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Re: TYPOLOGY: (conlangs and natlangs): "Tense-Prominent" vs "Aspect-Prominent"

From:Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>
Date:Wednesday, August 16, 2006, 16:20

Eldin Raigmore writes:
> ---In, Henrik Theiling <theiling@...> wrote: > >Eldin Raigmore writes: > [snip] > >Fukhian has neither grammatical tense nor aspect marking. So 4c. (It > >does have marking for 'Vorzeitigkeit', but I don't know what that is > >in English.) > > "Fore-time-y-hood"? ;-) > "Anteriority". (This one is serious.) > English is said to distinguish this by opposing the Past Perfect (a.k.a. > Pluperfect) to the Present Perfect and/or "Simple Past".
That's exactly what it does, yes. (German does the same, btw.)
>... > would have called "Relative Past" -- that is, the so-marked verb happened >...
Yes, right. My conlangs after Fukhian all have (optional) relative tense (but also future), but in Fukhian, it is mandatory.
>... > >Tyl Sjok is pro-drop, ambiguous, and underspecified. It is 4c. > > I am interested in the "ambibuous" part and the "underspecified" part. > Which one is -- or are they both -- most related to the "4c" answer you > give for Tyl Sjok? >...
Tense is optional, aspect is optional, mood is optional, personal pronouns are optional, markers for embedding order are optional (so you must infer which one is the main clause and which one the subordinary clause), reference marking is optional (so you have to infer which part of the relative clause is modified), markers for argument structure are optional, and verbs are optional, or put differently, nouns = verbs and so one can be used for the other. Further, causative markers are optional and 'verbs' can be used as nouns to refer not only to the action itself, but also to the agent. So basically, you need to infer the whole clause and argument structure. The word order is not free, though, but defined by 'control'. The grammar rule for ordering a sentence is: the controller precedes the controlled. This gives some hints for the puzzle of finding out the meaning of a sentence. BTW, this is only slightly worse, if at all, than the situation in Ancient Chinese, so I'd say it's an anadewism. But I think it messed up a relay text once.
> >Q�yn|g�i has morphemes for tense and aspect, but they are not > >mandatory either. Again, it is 4c. One of the mandatory categories > >is evidentiality/mood. > > > >And theoretically, S11 is like Q�yn|g�i, but has no words or > >morphemes yet. > > Does that make it very _easy_ to learn, or very _difficult_ to learn?
The sentence and argument structure is clearly marked and both are quite regular, so structurally, both are easy languages. However, the structure is so different from the languages I speak, and also so complex, that of all my conlangs, it takes me longest to translate into Qþyn|gài (e.g. in one of the relays, it took me ~15 minutes to decypher the meaning of the preceding romlang text, but it took ~11 hours to translate that into my well-known own conlang). **Henrik