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Re: ANNOUNCE: My new conlang S11

From:Damian Yerrick <tepples@...>
Date:Wednesday, March 2, 2005, 22:44
"Henrik Theiling" <theiling@...> wrote:

> Motivation: > The main problem I was having with all conlangs so far > was the question of assignment of arguments to predicates:
Designers of APIs in computer programming have analogous problems.
> I found the questions very hard an unsatisfactory to solve each > time and was searching for some grammar structure that ultimately > solved these questions without arbitrary borderlines e.g. between > arguments and adjuncts.
That is, unless some limits for these borderlines are hardwired in UG.
> My current project S11 is my current attempt to get closer to a > solution. > > Grammar: > > - two open word classes: nouns and verbs > > - verbs have exactly (thus maximally(!)) *one* argument. > E.g. there are no transitive verbs. > > - there are no adjuncts either, the whole structure is controlled > by using a sequence of noun-verb pairs.
Mmm... pairs. Once I thought of making a language out of two-word clauses, as an attempt to model what the language of the Eloi of Wells's _The Time Machine_ would be like, but I got caught up in other things before I could think it all the way through. (The first-person narrator describes the language of the Eloi as having two-word sentences, but the narrator is not a linguist by profession and thus may not know of serial verb constructions.) But where do adjectives fit into this plan? Or do you plan to handle them as relative clauses? And whither adverbs?
> For sentences that involve transitive concepts in other langs, > there are simply two (or more) verbs for each role. I think they > will all be suppletives, and not derivationally related (or maybe > related by some irregular, chaotic, non-productive process in some > cases).
Any reason why they should all be suppletives?
> After the first noun in a pharse, there must be an evidence marker,
Are these grammatical evidence markers just something you wanted to try, or is there some deep grammatical reason for them?
> Example: > There is no phonology yet, so the words are variables: > > 'LU' verb: to ask something > 'NI' verb: for something to be asked > 'MAT' verb: for someone to be addressed > 'JIT' evidence: hearsay > 'KHAN' noun: question > > 'John asks Mary a question.' = > > John JIT LU Mary MAT KHAN NI. > noun ev. verb noun verb noun verb
The whole thing reminds me vaguely of serial verb constructions in some African languages. -- Damian


Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>