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Lin: clauses (Part 2) & Participles

From:Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Sunday, April 14, 2002, 19:45
The concluding part on Clauses in R. Srikanth's compact conlang called Lin

(e) Non-restrictive clauses
   The relative clauses in section (e) are 'restrictive' relative clauses,
i.e. they both qualify and limit the meaning of the noun (or 'understood'
pronoun) to which they are attached.  Non-restrictive relative clauses are
separated with commas in English and in no way limit or restrict the
meaning of the noun - they merely add extra information, e.g. "Collyer's
School, which is where I was once a pupil, was founded in 1532."

   The formation of these clauses is the same as the restrictive relative
clauses, except that the delimiters {<} and {>} are replaced by {[} and {]}
(Remember how they're pronounced?).   Srikanth's only example is:
    i c sb]N T   "I am seraching for dogs, who know secrets"
    i c sb>N T   "I am searching for dogs who know secrets"

(f) Multiple chains
   Further clauses qualifying the noun can be stacked in sequence.  If
there is a hierarchy of restrictions, they must be stacked in that sequence
and marked with appropriate {<} or {>} delimiters.  If, however, any clause
is non-restrictive then square brackets are used in the chain.

 e h b>n/ i>-h i
"she has the books that I need but (that I) don't have"
..with the suggestion that I don't have a subset of books that I need
(rather than I need fewer books than I don't have).

Where the hierarchy doesn't matter, it is possible to begin later clauses
with {&} instead of {<} or {>}.  The above sentence could be re-written as:
 e h b>n/ i&-h i

Note: there are no spaces about {&} when it assumes the role of logical AND.

The evaluation of which convolution (p+, +p, p-, -p} the clauses belong to
is determinedand the relative clauses are concvolved independently of the
subordinate clause.

   e N(h 1 b
  "she knows that a human reads books"
   h f+px
  "[the] hyman fears the bird"
  e N(b 1/h f+px
  "The human who(m) she knows reads books, fears the bird

(g) Relative pro-verbs
    Lin has verbal equivalents to the correlative-like pronouns given in
Clauses (a); they can loosely be called "relative pro-verbs".   The
procedure is similar as with nouns.  One inverts a sentence suitably to
bring the verb to an extreme position before convolving the two clauses; by
doing this, a shared verb is relativized.

    e N bl  ===> N e bl/     ('subordinate clause')
   "She knows a cat"
    u N gv  ===> u/ gv N     ('principal clause')
   "you know a cow"
    u/ gv N>e bl/
   {you-INV cow know-REL she cat-INV}
   "You know a cow even as she knows a cat"

(h) Relative pro-qualifiers
    Srikanth is happy to tell us that he knows of no human language that
relativizes verbs, as in (g) above, or bothers to relativize adjectives or
adverbs.  Lin does the lot!  To signal that there is to be relativized
adjective, the component in which the adjective is located is inverted
(i.e. this time we have _intra-component_ inversion).  After tha, the rules
of clause convolution given in Clauses (b) apply.  The subordinate clause
in this case must begin with a noun, since the principal clause now does
not supply the relativized noun - it supplies and adjective.

    i1h -X:i4h
   "Interesting people do not live in stations" [Not my example]
    i l i1b  ====> i l b1/i            ('principal clause')
   "I read an interesting book"
    i l b1/i>h -X:4h
   "I read a an interesting book which is the kind of people who do not
live in stations"   [Srikanth's translation]

Skrikanth adds that an English professor would not think that a beautiful
sentence, but that an English professor is probably not telepathic  :)

I think he could've translated better; maybe: "I read a book which is
interesting - a quality BTW possessed by people who don't live in stations."

[I'm not sure about the usefulness of relativized pro-qualifiers, but
relativized pro-verbs suggest possibilities.  Plenty of thought here for us
conlangers   :)  ]


Participle constructions in Lin are derived from relative clauses (Clauses
(b)), by suppressing agants and patients as necessary.

(a) Active participles
    Relative clauses p+ and -p lead to active participles.

(a.i) p+ construction
 i N px>v u
 "I know the bird that sees you"
 i N px>v
 "I know the bird that sees"/ "I know the seeing bird"

 i N>v u
 "I know the one who sees you"
 i N>v
 "I know the seeing one"

One cannot, however, extract, e.g. _px>v_ to mean "seeing bird", since this
forms is valid only in object position; as subject, "seeing bird" is _v/px_
(see -p below).  In the same way, _>v_ means "the seeing one" as an object;
as a subject, "the seeing one" is _v/_ .

(a.ii) -p construction
 i N/px v u
 "The bird that knows me sees you"
 N/px v u
 "The bird that knows sees you"/ "The knowing bird sees you"
 N/v u
 "The knowing one sees you."

(b) Passive participles
    You've guessed it! Yes, relative clauses +p and p- lead to passive

(b.i) +p construction
  i N<px v u
  "The bird that I know sees you"
  N<px v u
  "The known bird sees you"

  i N<v u
  "The one that I know sees you"
  N<v u
  "The known one sees you"

But, we cannot extract, e.g. _v<px_ to mean "[the] seen bird", since this
form is valid only in subject position; as an object, "[the] seen bird"
must be _px>v/_ (see below).

(b.ii) p- construction
  u v px>N/ i
  "You see the bird that I know"
  u v px>N/
  "You see the known bird"
  u v>N/
  "You see the known one".

Indeed, one can even passivize constructions like "go with", "move
towards", etc.
 u v>`s m/
 "You see the with-moved one", i.e.
 "You see the one with whom someone moved".

Next instalment: VERBS

Auf Wiederschreiben!



Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>Lin: verbs (& numerals)
Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>Lin: short lexicon