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Inflection for attitude and purpose (was: Re: Nauradi)

From:Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...>
Date:Friday, November 28, 2008, 22:50
On 11/25/08, Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...> wrote:
> > On Tue, 25 Nov 2008 05:46:37 -0500, Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...> wrote: > > > >>For my next conlang I've toyed with the idea of making > >>attitudinality a mandatory inflectional category rather > >>than an optional derivation method.
> I think this conlang, if I ever get around to developing it fully, > will have more degrees and kinds of attitudinality than gjâ-zym-byn > (which has five); exactly what I'm not sure yet. Maybe in addition > to the positive respect / affection distinction, there would be a > negative fear / contempt distinction, and an "interest" or "amusement" > category in addition to gzb's "surprise" and "ambivalence".
> I'm still figuring out what other inflectional categories would go > well with this one, or what other nebulous conlanging ideas > in my files it could go with to form a coherent language.
I worked on it some with my brother on Thanksgiving, and we came up with a fairly coherent ten-way attitudinal inflection prefix system, which interacts by sandhi with the five purpose-inflection prefixes. The attitudes marked are: affection respect interest amusement surprise bewilderment defiance contempt fear ambivalence And the purposes marked are: end-in-itself useful for spiritial, aesthetic etc. purposes useful for practical, survival, etc. purposes useless or irrelevant dangerous At first I thought the purpose category should be the basis of a set of noun classes, rather than inflectional; but Brian convinced me that making it inflectional would be productive. The two inflectional categories this conlang's nouns have are not perfectly orthogonal -- some of the positive attitude markings are unlikely to cooccur with the "useless" or "dangerous" purpose marking, for instance, and the negative attitude markings would rarely occur with the useful purpose markings. Other aspects of the language, except the phonology implied by our table of prefixes, are still nebulous, but I think it will have relatively simple verb inflection, with realis/irrealis and maybe one other category; the irrealis to include indicative statements with other than direct-experience evidentiality. -- Jim Henry