Re: Using 'to be' and cases
|From:||Yahya Abdal-Aziz <yahya@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, October 5, 2005, 1:33|
On Sat, 1 Oct 2005, Carsten Becker wrote:
> On Wed, 28 Sep 2005, 16:32 CEST, Yahya Abdal-Aziz wrote:
> > And this is also what many natlangs do, for example, in
> > Malay you would normally say:
> > Impiannya sebuah fikiran.
> > 'Her dream: a thought.'
> > and
> > Fikirannya sebuah impian.
> > 'Her thought: a dream.'
> > Although you COULD say
> > Impiannya adalah sebuah fikiran.
> > 'Her dream was a thought.'
> > and
> > Fikirannya adalah sebuah impian.
> > 'Her thought was a dream.'
> This makes me think of how Ayeri could handle this.
> I'd most probably translate the given sentence "Is her dream
> a thought or is her thought a dream?" as
> Manganang iyàena nernanaris soyang
> dream.AGT her thought.PAT or
> nernanang iyàena manganaris?
> thought.AGT her dream.PAT
> Solved by wordorder because "to be" is dropped here: "Her
> dream: a thought or her thought: a dream?". Considering
> Henrik's idea about using topic markers, you'd have to use
> "to be" here, which you usually would *not* do, since Ayeri
> regularly drops "to be" in such situations. *With* "to be",
> the sentence should be
> Manganin iyàena ang yomaiyè nernanaris soyang
> dream.TRG her TRG:AGT be.3sg:e thought.PAT or
> manganaris iyàena ang yomaiyè nernanin?
> dream.PAT her TRG:AGT be.3sg:e tought.TRG
> Hm. You wouldn't need to change word order here, only the
> focus marker would change its place.
> All in all, I somehow have problems with marking the agents
> as agents and the patients as patients here for some reason.
> Does the dream really affect the thought by being? It rather
> seems to me that both should be equally marked or not at all,
> but I followed my (German biased) intuition here.
I rather like the idea of leaving everything unmarked unless
its role requires special emphasis. Perhaps I'm following my
(English biased) intuition here? :-) And giving that emphasis
can be as simple as using sentence stress. But since this is a
suprasegmental, it doesn't affect the visual appearance of
your sentence, which basically reflects only phonemic
distinctions and word boundaries. I imagine there's a small
bias amongst we literate folk when we create a conlang, in
that we unconsciously choose those distinctions which we can
most readily write. Certainly, without an agreed system such
as CXS, I wouldn't contemplate using some sounds for which
I'd otherwise probably have to resort to diacritics or even
> How works the emphatic marker you speak about, Yahya? It'd
> be enough explanation if you interlinearized your examples
> I think.
Sorry, Carsten, I've been "away" (working, actually) and am
just now starting to catch up with mail.
How does the emphatic marker work? I guess you might call
it a focus marker. In a simple SVO sentence, you can attach
the particle "-lah" to any of the three, thus:
1. "Dia makan pisang."
She eats [a|the] banana.
can become any of:
2. "Dialah [yang] makan pisang."
It's her [that] eats [the] banana.
3. "Dia makan pisanglah." or
3a. "Pisanglah [yang] dia makan."
It's [a] banana [that] she eats.
4. "Dia makanlah pisang." or
4a. "Dia _makan_ pisanglah."
(where _..._ marks sentence stress)
She's _eating_ [a] banana [not cooking it].
The word order of 3a. is commoner than of 3. for that meaning.
The sentence changes from SVO to OSV order.
The same word order as in 3. occurs also with the fourth
meaning, but that meaning requires the strongest stress of the
sentence, as in English. Here, the "-lah" attaches to the sentence
as a whole, rather than as may appear, to the object "pisang".
The relative "yang" ("which") is usually required where marked,
more for euphony than sense.
If you modify the simple declarative sentence with an adjective,
5. "Dia makan pisang hijau."
She eats [a] green banana.
you can add the emphasis to the adjective:
6. "Dia makan pisang hijaulah." or
"Pisang hijaulah yang dia makan."
She's eating a _green_ banana.
I might note that Malaysian English regularly uses the emphatic
"-lah", and in doing so, it follows the Malay pattern of attaching
to the emphasised or focussed part:
A. "That banana is green-lah!"
"What is green?"
In the "appositional" sentence structure <Subject> <Attribute>,
it's much the same as SVO, but no verb is required:
7. "Dia petani."
He [is a] farmer.
This has been regualrized in the modern national language,
Bahasa Malaysia, as:
7a. "Dia adalah petani."
He is [a] farmer.
With different emphases, this becomes:
8. "Dialah petani."
It's he that is [a|the] farmer.
9. "Dia petanilah."
He is [a] _farmer_ [not a banker].
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