Print

Print


At 04:44 PM 11/1/98 -0500, Chris Burd wrote:
>Charles wrote:
>
>> An alternative to POS marking is use of the Chinese
>> full/empty word distinction, to separate phrases.
>> Tense markers and articles often serve that purpose.
>> But the spirit of Glosa seems to prefer just context.
>
>Could you elaborate on this?
>
*   As I see it, the words in a Glosa phrase grade upwards in importance
from the start of the phrase .. culminating in the "Head" at the end of the
phrase, be it a 'verb' or 'noun'.
    And yes, tense particles are at the ^bottom of the pecking order^ in
Verb Phrases, and so do come first, and, thus, ^flag^ the start of a V.P.;
likewise, the determinant is the least significant word in a Noun Phrase,
and, correspondingly, is the word that starts such a phrase.
    BUT we have two problems: in Present Tense, no Tense Particle is called
for, unless you want to use the Immediate Present particle "nu", and so, a
Present Tense V.P. is likely to lack a Tense Particle ^flag^; and, when
using 'vernacular-style' Glosa, determinants are often elided, so this
means that conversational sentences will often not carry the "u" or "plu"
that would otherwise ^flag^ the beginnings of Noun Phrases.  In such cases
context will very carry the day, and meaningful communication will be
achieved.
    However, both problems can be avoided in written text.  Although
Present Tense is less likely to be encountered in written records, when a
Tense Particle is absent, proper use of punctuation will indicate the
structure of the sentence.  And, for technical and descriptive writing, the
full, un-elided, usage will ensure that all Noun Phrases are suitably
"signalled" by starting with a determinant.
    The Glosa authors see CONTEXT as being an integral, and important, part
of grammar.  However, there is nothing wrong with using a small amount of
'redundancy' and giving the determinants and tense particles, where their
omission could possibly lead to misunderstanding.
 
>> In actual speech, useless vowels would certainly
>> get levelled ...
>
>In that case, the useful might get levelled too. Maybe the best thing
would be to change all the undifferentiated finals to -e (pronounced schwa)
with the proviso that they could be elided freely, e.g., before vowels.
>
>Chris
>
*   True about leaving out terminal vowels before words with initial vowels,
EG An don id ad un andra. NOT An dona id ad un andra. [He gave it to the
man.].
    But the very reason that the Glosa authors went over to using all of
the vowels, as terminal vowels for subtantive words, is lost if you plan to
end each substantive with a non-differentiating schwa!
    To find sufficient letter combinations - in Glosa's short words - to
permit a wider vocabulary, the authors decided to use, where derivation
dictated it, the final vowel as the differentiator between different
substantive words.  This of course, was a decision that excluded any
possibility of reserving terminal vowels for the function of Part-of-Speech
markers; the authors felt that the function of the words would be sorted
out by syntax, and that the terminal vowel would be more useful as an
etymological guide, which would, incidentally, permit a widening of the
lexicon.
 
Saluta,
 Robin