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Re: Language Sketch: Gogido

From:Aidan Grey <taalenmaple@...>
Date:Monday, August 25, 2008, 22:23
One could argue that Navajo does this - there are actually a number of Native
American languages thatmark the argument structure in the verb explicitly.
Though, to be honest, not to the degree that Loglan/Lojban does, nor as
extensively as it seems you're imagining.

What they generally do is explicitly mark transitivity/intransitivity - the marker
is always compulsory. Ditransitives usually mark one of the arguments obliquely
in these languages. Generally, languages that do this seem to lack case
marking, depending on syntax or particles when necessary. In some cases, such
as Navajo's famous inverse mood, animacy helps determine the argument
structure.An example, from my very poor memory:

In Navajo, to say "I bit the horse", it would be something like "horse
1s-bite-PAST". To say "The horse bit me", it would be something like "horse
1s-bite-INVERSE-PAST". Without the inverse marker "horse 1s 3s-bite-PAST" it
would mean something like "I let the horse bite me", considered hilarious by
the native speakers.

Dunno if that helps, but there you go...


----- Original Message ----
From: "phil@PHILLIPDRISCOLL.COM" <phil@...>
Sent: Monday, August 25, 2008 3:07:51 PM
Subject: Re: Language Sketch: Gogido

Logan Kearsley writes:
> > *On the subject of theta-role marking, I had another idea for sentence > structure which I don't think I've seen before, and I wonder what > langs, if any, employ it. The idea is to have the theta-role > assignment order be integrated into the meaning of every verb. Or, > another way of putting it, syntax for each clause is defined by the > verb. So, theta-roles would be assigned to each argument of a verb > based on the order of the arguments, but the assignment order would > vary for every verb. Or, one could do a similar thing with > subject/object categories rather than just straight theta-roles, where > the subject/object order of each clause is determined by the meaning > of the verb.
Sounds like Loglan. --Ph. D.