Print

Print


Quoth Paul Dennett:
> Don Blaheta wrote:
> > Quoth Paul Dennett:
> > >         Bai hund nigr du cxas rapid na mult kat blank jam.
> >
> > Eh?  You appear to be placing the adverb at the end of the sentence
> > here...
>=20
> Yep.  It could have been 'hieraw' or 'antaw kvin jar', and it didn't
> have to be at the end.  I took it out of the way of the verb to show
> that it wasn't any more or less connected to the VP=20

I disagree.  I think adverbs of time (incl. adverbial phrases of time)
apply towards the verb.  More directly, I prefer a model that says
that A) all prepositional phrases modify one specific thing, thus they
are all adverbial or adjectival, and B) all adverbs modify either a
verb or an adjective, they don't modify the sentence at large; thus=20
we have a fantastically simple way of modeling and grouping the
sentence: each "major sentence segment" is introduced with a particle
("bai", "du", etc.), followed by the head of that segment, followed by
things which modify that head.  Simple.

> than an adverb of place would have been,
> e.g.:
>=20
>          'Bai hund nigr du cxas rapid na mult kat blank en gxarden'.

Honestly, I'd say that "in the garden" _should_ be connected to the VP
(or, I suppose, to the object; but the point is, it's not just 'floating
around in the sentence', it's modifying one or the other).

> > [ambiguity of modifier PPs]
> I see what you mean, but that's hardly a fatal flaw. Doesn't this ambigui=
ty
> exist in other languages, too?

Yes, and it's at least sometimes a problem in all of them.  I wouldn't
reject a language for _not_ fixing it, but when there is such a
blatantly obvious way of fixing it within your framework, why not use
that?

> My point was that tense should be indicated by adverb phrases,

I agree.

> not by little auxiliary markers parked in front of or behind the verb,
> where WENSA types like us are likely to use them like ordinary
> flexions.

Um, not sure what you're saying here.  Are you saying that tense and
aspect adverbs _should_ be distant from the verb?  Why?

> > > I agree, but I don't think I would use Esperanto as a base.  With, sa=
y,
> > > Interlingua as a base you have prettier words (scientific, eh?) which=
 are
> > > easier to say and just as recognisable.
> >
> > ...to WENSA speakers...
>=20
> Oh, yeah.  I forgot to say that one of the reasons I like the idea of an
> isolating grammar is it should be possible to import all manner of roots =
from
> all kind of languages without distorting them.  This may be wishful think=
ing

Okay, okay, I was just qualifying your comment about how "pretty" and
"recognisable" an Interlingua word will be.  On the other hand, there is
a difficulty in importing words from the tone languages; since we do not
include tones in our conials, to include such a word would, to a native
speaker of the source lang, be very much a volap=FCkisation of that word.
(Of course, this still leaves e.g. Arabic and Hindi as possibilities.)

> I have yet to see a convincing way of constructing a vocabulary in
> which all language groups are proportionately represented.=20

You're right, that's silly--overextending the democratic paradigm.
Check out Leo Moser's "Bahasan" project for a more interesting way to
gather a truly international vocabulary (although until I see a more
complete lexicon for it, I still hold reservations on the more common
words).

> WENSA isn't the target, it's the starting point.  And I thought we weren't
> having articles.  Actually the more I think about number in the NP, it is=
 only
> in *definite* NPs that it matters anyway.  If you have one child and some=
one
> asks you 'Do you have children?' they'll think you're a bit odd if you say
> 'No, I've only got one child.'  The use of the numeral or some other
> determiner makes the number, well, determinable.

Hm, yes.  In some way or another (if only by context), a language has to
distinguish between the following meanings of a noun ("tiger", fi):
1 tigers        tigers in general: "Tigers have stripes"
2 the tiger     the specific tiger previously referred to
3 the tigers    the specific tigers previously referred to
4 the tiger     archetypal tiger: "The tiger is not a gregarious mammal"
5 a tiger       some specific but previously unmentioned tiger
6 a tiger       any old tiger, but just one, and not in general
7 some tigers   multiple tigers, not in general or prev. ref. to
8 # tigers      # tigers, not previously referred to
9 this/that t.  one specific tiger, not previously referred to
0 this/that t.  one specific tiger, prev. ref. to, w/ two t.s compared
1 th(e/o)se t.s several specific tigers, not prev. ref. to
2 th(e/o)se t.s several specific tigers, prev. ref. to, w/2 grps comp.

That's off the top of my head; there may be more.  Note that there are
some formations in English which have distinct meanings; this can also
be true of this lang, but you should be aware of it.  Now.  1 and 4 are
sufficiently uncommon that they should probably use some adjectival
construction.  The unmarked form should represent 2/3 (which can be
conflated because context would distinguish them), since that is by far
the most common, _imho_*.  Note that 5 and 6 aren't quite the same
thing: 5 "a tiger bit me", 6 "the circus needs a tiger".  I _think_ you
can get away with unmarking 5-7 completely (except for number if
relevant)... but I think you need some (optional) way to disambiguate
these in certain cases.

*This is _all_ imho, of course.  If Mark or someone else posts some
actual linguistic data contradicting me, they trump me... :)

--=20
-=3D-=3D-=3D-Don [log in to unmask]@=
aol.com-=3D-=3D-=3D-
The streets are safe in Philadelphia. It's only the people who make them
unsafe.
                -- Frank Rizzo, ex-police chief and mayor of Philadelphia