Future of English
|From:||Jim Grossmann <steven@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, August 16, 2000, 5:47|
I'd like to see Spanglish be a list project. I don't know Spanish, but I
might be able to look up enough about the grammar to make little
suggestions. Would enough little suggestions from all the listers who
wanted to post add up to a nice big grammar? That's an interesting
A while back, we had NGL, and before that, Folksprach (sp?), but I think
those projects are being done offlist now.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Gerald Koenig" <jlk@...>
Sent: Sunday, August 13, 2000 10:18 PM
Subject: Re: Future of English
> >From: Jim Grossmann <steven@...>
> >To: CONLANG@LISTSERV.BROWN.EDU
> >Hi, all,
> >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 moodby
> >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. & soon.
> 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 tomake
> >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@...>
> >To: <CONLANG@...>
> >Sent: Sunday, August 13, 2000 2:55 PM
> >Subject: Future of English (was Re: Degrees of volition in activelanguages
> >(was Re: Chevraqis: asketch)
> >> In a message dated 2000/08/13 05:55:01 PM, hsteoh@QUICKFUR.YI.ORGwrote:
> >> >English apparently also used to be highly inflected, but today
> >> >there are only traces left (such as in who, whom, whose). And evenwho,
> >> >whom, and whose are starting to collapse into just "who" in colloquial
> >> >English.
> >> >
> >> >My theory is that widespread acceptance of a language usually causesit
> >> >"degrade" or "simplify", losing a lot of old constructs in theprocess.
> >> >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?
> >> Z