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Re: Trigger languages and something else

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Tuesday, January 28, 2003, 9:44
En réponse à Joseph Fatula <fatula3@...>:

> > In this language (Theodon), there is one word in every sentence that is > the > "focus" or "topic" word. (I'm not sure which term to use.)
"Topic" means "new information". "Focus" simply means "term most important in the sentence" and is often already known. The rest is your choice ;)) .
> > - The dog bites the man. > - Dog-focus bite-subject-verb man-subject-object. > - Dog-an bite-0-e man-0-en. > - Rhshroan thadshe géren. > /R\Sr\oan t_hadSe ge:r\en/ > > As you can see, "dog" is the focus of the sentence. As it is the > subject, > all of the other major words indicate this first. (Subject-marking > takes no > affix, so this is the simplest form.) After taking an ending to > indicate > what the focus is, the words take endings for their own function.
Interesting. It indeed looks a bit like a trigger system, but where all non- trigger words indicate the function of the trigger. Still, it doesn't make the thing much different from a trigger system.
> > - The dog bites the man. > (In response to, "What does the dog do to the man?".) > - Dog-verb-subject bite-focus man-verb-object. > - Dog-e-0 bite-an man-e-en. > - Rhshroe thadshan gérén. > /R\Sr\oe t_hadSan ge:r\e:n/ >
Now that's something different! First, it shows that even verbs can be triggers (is this a kind of All-Noun language?) and that the function marks are the same, whether they are there to reference the role of the trigger, or just to mark the function of the word they are put on.
> So here's what I'm wondering. What is this sort of a system called?
I'd say it's a twisted form of trigger ;)) .
> Does > it exist in any natlangs?
I don't think so. Trigger languages are rare already, and I doubt there is a trigger language around here that allows the verb to become the trigger like that. Also, the regularity of the marks, which are identical whether they mark the function of the trigger or the function of the word they are on, may not be common in natlangs :)) . Does it even make sense?
It does to me. Moreover, since it's a non-human language, it doesn't need to actually make sense, as long as it's internally consistent (well, there *is* a distinction :)) ). And as far as I can see, there's nothing wrong to it :) . Christophe. Take your life as a movie: do not let anybody else play the leading role.