Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

"To be" or not "to be"? (was Re: TRANS: something slightly more deep)

From:Paul Bennett <paulnkathy@...>
Date:Sunday, February 6, 2000, 23:51
On 6 Feb 00, at 15:00, Barry Garcia wrote:

> writes: > >Took me a while to figure this out, since there's no verb for "to be", > >but then I remembered safái. > > Same with my situation. It took me a while to realize how I could > translate that sentence. What fun it is not having "to be"........ >
Hold on just one minute... I maybe haven't been paying attention as much as I should, but are you saying that W. and Saalangal lack a simple equivalent to the verb "exist"? I can understand the lack of 'attributive' or 'essive' "to be" in terms of a zero-copula language (and variations thereof), but I'd have thought that any language needs a simple non-phrasal way of indicating whether something exists or not. Are there a significant number of natlangs where there is no simple way to oppose (for example) "this chair exists" against "this chair does not exist"? (Is there, therefore, a people so practical that they never discuss things that do not exist???) --- "Confused" of NC