Re: TYPOLOGY: (conlangs and natlangs): "Tense-Prominent" vs "Aspect-Prominent"
|From:||Jonathan Knibb <j_knibb@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, August 17, 2006, 12:06|
>2. Very Aspect-Prominent but not very Tense-Prominent?
That's my T4. Aspect marking is grammaticalised and obligatory on each new
referent; tense marking is lexical and usually omitted ... except that the
time at which an event happened is specified by a definiteness marker,
alongside the definiteness of the referent itself, and this can have tense
>Languages with evidentials may be "Mood-Prominent", or at least
Well, T4 has two two-way mood/evidential distinctions: +/- hearsay (speaker
can't vouch for truth of statement from own experience), and +/- narrative
(referent is not directly relevant to (sentence or discourse) context). Each
of these has one marked and one unmarked value, though, so neither is
literally 'prominent' if absent.
>Does your conlang require that any speaker mention how he/she knows what
>he/she is saying happened, but hardly ever require at that they mention
>when it happened...?
If the hearsay marker fulfils the first criterion and the lack of tense
marking the second, then yes!
>Where did you get that idea to put it in your conlang?
I think I must have known about aspect when I first started creating T4,
though goodness knows where from. Certainly one of my major motivations at
the beginning was that tense should *not* be obligatorily marked - I've
often felt irritated at the extent of obligatory tense marking in English
(my L1). I've let my minimal redundancy criterion slip over the years, so
now I have obligatory aspect but not tense! The narrative marker came early,
but the hearsay thing derives from much more recent reading of Mithun's book
on the native American languages.
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