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Synthesis of many topics

From:Jesse S. Bangs <jaspax@...>
Date:Wednesday, April 26, 2000, 4:59
Jesse Bangs here, de-lurking to make some comments on various threads,
beginning with the lurker thread :-).  I am usually a lurker just because
I don't have the time to read all of the messages I get from the list and
respond to them in a timely fashion, especially now with school coming to
an end for me and all sorts of tests, activities, et al piling up on me.
This summer, and maybe this fall at college, I'll be more active.  But,
even though I can't often contribute, I enjoy at least watching the


> For example, in English, you can't say simply 'Reads' in reply to a > question like 'What does he do?' (Or at least I was taught you can't; > L1 speakers may correct me). You must say 'He reads' - a very strange > thing for the speakers of more synthetic langs.
Contradicting others, my idiolect would allow "Reads," "Read," or "Reading" as responses. If the question is rephrased "What is he doing?", then "Reading" is the *only* appropriate response that isn't a complete sentence.
> In many cases you can't omit the object. This may be partly conditioned > by the common transitive/intransitive homonymy ('Burn!' wouldn't mean > the same as 'Burn it!'), but there must be other factors involved (can > you ever say in English simply 'Give!' or 'Take!', I wonder? And why, > if not?).
Depends on the verb. I can say "Give!" or "Enjoy!" or "See!", but not "Take!" This is probably because any sentence w/ the verb 'take' is ungrammatical w/o an object to me. There are other verbs like this, too, such as 'find,' 'bring,' 'put' that require an object to be grammatical. ***************
>>"VO languages have prepositions; OV languages have postpositions. >>VO languages have wh movement; OV languages do not. . .
Not Yivríndil :-)
>>In VO languages, the AUX precedes the verb; in OV languages it is
V-AUX." This reminds me of something I read a while ago in a typology that argued that all languages have a verbal category AUX. I'm not sure whether this was taken to mean that all languages have verbal auxiliaries outright or that the "function" of AUX exists in all languages--the latter seems like a very weak statement, and hardly says anything, while the former seems most likely untrue. Can anybody else shed light on this? Proofs/counterexamples? ************** Totally new topic: Strange Sound-Changes Are there any natlangs that have a change from nasals to approximants in their history? I want to know because I have this change in my conlang, Yivríndil, where Proto-Yivran *m, *n, *ñ become Proto-Yivríndil *w, *r, *j. (Here {ñ}=[N], and [r] is an alveolar approximant as in American English). The only problem is that I've read other troubling typological generalizations that "nasals don't become anything other than nasalization of the preceding vowel," or some such absolute. Yivríndil also has another unusual phonological phenomenon: consonant-deletion. By this rule, when a syllable begins and ends with the same consonant, one of the consonants must be deleted or lenited to 'y'. For example, *kended > kened 'kingdom', *anan > ayan 'lover'. Any natlang analogues, or am I breaking new ground? BTW, how many other a priori conlangs with rich historical structures? Yivríndil's history has been divided into four levels of development: Proto-Yivran, the largest group analogous to Proto-Indo-European, Proto-Yivríndil (or maybe Common Yivríndil), the source of all "modern" Yivríndilen languages, Old Yivríndil, and Modern Yivríndil. I'm right now working on the exact sound changes, nailing down the historical background of Yivríndil, and extracting as many roots as possible from the existing vocabulary. A very daunting task--I'd appreciate looks at other conlanger's language histories. Jesse S. Bangs Pelíran jaspax "I wish that I could stop playing Superman I have decided to let the case drop I'm no Superman" --Blindside