Re: Future of English
|From:||Gerald Koenig <jlk@...>|
|Date:||Monday, August 14, 2000, 5:18|
>From: Jim Grossmann <steven@...>
>c) What's to prevent our English auxiliaries from contracting? It's
>already permitted in informal speech, and it's creeping into fiction. Many
>long years from now, some descendent of English may become known as a
>language that marks perfective aspect, future tense, and conditional mood by
>inflecting the subject: "I'd've gone." = I would have gone. "The
>buffalo'd've gone." = The buffalo would have gone. "The man I married,
>that man'll've gone." = The man whom I married would have gone. & so on.
My language Nilenga makes extensive use of contractions. At the present
time there are 12 pronouns and anaphora, 27 tense particles, and 7
primary modals which can be contracted in any order. Anyone trying this
will find that wo (he/she-nom) is working in a rather confined
wordspace if wo limits iwo (he/she-acc) to monosyllables; not an easy
task for someone like me who avoids crossword puzzles. Yet the number
of combinations is vast and parsing must depend to some degree on
context if the contraction-words are allowed more than one meaning.
Nick (I think) attaches the contractions as suffixes with "it"; the
Nilenga anaphora, which are a set of "its" loglan-style, could easily
glue the contractions to nouns or nouns derived from verbs, making some
interesting mega-suffixes for agglutinators. I'm an isolator myself,
but it is said extremes meet. Another feature of this syntax is that
the mega-suffixes can also be partially broken up and distributed
anywhere close to the verb, giving a great freedom of style. My desired
future English would allow more inflections as an option. Nilenga as it
stands can can take over the tenses and modes of English as an
overlay. I think my vision of future English is more a view of a
future English and future Romance lang combined, with the emphasis on
future. I'm not thinking of Spanglish. This would make a great group
lang if we could keep it civilized. Maybe it should be a project for
Conculture first to lay the groundwork of cooperation.
>d) It's conceivable that a language could lose cases, whose functions
>would be delegated to adpositions, which in turn could be contracted to make
>them and their objects into single phonological words, which could then
>constitute nouns in a brand new set of cases.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Jonathan Chang" <Zhang2323@...>
>Sent: Sunday, August 13, 2000 2:55 PM
>Subject: Future of English (was Re: Degrees of volition in active languages
>(was Re: Chevraqis: asketch)
>> In a message dated 2000/08/13 05:55:01 PM, hsteoh@QUICKFUR.YI.ORG wrote:
>> >English apparently also used to be highly inflected, but today
>> >there are only traces left (such as in who, whom, whose). And even who,
>> >whom, and whose are starting to collapse into just "who" in colloquial
>> >My theory is that widespread acceptance of a language usually causes it
>> >"degrade" or "simplify", losing a lot of old constructs in the process.
>> >But I've yet to come up with a plausible explanation for languages
>> >becoming *more* complex as they evolve.
>> Be interestin' to see ideas regardin' possible evolution(s) in the
>> English language.
>> What do others on this list think?