|From:||H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, September 10, 2000, 21:56|
On Sun, Sep 10, 2000 at 04:04:20PM -0400, Jonathan Chang wrote:
> In a message dated 2000:09:10 12:56:34 PM, robert@APEXWOOD.COM writes:
> >I'm not a linguist but I am tring to create a language and I was
> >> wondering if there was a min. number of noun cases needed in a language
> >> to keep it clear. is it better to have more or less affix cases etc.
> Pidgin, creole and many isolating/analytical languages do without case
Mandarin has no inflection whatsoever. Save a handful of clitics useful
for clarifying what you mean when you need to. The exact meaning is often
inferred from context.
ObConlang: I like this idea of high context-sensitivity in langs. So I've
come up with a (weird?) concept in my conlang, called Nominator sentences.
Nominator sentences are analogous to giving a title to an essay,
sub-titles to sections within an essay/written work, etc.; except that
nominator sentences are used much more frequently by native speakers of my
conlang, and are very much a part of the spoken language. A nominator
sentence consists of a single noun-phrase with the function of the
locative case; and it "sets the tone" for subsequent discourse. For
pii'z3di. jhy'l0 luy's loo'ru m3ngu'. luy's manga' nu biz3tau' d3 jolu'r.
buy'jh 3lymo3'n biz3tau'. biz3t30' fww't3 K0'rom3n.
The man. From the room, goes outside to the horse. The horse is ridden to
the woman's house. The plants are given to the woman. The woman is most
The first sentence "the man" is a nominator, that tells the listener that
what follows is a story about "the man". This context carries through the
rest of the passage, so that it is understood that it is the man who went
outside the house; it is the man who rides the horse, and it is the man
who gives the plants to the woman; and the last sentence, which seems to
be a tangent, actually is implying that the man sees the woman as most
beautiful; it's not a general statement about the woman as it would appear
to be in the English transliteration.
I'm still working out the details of this system, so things may change,
but the basic idea of context will remain. Just wondering if anyone else
knows of similar constructs in natlangs or other conlangs? I'd be curious
to know about them :-)