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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 implications.
>Languages with evidentials may be "Mood-Prominent", or at least >"Evidential-Prominent"...
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. Jonathan. _________________________________________________________________ Be the first to hear what's new at MSN - sign up to our free newsletters!