Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Focus in W (was Re: Greenberg's Word Order Universals)

From:Nik <fortytwo@...>
Date:Sunday, September 17, 2000, 2:18
> W would require a cleft for that, something like: > > Faklátassi nús Ján fakassáttas wifkál > Was John read book > It was John who read the book
Incidentally, there's an error, "read" has to agree with the *absolutive* argument (wifkál), not the ergative (nús Ján), thus it should've taken the suffix -*a, not -tas, making it fakassátta I've been thinking about this, and I've decided that the form tatti is used to mark a focused noun. This is derived from the verb form tátassi, an inflected form of tá, which was a variant of klá. Specifically, tátassi is 3rd person singular sentient non-punctual (i.e., (s)he is), but was generalized for all nouns, regardless of number or sentience or person. Thus: Tatti nús Ján fakassátta wifkál Focus John read book John read the book; It's John who read the book Tatti wifkál fakassátta núsal Jánal Focus book read John-erg The book John read; The book is what John read. It remains to be determined exactly what its usage is. All particles must be mono- or disyllabic, and cannot bear stress, which is why tátassi became tatti. -- Dievas dave dantis; Dievas duos duonos God gave teeth; God will give bread - Lithuanian proverb ICQ: 18656696 AIM Screen-Name: NikTailor