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Re: my grammar (and a little of Word Order Indicating Tense)

From:Tristan McLeay <conlang@...>
Date:Friday, December 31, 2004, 1:39
On 31 Dec 2004, at 11.05 am, # 1 wrote:

>> as for dropping of arguments, there are some language like Japanese >> where >> you can drop the subject, object etc if they're obvious without >> marking on >> the verb, and without any verbal agreement, so for instance you could >> say: >> >> have car >> >> for "I have a car", "you have a car" etc if the subject was obvious, >> or: >> >> "I have" >> >> if the object (for instance car) was obvious. If your language freely >> allows the dropping of arguments like the subject or object without >> some >> marking that this has happened then I don't think your system is >> workable. >> But since this isn't the case.... > > Is it a dropping of argument in something like > > - Do you have a car? > - I do > > "You do what?" would ask someone who arrives and didn't heard the > question > > > Does a language need a capacity to drop arguments? > > I can't find an example ef that kind of thing in French > > - As-tu une voiture? (Do you have a car?) > - J'en ai une (I have on) > > In french it needs a pronoun to replace the word car ("en")
But if a person walked in when you said '_J'en ai une_' (or whatever the grammatical sentence is), you would ask 'You have a what?'. It's the same as the English example; we just have a 'pro-verb', so to speak, that also takes up its arguments (the objects). Dropping arguments (or using pro-forms i.e. pronouns and pro-verbs) is useful because otherwise not dropping arguments or using pro-forms would begin to sound a bit repetitive, as in this sentence which doesn't drop arguments or use pro-forms. It also makes sentences quite a bit shorter. But you don't need both; one is sufficient (Japanese is much more reluctant to use its pronouns than English). -- Tristan.