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Neat idea

From:Estel Telcontar <estel_telcontar@...>
Date:Tuesday, July 22, 2003, 23:06
I came up with a neat idea the other day.  I'm not planning to use it
in the near future, but I thought I'd make it known.

Imagine if a language distinguished between singular and plural nouns
by putting singular nouns before the verb, and plural nouns after the
verb.  Subject and object would be distinguished by a morpheme on the
verb that indicates whether the order of the noun phrases is
S[ubject],O[bject] or O,S.  (Alternatively, S and O could be
distinguished by case markers, but that would be less interesting.)

Some hypothetical examples:

tiger = nesh
man = kimot
kill = gond
O,S = -on  (Object precedes subject)
S,O = -ra  (Subject precedes object)

Man kills tiger
nesh kimot gond-on  OR  kimot nesh gond-ra
tiger man kill-O,S  OR  man tiger kill-S,O
sg   sg    V            sg    sg   V

Men kill tiger
nesh gond-on kimot
tiger kill-O,S man
sg   V       pl

Tigers kill man
kimot gond-ra nesh
man kill-S,O tiger
sg    V       pl

men kill tigers
gond-on nesh kimot  OR  gond-ra kimot nesh
kill-O,S tiger man  OR  kill-S,O man tiger
V       pl   pl         V       pl    pl


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