Re: Trigger Language (was Star Wars and its Conlangs)
|From:||Kristian Jensen <kljensen@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, May 25, 1999, 7:51|
Jim Grossmann wrote:
>Say, what is a trigger language?
>Any quick laymen's explanations out there?
>A trigger language (to me) is basically a language that nominalizes
verbs in such a way as to identify the sematic role of topic of a
sentence. For instance;
In English you could say: "I eat the fish" or "The fish was eaten by
me". In the first example, "I" is the topic. In the second "the
fish" is the topic.
A trigger language would say: "I am the eater of fish" or "The fish
is my food". In the first example, "I" is the topic. In the second
"the fish" is the topic.
Note that English uses voice to change the subject (topic), whereas
a trigger language uses different nominalizations of the verb to
change topic. In this case, the verb was "eat". When it is
nominalized as an agent, "eat" becomes "eater". When nominalized as
a patient, "eat" becomes "food". It is the different nominalizations
that are called triggers since in trigger languages they are in the
form of various affixes (called trigger affixes) that mark the
semantic role of the topic. So in the first example the semantic
role of the topic was an agent (eat -> eater), while in the second
example the semantic role of the topic was a patient (eat -> food).
I hope that helps!