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comments on Itláni

From:Jim Grossmann <steven@...>
Date:Friday, November 9, 2001, 7:03
Jim, I enjoyed perusing your quick Itlani reference.   (Sorry about the lack
of the accent:  my 0225 isn't working for some reason.)

A few comments (some trivial).

Case names:

"quantitive"   Is this partitive?   Or does it differ from partitive in some

"dative"   Your example "to the book" can suggest motion toward a
destination.   Does your dative case mark destinations (as in "we're going
to the book") as well as beneficiaries (as in "she gave all her time to the
book she was writing")?

"prepositional" and "locative":     Do you want to exclude "in" "on" and
"at" from your inventory of prepositions?   Using only your locative case to
convey these relationships would make it tough to distinguish sentences like

The ink on the book did not obscure the picture in the book.

The ink in the book did not obscure the picture on the book.

The ink at (in the vicinity of) the book did not obscure the picture on/in
the book.

The ink on/in the book did not obscure the picture at (in the vicinity of)
the book.

Granted, "in," "on," and "at" could often be distinguished by context as
implicit in a locative, but you may want prepositions available for those
situations where context isn't sufficient to avoid ambiguity.

If you've decided that you will have separate prepositions for "in," "on,"
and "at," to be used just in case context isn't enough to clarify the
locative, these prepositions wouldn't have to govern prepositional case.
If you wanted to, you could make them take locative objects (unlike the
other prepositions, which would govern prepositional case, i.e.  take
prepositional case objects).

Another nit-picky comment:   Verbs:   Should the "tense indicator" be
"tense/mood indicator"?

More general comment:    The extreme regularity of your grammar (e.g. only
one regular conjugation for verbs) mark your language as either planned or
artificial.   Given that it's the official language of a space-faring
society, I'm inclined to think it's planned--a regularized, simplified
version of a natural (in your scenario) language.   I can't wait to find out
if I'm wrong!

I like your presentation;  it's clear and direct.

Say, could you check out my conlang at ?

Please lemme know what you think, especially if you know German or another
Germanic language other than English IRL.   Feel free to suggest


Jim Grossmann


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