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Perfect progressive aspect...

From:Barry Garcia <barry_garcia@...>
Date:Thursday, March 23, 2000, 10:22
I was reworking the verbal system in Saalangal (again, I didn't like the
infixes afterall), and I started to think about how I handle the present
progressive tense (or is it an aspect?). Anyway, since Saalángal does not
have the verb "to be", I had to figure out another way. I'm not sure the
way I came up with even makes sense to myself, let alone to you all, but
I'll explain anyway.

The progressive aspect doesn't really exist in Saalángal (well, in the way
it is in English, for instance). The three tenses, past, present, and
future are translated as simple tenses or in the  progressive aspects,
depending on what the translator feels is right.

The perfect progressive aspect is handled differently, both the auxiliary
verb to have, and the helped verb are conjugated in the same tense (no
prefix like the past participle, neither is there a verb for "to be"):

The verbs are: sáen-an - to have, karís-an - to eat, na is the linker

-I had been eating. - Sasáen-an na Kakarís-an isan.
-I have been eating. - Onsasáen-an na onkakarís-an isan.
-I will have been eating. - Unsasáen-an na unkakarís-an isan.
-I could have been eating. - Angsáen-an na angkarís-an isan.

The reason I chose this scheme was, I wanted an original way to handle it.
 Even though I have a past participle prefix (i-), I didn't think of
adding a present participle prefix (though, I'm thinking that I might add
it).  Would it make more sense to have a present participle prefix, than
do what I have above? What do those of you who are copula-less do for this
aspect, if you do have it?

There is also a slight change in my transcription scheme as well. When
writing in the Latin alphabet for email, and my webpage, I do the
following now:

- Stress is represented by an accute accent: tandá, tánda
- If the stressed syllable is followed by a glottal stop, I use a
circumflex accent: tandâ. It was originally: tandá'.
- If the stress doesn't fall on a syllable followed by a glottal stop, the
glottal stop is represented by an apostrophe: tánda'

I chose the circumflex because it looks neater. I'm pretty sure most of
your email programs recognize it (I hope!). Also I will probably not show
stress if it is on the penultimate syllable since that is the syllable
Saalángals tend to stress most.


Saalángal now means "Island People": (sáal - island + ángal - people).


It's worth the risk of burning, to have a second chance...