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Re: HELP: a few questions

From:Dirk Elzinga <dirk_elzinga@...>
Date:Tuesday, August 20, 2002, 22:41
At 5:47 PM -0400 8/17/02, Jeff Jones wrote:
>On Thu, 15 Aug 2002 14:13:47 -0600, Dirk Elzinga <Dirk_Elzinga@...> >wrote: > > >At 11:19 PM -0700 8/14/02, Jim Grossmann wrote: > >>2nd: Has anyone experimented with chaining conlangs or other ways to >>>eliminate grammatical subordination of clauses in a conlang? >> >>Haven't done this. I've always been fascinated by subordination, but >>in my projects I like to turn subordinate clauses into what look like >>noun phrases. I then claim that the language doesn't actually have >>subordinate clauses, since they're really noun phrases. But that's >>cheating. > >I also vaguely remember a discussion about chaining and/or serial verbs, >also a year or 2 ago. > >Question for Dirk: are the languages where subordinate clauses are replaced >with noun phrases kimited to 1 level of embedding, or can the noun phrases >contain embedded noun phrases?
Do you mean natural languages or my constructed languages? The first language where I did this was Shemspreg, and I don't think I ever had occasion to use multiple embedding, so I couldn't tell you. Of course, Shemspreg did allow genuine subordinate clauses alongside the nominalized clause type. Miapimoquitch also treats subordinate clauses as a kind of nominalization, though I'm not happy with that characterization of them. Here's a sentence which illustrates especially well the "nominal" nature of subordinate clauses: luppika asenpipite luppi -ka a= se- n- RED- pite muskrat:U -UN DS= 3POSS- TR- PAUC- see 'They saw a muskrat.' (lit: 'A muskrat was their seeing.') The subordinate clause is marked first by a "determiner" which indicates whether or not the subject of the embedded clause is coreferential with the subject of the matrix clause (in this clause it isn't). It is this determiner which gives the subordinate clause its nominal character. A potentially misleading factor in this sentence is that the root _pite_ 'see' takes a possessive marker for a subject; it does this whether or not it is in the subordinate clause (this is common to roots which denote perception and cognition). That is, a main clause with _pite_ as the root still expresses the subject with a possessive marker: ipitewa n- pite -wa TR- see -1POSS 'I/we saw him/her/them.' I worked out some other sentences, but they take us too far afield. Maybe in another post. Dirk -- Dirk Elzinga Man deth swa he byth thonne he mot swa he wile. 'A man does as he is when he can do what he wants.' - Old English Proverb