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>
>> ...  At any
>>rate I got the impression that if I suggested an abolition of the -r suffi=
x
>>which is, not up to the mark, then he would leave the list.
>
>Not quite right. He had _made_ the suggestion, and I did not resign. My int=
ent
>was that I would resign if the group _wanted_to_follow_ that suggestion.
 
It would then be correct to phrase it like this: If I suggested the
abolition of the -r suffix and the whole group voted in favour of this
abolition, then Bruce would leave the group.
 
As my point was the rather unengaged bystander's I thought the best thing
to be to leave the group. It is always the same problem. What to do if the
majority is wrong. Mostly it has no sense to fight it. Generally it is
better to leave it and to try somewhere else or channel one's energy in
something else.
 
Another contributing factor was that I was very fascinated by the 1928/30
novial in that Otto Jespersen obviously quite conscientiously had let one
sign stand for to functions. A final -a could mean a feminine noun and at
the same time be the ending of a verb in the present tence.
 
It is not uncommon that a language system lets one sign carry two
functions. The amaising thing of that is that you will often find it in
both artificial languages and ethnic ones. Example:
English -s (even 3)
English         Swedish         Interlingua     Esperanto
horses          h=E4star                familiar                vidu
kicks           sparkar         colpar          iu
 
The English and Swedish words are a nown and a verb - and can be both!
(He horses around!)
 
Swedish _h=E4star_ can only be a nown.
Swedish _sparkar_ is noun and verb.
 
Interlingua familiar is an adjective and colpar is a verb
 
Esperanto -u is imperative of verbs and denotes _person_ or thing  and is
attributive  for the words in the correlative table.
Example
Attributive:
Tiu sinjoro estas pianisto.
This gentleman is a pianist.
 
Tiu domo estas malnova.
This house is old.
The truth is somewhat more detailed but I refer the interested reader to an
Esperanto grammar.
 
Esperantists generally don't accept this description as they maintain that
the -u is not a suffix. I would say that it is a morpheme with a very
special function. It can only stand in a certain environment.
 
My point is that it is a usual linguistic feature that one sign, a suffix
or whatever can have two and sometimes more functions in a language. The
human brain can cope with that. Artificial languages often try to shun this
and seam to fall in a quagmire of other problems instead.
 
This, and the fact that Old Otto had gotten the idea to let one form of the
verb stand for both infinitive and passive past participles  - and here I
am not sure if my memory serves me right - indicated that he might have had
lots of fun when he designed Novial. To have one invariable verb form to be
defined by the preceding verb - that was great fun! Example:
My idea of Novial (corrections wellcome)
*Me pov fakta id.
*Me ha fakta id.
*Id es fakta per me.
 
In order to translate these sentences into English you need two different
forms for the second verb. Thus:
I can do it.
I have done it.
It is done by me.
 
Scandinavian languages have like Swedish, so you need 3 verb forms to
translate Novial _*fakta_, depending from whether the word is infinitive,
supin (after the equivalent of English _have_ ) or past perfect participle
after verbs meaning _is, was, was called, seamed etc.) in what we call uter
or neuter. (Uter are all the words that are not neuter - clear as cola! :-)
/Homespun English expression :-)/
 
Jag kan g=F6ra den /det.
Jag har gjort den/det.
Den =E4r gjord av mig.
Det =E4r gjort av mig.
 
Everyone who has been trying to teach English speakers with intrusive -r-
to cope with the Swedish verbal system with infinitives and all will
understand the genius of Jespersen's ideas.
 
To see this system of Jespersen's reduced into -r for all verbs was nothing
else than depressing.
 
And that's it.
 
Kjell [log in to unmask]
Kjell Rehnstroem
Vaenortsgatan 87
S-752 64  UPPSALA
Suedia - Sweden