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Lin: enneasemy & cements (Part 1)

From:Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Wednesday, March 27, 2002, 20:37
Right, let's move on from the phonology & orthography, and begin to take a
look at morphology & syntax Srikanth gave to his compact language.

Some general remarks about Lin's syntax.
It follows the subject-verb-object syntax, with adjectives preceding the
nouns they qualify.  This includes not merely simple adjectives, as in
English, but also adjectival phrases and clauses - they all precede the
noun they qualify.  The same applies to adverbs vis-a-vis verbs, except
that what we old timers were wont to called 'adverbial phrases' and the
post-Chomskyan youngsters call 'prepositional phrases' [that meant
something in olden times] are treated as objects of a verb.

The fundamental units of a Lin sentence are the two _components_: noun &
verb.  Also reckoned as a _component_ is the 'qualifier'.  These components
mau be singles words or they may be phrases.

The part of a noun component devoid of qualifiers is termed 'noun-head';
similarly, the part of the verb devoid of qualifiers is the 'verb-head'.
The term 'component-head' refers either to a noun-head or a verb-head.

"Enneasemy" is coined from Greek and denotes the property of having nine
separate meanings.  Each word in Lin has 2 dimensions: part-of-speech;
generation.  Each dimension is ternary, thus there are 9 possible meanings
(3x3) for every word.*

As examples, Srikanth gave the meanings of _h_, _i_ and _m_.


GENERATION |   Adjective        Noun          VERB
 1      h  |    happy        (human) being    have
        i  |    important       I/we          become
        m  |    many            movement      make possible
 2      h  |    high            station       keep
        i  |    interesting     desire        use
        m  |    attentive       management    be relevant
 3      h  |    heavy           test          rise/raise
        i  |    internal        return        contain
        m  |    sweet           mark          suit

*in addition, single letter words can have 10th meaning as a postposition.
This means that there are more than 480 single letter words in Lin!

As I said in the previous email about Lin, those letters Srikanth calls
'variables' act as "cements" which are used to disambiguate Lin's
enneasemic words.  They are called 'cements' because they cement or bond
two words together and determine the 'generation sequence' of the two
words; e.g. in the wordset _a:b_ the colon shows that _a_ is generation 3
and _b_ is generation 2 in meaning.   Cements, as we shall see, come in two
varieties: 'external cements' and 'internal cements'.

Let's list them, using the arbitrary words _a_ and _b_:
       External  Generation  Internal
       cement    sequence    cement
      --------   ----------  --------
         a b       1-1         a1b
         a+b       2-1         a2b
         a=b       3-1         a3b
         a\b       1-2         a4b
         a|b       2-2         a5b
         a:b       3-2         a6b
         a*b       1-3         a7b
         a^b       2-3         a8b
         a%b       3-3         a9b

(a) External cements
   They combine two component-heads, e.g. (using words from the table above):
   h\m  = the human beinmg matters
   h^m  = the station is suitable
   i*h  = I rise
   h%m:m = the test suits the management

Note: qualifiers are transparent to external cements, so that a head :sees
through' possible intervening qualifiers to the next head.

(b) Internal cements
   You've guessed it!  They bind a head to a qualifier.  So, for example,
_i2h_ may mean either "interesting person" or "interestingly have" (the
adjective becoming an adverb if the head is a verb); which meaning it
actually has, of course, depends upon whether _h_ is occupying the position
of a noun or of a verb in the sentence.

i h|i5h = I keep the interesting station  [Srikanth's example]

[To be continued  :)

I think I'll stop there, or I'll never have time to read any of the Conlang
mails waiting in my post-box.  You will, of course, carefully pronounce
each example.


A mind which thinks at its own expense
will always interfere with language.
                     [J.G. Hamann 1760]


Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>Lin: enneasemy & cements (Part 2)
Aidan Grey <grey@...>weekly vocab
Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>Lin: Postpositions