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Re: New Conlang

From:H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>
Date:Monday, October 11, 2004, 19:04
On Mon, Oct 11, 2004 at 07:10:17PM +0100, Ray Brown wrote:
> On Monday, October 11, 2004, at 04:04 , H. S. Teoh wrote: > > > An interesting feature of this conlang is that verbs "inflect" for > > mood by changing position in the sentence. The first NP in a > > sentence is always the "topic" or "focus" (ala TamahÌ), and > > subsequent NPs are "arguments" (for lack of a better term). The > > word orderings for the moods are: > > indicative: topic-verb-arguments > > interrogative: topic-arguments-verb > > subjunctive: verb-topic-arguments > > A few things puzzling me here. You say that the first NP in a sentence is > always the "topic" or "focus". I assume this is exclusive 'or', as the two > terms are almost opposite in meaning.
I meant "topic" and "focus" synonymously. I suppose I'm using the wrong terminology?
> But in the word orders given only "topic", "verb" and "arguments" are > mentioned; there is mention of "focus". So: > 1. Do we understand that the topic may be replaced by the focus in all > three examples? If so, under what conditions does the focus occupy the > place of the topic?
Given that they are synonymous (at least in the way I'm using them), yes. But clearly, I'm missing something here, so could somebody please explain the difference between topic and focus? :-)
> 2. Neither the topic nor the focus need be a NP. By NP are you including, > for example, the NP which follows the preposition in a prepositional > phrase? The examples suggest that the topic (or focus?) will occupy the > given position whether it is a NP or not. Is this so?
[...] Hmm, I haven't thought about adpositional phrases yet. So far, I'm only considering NP's. The case system is Ebisédian-like, so I suspect it should be possible to turn any prospective topic/focus into NP's. I suspect I'll have to revise this once I think about it more thoroughly, though. T -- Two American lawyers went down to the beach for a swim. Seeing a canoe rental nearby, one asked the other, "Roe, or Wade?"


Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Chris Bates <chris.maths_student@...>