|From:||Dan Sulani <dansulani@...>|
|Date:||Monday, March 1, 2004, 12:04|
I'm back after a rather prolonged sojourn in Real-Life, including
complications following a thorough computer upgrade (following a rather
thorough computer _breakdown_ :-P )
While I was away, I happened to read something on folklore where
the subject of "shadows" was discussed, and the significance of a person
"casting" a shadow (as well as inanimate objects "casting" shadows).
This got me to wondering, how would our various conlangs deal with
the following situation:
A person is outside on a cloudy day. Suddenly the clouds part, the sun
and a shadow appears. What has happened? Obviously, if one uses the sun as
the subject of the sentence, one could say that it "caused, made, etc." the
But what if the _person_ were the subject of the sentence? What would the
verb be? (Assuming that one did not want to express the idea that the person
was "casting" the shadow like a fisherman "casts" his net.) Or maybe one
want to keep that association! Would there be differences between humans
and non-humans? Animate shadows versus inanimate shadows?
Other distinctions? Or maybe some grammatical structure other than
subject-verb? How would a logical lang such as lojban handle this?
At any rate, rtemmu, my conlang would use a "passive-causative" as
(indefinite articles omitted in order to simplify the example):
"A person casts a shadow"
na belshyempagihe na myaiikmnaik
(na belshye-mpagi-he na m-yai-ik-mna-ik)
Analyzed as follows:
1st na = the speaker is subjectively considering belshyempagihe
at a "normal" rate of change
belshye- = passive-causative prefix (meaning that the existence of what
follows the prefix
(mpagi in this case) is somehow passively involved in causing
described by the next process-word. ( myaiikmnaik).
belshye, itself, is derived from bel (= tool-process), shye (=
mpagi = the process of being a person
-he = with respect to
2nd na = the speaker is subjectively considereing myaiikmnaik at
a "normal" rate of change
myaiikmnaik = shadow
(This last word has an interesting construction:
mikmik = energy
-yai- infix meaning pertaining to vision
thus, myaiikmik = light
-mna- infix meaning "result of blocking"
thus: myaiikmnaik means the result of blocking of light, ie shadow.)
likehsna rtem zuv tikuhnuh auag inuvuz vaka'a.
A word is an awesome thing.