Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: Unusual number inflection

From:John Quijada <jq_ithkuil@...>
Date:Tuesday, August 17, 2004, 15:55
Jim Henry wrote:
>Have any of y'all used such unusual number inflection in >your conlangs?
_____________________________________ Ithkuil takes the concept of number and adds an entire meta-layer which first asks whether a noun is "plural" because it is part of a componential set, assortment, arrangement, segmented composite, fuzzy set, etc. Thus, a group of 20 trees may indeed contain a plural number of trees, but what is more important is that together they constitute a conceptual gestalt defined by a single purpose, e.g., an "orchard". Therefore, the Ithkuil inflection of the word "tree" would indicate this composite arrangement. The particular morphological categories involved are "Configuration" and "Affiliation", the former defining the physical arrangement or set pattern, while the latter indicates the defining purpose (or lack thereof) for the Configuration. The nine Configurations are UNIPLEX, DUPLEX, DISCRETE, AGGREGATIVE, SEGMENTATIVE, COMPONENTIAL, COHERENT, COMPOSITE, and MULTIFORM. The four Affiliations are CONSOLIDATIVE, ASSOCIATIVE, VARIATIVE, and COALESCENT. Once the Configuration and Affiliation have been established, then the speaker determines the "number" of particular instantiations of the Configurative/Affiliative set via a category called "Perspective" which is the closest equivalent to the Number category of other languages. If you're interested in the details on all of this plus examples, see Chapter 3 of the online Ithkuil grammar. --John Quijada