Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: Definiteness

From:Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...>
Date:Tuesday, March 4, 2008, 16:59
On 3/2/08, Paul Bennett <paul.w.bennett@...> wrote:

> In Terzemian, as IIRC in Spanish, I distinguish three articles: > > Type 0: Not definite to the speaker > Type 1: Definite to the speaker, but the speaker does not know (or care?) > whether it's definite to the listener > Type 2: Definite to the speaker, and the speaker expects / wants it to be > definite to the listener
In gzb there are no articles as such, and marking definiteness is optional, but there are demonstratives and similar modifier particles that serve much the same function as articles: rî'mâ rjâ-i. house quest-at I'm looking for a/some/the house. [ambiguous, context may clarify] rî'mâ kwǒ rjâ-i. house some quest-at I'm looking for a house. rî'mâ sǒ rjâ-i. house certain quest-at I'm looking for a certain house. rî'mâ pǒ rjâ-i. house that.3 quest-at I'm looking for the/that house. rî'mâ ʝel mĭ-i zym-zô. house in.general TOP-at think-V.ACT I'm thinking about houses in general. [about the category of houses] The last instance corresponds to another use of "the" in English, to refer to a category as a whole. With some nouns the bare singular noun with no article serves that purpose; with most others the bare plural noun: The lion is the king of beasts. or: Lions are mammals. but: Man is a political animal. -- Jim Henry