Re: Ordinal (and other numerical) adverbs
|From:||Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, February 28, 2008, 17:08|
On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 7:22 AM, John Vertical <johnvertical@...> wrote:
> >1. Add another suffix to mean "for the Nth time".
> Fairly basic, whether replacing or simply adding, but consider also:
> 1a. Add other words to disambiguate, such as "in series" for "for the Nth
> time" (Finnish does basically this) or "of all" for "Nth in sequence"
kwĭ im mrân-zô dâ-pa.
sequence in-part.of eat-V.ACT three-ORD
That's not any terser than the "nu dâ-pa i" postpositional phrase,
but it's clear enough.
> >3. Require the "for the Nth time" sense to be
> >expressed with a postpositional phrase.
> Clumsy, but this might not be a distinction that comes up too much anyway,
> so something like this might also suffice when required to disambiguate.
Actually, it does seem to be a distinction that comes up fairly
often, given that my primary use for the language is in writing
my journal, which mostly consists of accounts of my daily
actions. Doing something for e.g. the third time in a given day
vs. doing something as the third in a sequence of miscellaneous
actions is a distinction I need to make at least a couple of
times a week, or once out of several corpus pages.
> >#3 requires the least change to the existing
> >grammar, but it's also most verbose. #2
> >extends a precedent set by evidentiality
> >and attitudinal adverbs (which are so far
> >the only adverbs that can go at the beginning
> >of the sentence).
> Does this usage of these adverbs imply a similar semantic shift too? Like "I
> was angry by the time I jumped" -vs- "I angrily jumped"?
No; an attitudinal adverb would mean "I am angry that I jumped".
"I angrily jumped" would be expressed with an adverb in
postverbal position, marked with the normal adjective-forming suffix
rather than the attitudinal-adverb suffix. "I was angry by the time
I jumped" would require two clauses, I reckon.
> Oh, and one further idea. Maybe you could use a different verbal form to
> distinguish? Finnish has something like five infinitiv forms (altho not
> useful for this purpose).
Um, no. The verb system has been stable for eight years now
and isn't going to change, at least not so radically.
gjâ-zym-byn will be ten years old in a few days; I'm fairly fluent in
the written form, though still stuttery when talking to myself, and
the only parts of the language that are still subject to change are
those that are used relatively infrequently. -pa ordinals
are used once in a few pages (0.35% of the corpus), and
probably less than half the time do they suffix this ambiguity
that I'm trying to fix; most of the verb suffixes are used on almost
every page, and two of them are among the ten most common
morphemes in the language.