Re: THEORY: Any rules broken?
|From:||Roger Mills <romilly@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, February 3, 2004, 5:58|
Trebor Jung wrote:
>In my conlang Tsaan, I've decided that there's no 3p. I was wondering
1. if it's OK to replace the assumed 3p pronominal prefix (in this case) with
the external argument represented by it in, say, English:
'The child eats the fish'>
Many languages get along without any overt verbal affix for 3rd person, as David P. pointed out.
Others may require marking for pron.subjects but not for nouns-- your example, perhaps.
And others may require marking for subjects, but allow it to be deleted in
certain cases, e.g. emphasis. Kash does:
manahan numu /1s-eat fish/ 'I ate the fish' ordinary statement.
MAM nahan numu /Pronoun-1s/emph. eat fish/ '_I_ [not someone else] ate the
fish' (heavy stress on _mam_)
>2. if it's OK to use 4p for both the meanings "someone unknown" and "someone
already mentioned and identified in the conversation".>
Isn't that self-contradictory?
IIRC 4th person most often refers to a second 3rd person referent other than one just mentioned.
"John told Bill that Henry was sick" -->
"John told him(3d) that he(4th) was sick"
Of course this can also go to "He told him that he was sick" where each
pronoun refers to a different person; with context it's perfectly clear and I
doubt if many (any?) natlangs bother with that much distinction.