Mass vs Count in rtemmu
|Date:||Thursday, January 15, 2004, 11:43|
On 15 Jan, Paul Bennett wrote:
> On Thu, 15 Jan 2004 02:17:22 +0100, Trebor Jung <treborjung@...>wrote:
> > Merhaba!
> > I'm creating a conlang in which I don't want to have to use classifiers
> > ('sheet
> > of paper'). I want to be able to say, for example, *'one paper'. If I
> > make
> > nouns count as default, instead of mass as in English, would I achievemy
> > goal?
> Possibly not. "One paper" is largely unambiguous, but what about "one
> sand", or worse "one water"?
Well, my conlang, rtemmu, doesn't really have "nouns".
All content-words refer to processes. But it does have
a distinction between "mass-processes" and "countable-
processes" that works like mass and count nouns.
Basically, the idea is that one can
observe/consider/remember a process in a
non-mathematical way or count instances of
the process (by means of a numerical process).
For example, ykal = the process of being water.
Whether or not it is to be considered "countable"
depends upon whether or not it is modified by
Unless modified by a number, ykal would be
considered in the "mass" category.
kehs ykal na kayaigu = beautiful water
kehs = objectively normal rate of change
ykal = process of being water
na = subjectively normal rate of change
kayaigu = beautiful
The intention is to discuss some non-numerical
aspect of water, such as its beauty.
OTOH, the following is perfectly good rtemmu:
kehs ykal no wtikuh = 2 waters
no = subjectively slow change (ie my concept of
"2" can be said to be slowly changing
as I gain more experience with numbers)
wtikuh = the process of being two
In this case, the idea is that one is discussing two
countable units of water. Which units, it is true,
are not stated. If the context doen't provide
the answer, one can always explicitly mention
what units one is intending: glasses, pails, liters,
handfuls, seas of, etc.
One can also combine the two:
kehs ykal na kayaigu auag no wtikuh
where | auag | asserts conjunction.
Thus: kehs ykal na kayaigu auag no wtikuh
would mean "two (units of) beautiful water.
(kayaigu modifies ykal which pair is in turn modified
OTOH, moving | auag | would change the meaning thus:
kehs ykal auag na kayaigu no wtikuh
= two (types of) beauty being observed/
considered/remembered in water.
(wtikuh modifies kayaigu, which pair in turn
likehsna rtem zuv tikuhnuh auag inuvuz vaka'a.
A word is an awesome thing.