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Spanish demonstratives (was: RE: yet another romance conlang)

From:FFlores <fflores@...>
Date:Thursday, January 6, 2000, 2:35
Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...> wrote:

> > In any case, *<e'so> doesn't need an accute (<esto> and <aquello> > > don't either). > > I thought that when {este}, {ese} and {aquel} were used as pronouns, > they required acutes?
[this is for Steg too:] Yes, they do require acutes, because they could be confused with the 'adjectival' demonstratives; so E'ste es mi padre. 'This(masc.) is my father.' Este hombre es mi padre. 'This man is my father.' Same for the feminine forms. But the inanimate forms ending in -o can't be confused: Esto es una casa. 'This is a house.' BUT: *Esta* casa es nueva. 'This house is new' So the inanimate pronouns {esto, eso, aquello} don't need acutes. Same goes for another common mistake: {tu} 'your' vs. {tu'} 'you' is OK, but {ti} 'you(ACC.)' doesn't have an acute. And Steg wrote:
> ... What's the grammar problem with "Be'salas a las horas..." ? I > think i made it like that for the rhythm, actually.....there's an > unmarked pause in the middle there: BEsalas (pause) a las HOras que > PAsan.
Yes, it depends on how you read it. But it really sounds as if there's one more beat than necessary. Probably because of the echoing effect of {besALAS A LAS}. The grammar thing is that _las horas_ is inanimate, and yet you use the personal _a_ accusative. It's not *wrong*, since many people do it; but dropping the _a_ would both ease the rhythm and 'clean' the syntax. Now, *_Be'salas las horas_ is ungrammatical... but if you insert a pause after the first word, it sounds like a weirdly beautiful vocative, IMHO. Of course, it's your poem! :) --Pablo Flores