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Inverse case?

From:Jeff Rollin <jeff.rollin@...>
Date:Monday, July 2, 2007, 22:11
Hi all

You've probably heard of "inverse number", where the marked form for each noun
is the /unusual/ number for that noun: e.g. in a language where there is a
dual number, the dual for "two eyes" would be unmarked, and the singular and
plural would be marked, i.e.

Sing.	Dual	Pl.

komo	ko		komo

Conversely, the word for "grass" would be marked in the singular (i.e. "a
blade of grass) and dual and unmarked in the plural:

Sing.	Dual	Pl.

lolomo	lolo		lolo

I'm thinking about a language in which nouns are split into two classes, human
and non-human, and in which human nouns in patient roles take a suffix, and
non-human nouns in agent roles take the same suffix, e.g.

uyama voso ndundu "The dog bit the man"

uyama vosok ndunduk "The man bit the dog"

iyaman voso panek "The man will eat the bread"

iyaman vosok pan "The bread will eat the man"

"Please understand that there are small
European principalities devoted to debating
Tcl vs. Perl as a tourist attraction."

                            -- Cameron Laird


Jeff Rollin <jeff.rollin@...>
Jeff Rollin <jeff.rollin@...>