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Re: Teach Yourself Kamakawi

From:David Peterson <digitalscream@...>
Date:Monday, March 4, 2002, 3:59
In a message dated 03/3/02 3:07:29 AM, kalatunu@HOTMAIL.COM writes:

<< one thing though: in polynesian VSO langs the equative predicate comes
first so

that "the man is a fish" would be said "nawa ie hopoko", not "e hopoko i

"hopoko" is the subject and "nawa" the equative predicate "to [be a] fish". "e

hopoko ie nawa" would mean "the fish is the man." you need a topical tag to

reverse the word order: "e hopoko TOP ie nawa" "as for the man, he is a fish."

or is "i" a topical rather than a predicative tag? or oes Kamakawi work the

other way round? >>

   ?  Well, first off I should say that I'm not trying to make it a
realistically possible Polynesian language, but just to kind of sound like
one, and do some similar things.  From that point, I've been creating on my
    The only Polynesian language I "know" (I'm learning it--I'm only up to
about chapter 9) is Hawaiian, and in that one, you don't even use anything
like a predicative particle in declarative sentences: "He mau Amelika laua" =
Active.pres. "some" "America" 3dual = "They two are Americans".  If you think
of the "Amelika" as being a verb, I can see what you mean about the word
order not changing...  Well, kind of in the negative: 'A'ole au he Amelika =
not I ? "America" = "I'm not American".  How does the kind of statement
marker "he" work there...?  Is it a predicate marker?
    Anyway, the only true predicates I've ever encountered have been in
Creoles, like Tok Pisin, where it is kind of like you state the subject, then
the predicate marker precedes the rest of the sentence.  That was the kind of
idea I was thinking about.  So, whereas in a normal sentence you have: (1)
subject status marker, (2) verb, (3) subject, (4) predicate marker/other, (5)
object; in the equative you drop (2), which is  understood, leaving just the
subject marker, but since it's in the present, this subject marker can be
dropped (it's obligatory in the past).  This is the kind of system I became
familiar with in Arabic in Russian.  Because of the VSO word order, are you
saying this type of thing doesn't work?  Or is just totally unnatural...?
VSO is really new territory for me (I studied modern Arabic, not classical).


"Zi hiwejnat zodZaraDatsi pat Zi mirejsat dZaCajani sUlo."
"The future's uncertain and the end is always near."
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