Re: Word orders in comparative constructions
|From:||Elliott Lash <erelion12@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, December 11, 2008, 10:37|
1. Does anyone know of any natlangs or conlangs with
a word order other than QMS or SMQ?
Not of the top of my head, no.
2. Does anyone know of a language where other
sentence constituents can or routinely do come between
the elements of the Q/M/S sequence?
Yes - Old Irish. In Old Irish the order is COPULA Q SUBJECT M S :
is sin-iu in fer oldaas a ben
copula old-er the man than his wife
'The man is older than his wife'
But, this isn't really suprising from a purely language internal point of view: all
copula sentences have this order:
is sen in fer
copula old the man
'The man is old'
Interestingly, the marker of comparison, 'oldaas' is formed from 'ol' "beyond" + 'daas' "which is"
So comparative sentences really mean:
'Noun is ADJ-er beyond which is Noun'
Where 'which' can be interpreted like the following:
'Noun1 is bigger beyond the extent that Noun2 is.'
3. How does your conlang form explicit comparatives?
There are two ways in Silindion:
1) ADJ+COMPARATIVE STANDARD+ABLATIVE:
ë-an i nari më pant-io natto-lim
be-PRS.3S the bird this small-er other-ABL
'This bird is smaller than the other.'
2) ADJ+COMPARATIVE INANIMATE-RELATIVE+ABLATIVE STANDARD UL+PRON
This construction is used when the comparative is better translated adverbially. ul = 'beyond'
pur-o-ntë la-yo ta-lim yova phur-o-si ul-o
speak-PRS-3P good-COMP which-ABL INAN. speak-PRS-1S beyond-it
'They speak better than I speak.'
This construction is a bit hard to parse into English, since when English
relativizing a prepositional phrase, it either places the whole phrase before
'the place in which he was'
or it places the preposition at the end:
'the place which he was in'
it doesn't used a resumptive pronoun though, which is what Silindion does.
This construction really means:
'They speak better beyond which I speak'
where the 'beyond' prepositional phrase is relativized, but can't be placed before
the verb. Rather a resumptive pronoun must be used.