|From:||H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, August 16, 2000, 19:34|
I'm just wondering if this occurs in any natlangs or any other conlangs:
In my conlang, verbs are *never* used to describe state but specifically
only for describing changes in state.
For example, the sentence "I have a car" in the language will be
translated to a noun-phrase -- there is no equivalent of the verb to-have
because possession is regarded as static. Instead, the sentence will be
translated to the equivalent of "There is a car in my possession", and the
verb to-be is dropped because the language is zero-copula. The sentence "I
bought a car" on the other hand, indicates a change of state: from a
previous state of not owning a car (or the car not being owned, depending
on your viewpoint) to a state of owning one; so there is a verb for
Similarly, sentences like "I am standing here" are rendered *without* a
verb, but just with a noun (adjectives are identical to nouns in the lang)
indicating the state of standing; but sentences like "I stood up" are
rendered with a verb that indicates the act of standing up.
When referring to the equivalent of a perfect tense (perfective aspect),
the language gives two choices to the speaker:
1) use a verb describing the event that had occurred, and attach a
temporal particle indicating that the event happened in the past
2) use a noun describing the state of things after the event.
When describing psychological actions, this distinction still carries
"I hate apples"
can be translated two ways: (1) with a (adjectival) noun indicating the
currently static dislike for apples, or (2) with a verb (possibly with
temporal particles) indicating that I have come to hate apples, often
implying that I used to like apples but something happened to cause me to
dislike them now.
I'm still working out the details of this system, so I'd appreciate if
anyone knows any natlangs/conlangs that exhibit this same behaviour, so
that I can take a look and find out what has been done in this area
Thanks, ppl! :-)