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Re: Kélen website now up!

From:J Matthew Pearson <pearson@...>
Date:Tuesday, July 3, 2001, 20:40
Christian Thalmann wrote:

> Hmmm... upon closer inspection of Kélen's copulas, I realized it was > quite similar to a system I had once planned to include in my conlang: > to isolate all inflections of nouns and verbs into separate words that > I'd call articles and vectors, respectively. > > Articles would inflect after number, definiteness and case, while the > vector would carry information about the person, number and gender of > both subject and object, plus tense and mood markings. > > So a sample sentence would be <VEC give ART apple>, which could mean "We > used to give you all apples" or "One would never give her that apple" > etc., depending on the inflections of the vector and the article. This > would have the pleasant side effect of leaving the words <give> and > <apple> completely untouched and recognizable, while introducing a > certain potential for misunderstanding due to the high information > density in the vector.
I spend several years working on a conlang called Tadheka which worked very much like this. The Tadheka "articles" marked the case and number of a following noun, as well as its 'situation' (close to the speaker, far from the speaker, in motion to/from the speaker, or abstract, and hence neither here nor there). Tadheka "vectors" marked the polarity (positive or negative), tense (remote past, past, present, future, remote future), and voice (active or passive) of a following verb. A nice side effect of this system is that content words could be used freely as nouns or verbs, depending on whether they were preceded by an article or a vector. Interestingly, when I first started working on Tadheka, I wanted it to have a completely free constituent order (hence the use of case marking). However, over the years that I worked on it, VSO gradually emerged as the 'basic' order. By the end, Tadheka was looking suspiciously similar to Tagalog--a strange coincidence, since I knew nothing about Tagalog at the time... Matt.


BP Jonsson <bpj@...>[CONLANG] Kélen website now up!