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On 02/09/2017 19:38, J S Jones wrote:
> On Sat, 2 Sep 2017 10:26:10 -0600, Logan Kearsley wrote:
> 
>> English typically relies on definiteness in a predicate nominal:
>> 
>> "He is a doctor." (Proper Inclusion- he is a member of the
>> category of "doctors".)
>> 
>> "He is the doctor." (Equation- he and the doctor are the same 
>> person.)
>> 
[snip]
>> 
>> So, do you worry about distinguishing those cases, and if so, how 
>> do you do it?
>> 

I guess the simple abswer is that it doesn't worry me overmuch.

> One way is to use 2 distinct copulas. Another is to use specific vs 
> non-specific agreement.
> 

If using distinct copulas or specific vs non-specific is is mandatory
then, surely, you may just as well have articles.  None of the natlangs
I know that lack articles - Latin, Russian, Chinese - resort to such
strategems.  Basically AFAIK (in the case of Latin, that is quite far)
they normally rely on context.

If it is necessary to make inclusion or equation explicit, then the
languages can do so.  Latin tpically used _quidam_ after the noun to
make it indefinite if required; the spoken language obviously used
_unus_ as is attested by the indefinite article of the modern Romance
languages.  From what I've seen of Chinese _yī_ (one) + appropriate
classifie seems not infrequently to be used simply to mean "a, an".
'Tis a long while since I did any Russian, si I'll keep quiet about
that.  :)

Definiteness in Latin was shown by using some appropriate demonstrative.
e.g. _ille medicus est_ = "he is _the_ doctor"; or, maybe, _iste medicus
est_ = "he is the doctor (you've been speaking about, asking about)", or
whatever demonstartive is appropriate in the context.

As for my conlangs:

*TAKE* is ancient Greek without inflexion, so it inherits the Greek
definite article το (to) - so problem solved. :)

*Outidic* is a fictional 17th century Grrek-based auxlang inspired by
the real 17th century Latin-based auxlang of the French Jesuit priest,
Philippe Labbé.  Labbé's language lacked any articles, nor did he
discuss this lack.  But he wrote his book "Grammatica linguae
universalis missionum et commerciorum" (1663) in Latin and expected his
readers to be familiar with Latin and cleaerly saw no problem in a
language lacking articles or any other _mandatory_ distinction between
inclusion and equation.

Outidic likewise has no definite or indefinite article.  I write:
{quote}
It will have been noticed that there are no definite or indefinite
articles in Outidic. Dr Outis did at first consider retaining a definite
article because ancient Greek had it; but he was concerned that
different languages do not use their definite article in the same way,
for example, that the use of the definite article is rather different in
English, in French and in Ancient Greek.
He was also aware that not only Latin but Russian, Turkish and some
other languages managed with no definite or indefinite article and he,
therefore, decided that in a language to facilitate communication
between statesmen, merchants and scholar of different languages it would
be simpler to dispense with articles entirely.
{unquote}
http://www.carolandray.plus.com/Outis/Nouns.html#articles

I don't imagine a 17th DrNorman Outis feeling the need for expanding
further than did Philippe Labbé feel any need to discuss lack of
definite & indefinite articles.  The language would adopt similar
strategies as Latin.

*Britainese* is a western Romance conlang still being slowly developed.
  But it will obviously have definite & indefinite articles.

*Piashi* (aka Bax) has been abandoned.  But I think it would have
behaved rather like Outidic (and Labbé's "Universal language of missions
and commerce", i.e. leave things to context, but use similar strategies
to Latin if an inclusion or equation needs to be made explicit.

Ray