic to drop the "million"
and talk about *PL2-book*, using intonation to enforce the intended meaning.

You know? I've been thinking about this stuff for a long time, and you just
asked a question I had never given any thought to. Wonderful :-)