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Marking time.

From:Lars Finsen <lars.finsen@...>
Date:Saturday, March 24, 2007, 22:26
The marking of time is a particular problem in an inflectional
language. I was a little inaccurate in my former message when I said
that both Urianian and Gaajan used an instrumental to mark a point of
time. In fact, Urianian does, but Gaajan uses an adverbial marker.
"As" = "day", "asen" = "today" with the adverbial marker. But in
Urianian the instrumental case is used generally in order to make a
noun function as an adverb, so in this way the languages are parallel
after all.

I still don't know where I got the idea. Some natlangs that I have
used for inspiration use the accusative or locative. I remember
having used the locative at an early stage as well for Urianian, and
I think I switched to the instrumental just because I felt it worked
better. After all, real populations make such switches occasionally
too. And when you add a specification of time to the description of
some event, it often is reasonable to connect it to the verb of the
description. It hasn't failed any test I've put it through yet. (Can
you devise one?) Possibly it affects the Urianian way of thinking

More specific time specifications can be done too. Specifying a time
interval is very straightforward, from A to B is "A+abl B+acc". It
can be used for other intervals as well. A duration can use the
dative. In Urianian I have used locatives for time specifications
within other time specifications: "At 3 o'clock on Wednesday" = "Driu
uttuni" (3+loc Wednesday+inst). I have some inflected forms for
prepositions like "until" and "before" as well, but I'm thinking of
sacrificing them. Things are still in a bit of a flux.

See you around.



Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>