Anyone want to start on the grammar already?

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Re: Anyone want to start on the grammar already?

Postby Miatato » Sat Mar 20, 2010 3:08 pm

Uh-Oh wrote:
Most creoles don't mark for singular versus plural. However, I have a soft spot for a "plurosingular", which indicates any non-zero number; for count nouns, this amounts to "1 or more". This avoids such constructions as "identify the beneficiary or beneficiaries" and "identify the beneficiar(y)(ies)". But it still allows a distinction between "I saw a beneficiary" and "I saw some beneficiaries... maybe 1, or 2, or 6, or dozens... honestly, it was dark and I just couldn't say how many".

ON EDIT: This is not to say that we are building a creole. Just that there has been a sentiment in favour of a creole-like flavour. And then again, many major eastern languages that are not in any sense creoles also don't mark for plural.


So, if there were a plurosingular, would that be in addition to singular?

I see some advantages of doing something creole-like in getting it off the ground into some sort of usable form as quickly as possible.
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Re: Anyone want to start on the grammar already?

Postby kadani » Sat Mar 20, 2010 4:16 pm

So I suggest for defining the grammar further these words (just an example, we can invalidate them and replace them by something different if you wish):

heten: teacher
laasi: story
kiti: to read
tenkai:person


How would you say now that the person reads the story of the teacher?
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Re: Anyone want to start on the grammar already?

Postby Uh-Oh » Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:45 pm

kadani wrote:So I suggest for defining the grammar further these words (just an example, we can invalidate them and replace them by something different if you wish):

heten: teacher
laasi: story
kiti: to read
tenkai:person


How would you say now that the person reads the story of the teacher?


Is that a story about the teacher, by the teacher, or that belongs to the teacher? :-)

u: {associative marker}
na: {non-specific / habitual aspect marker}

tenkai na kiti laasi u heten.

P.S. I'll assume that the geminate "a" in laasi is pronounced with a pause or glottal stop between the "a"s.
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Re: Anyone want to start on the grammar already?

Postby Uh-Oh » Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:01 pm

Miatato wrote:So, if there were a plurosingular, would that be in addition to singular?

Yes. A true singular and an "indefinite number".

Miatato wrote:I see some advantages of doing something creole-like in getting it off the ground into some sort of usable form as quickly as possible.

Agree.
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Re: Anyone want to start on the grammar already?

Postby kadani » Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:29 pm

Anyone want to have more than one kind of possession? I am for it.

About the aa: I think in the old forum, someone proposed that such structures make a vowel long...
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Re: Anyone want to start on the grammar already?

Postby Uh-Oh » Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:48 pm

kadani wrote:Anyone want to have more than one kind of possession? I am for it.


I think it's convenient to have a general-purpose associative marker, but also to have other markers or lexicals when more precision is needed.

kadani wrote:About the aa: I think in the old forum, someone proposed that such structures make a vowel long...


I don't remember that. I thought we were just going for the 5 simple vowels /a e i o u/, plus some diphthongs. I'm not keen on phonemic length; one person's slow speech is another's long vowel.
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Re: Anyone want to start on the grammar already?

Postby kadani » Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:20 pm

Uh-Oh wrote:
kadani wrote:Anyone want to have more than one kind of possession? I am for it.


I think it's convenient to have a general-purpose associative marker, but also to have other markers or lexicals when more precision is needed.

I see.

kadani wrote:About the aa: I think in the old forum, someone proposed that such structures make a vowel long...


I don't remember that. I thought we were just going for the 5 simple vowels /a e i o u/, plus some diphthongs. I'm not keen on phonemic length; one person's slow speech is another's long vowel.

a slow speaker speaks the long vowels even longer than the short ones so that is a weak argument IMNSCO. We should continue the discussion in the phonology thread though.
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Re: Anyone want to start on the grammar already?

Postby Miatato » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:36 am

I liked irrealis mood to cover future tense (among other things) and 'se' as an irrealis particle, as proposed in the Sentences About The Book thread.

Just sayin'.
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Re: Anyone want to start on the grammar already?

Postby Uh-Oh » Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:38 am

As I've noted elsewhere (repeatedly and tiresomely), I very much like the idea of being able to identify at least the verb in a clause, at least in reading and writing. I suggested a final "s" as a way to mark verbs, which would kind of mean that other word classes shouldn't end in "s".

There is another approach that I see in creoles that could also work, and that is the use of a pronoun to separate the verb from preceding or trailing noun clauses. For example:

kujo da paupe da nilu.
dog it bite it cat.
The/a dog bites the/a cat.

First and second-person pronouns wouldn't need a noun:

ji paupe za.
I bite you.

References to the third-person pronoun that can be understood from context also wouldn't need a noun:

da paupe da.
It bites it.

A (fun?) weirdness would be that the subject clause would take its pronoun after the noun (if any), while nouns in the predicate would be preceded by their pronouns.

Bislama or Tok Pisin (I forget which) does this in many cases (for subject clauses only). Toki Pona too, IIRC.
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Re: Anyone want to start on the grammar already?

Postby Uh-Oh » Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:44 am

Miatato wrote:I liked irrealis mood to cover future tense (among other things) and 'se' as an irrealis particle, as proposed in the Sentences About The Book thread.

Just sayin'.


Me too. If it's necessary to emphasise the irreality of the verb, then the particle for "if" can be stuck in somewhere:

"I would go to town tomorrow." = I will go; it's intended and likely.
"I would go to town tomorrow if..." = I will go, if a certain (perhaps unstated) condition is met.
"I would go to town tomorrow if only..." = I would go, but there's a condition (perhaps unstated) preventing me.
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