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Re: CONLANG Digest - 5 Jun 2000 to 6 Jun 2000 (#2000-155)

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Wednesday, June 7, 2000, 10:28
Sorry, this was meant to the whole list.

Date: Wed, 07 Jun 2000 12:26:21 +0200
To: Muke Tever <realvinegar@...>
From: Christophe Grandsire <Christophe.Grandsire@...>
Subject: Re: CONLANG Digest - 5 Jun 2000 to 6 Jun 2000 (#2000-155)
In-Reply-To: <001101bfd049$e7465740$04e1e5d8@atlantis>
References: <200006070404.AAA22340@...>

At 02:30 07/06/00 -0400, you wrote:
> >> From: Christophe Grandsire <Christophe.Grandsire@...> >> Subject: Re: A'stou part III: the Personal System and the Verb (LONG) >> >> >> - "vos": this person refers to a group to which the listener belongs, >but >> >> to which the speaker wants to be excluded from. It never refers to a >group >> >> of listeners (the "non-ego" is used instead) but to the general group >they >> >> belong to. >> > >> >The gloss "them" seems impossible for this one too. >> >> To understand the "vos", you must take it as a "them" "tainted" with "you" >> (something that is impossible in English, I know). > >Is it like where an English speaker _wouldn't_ use the phrase "present >company excepted"? > > MAN (to wealthy colleagues): All rich people are lunatics. >
I'm not sure (I don't pretend to understand exactly how the A'stou personal system works :) ). But the use of "vos" to translate "them" in English depends on whether the listener(s) are part of the group the speaker is talking to, even if the feature the speaker's talking about is not shared by the listener(s). So in your example, the speaker would still use "vos" to agree with "all rich people", even if it is "present company excepted". But here comes the problem of the "all". If the sentence was "Rich people are lunatics", and the listener(s) are wealthy, then the "vos" is mandatory, whether or not "present company excepted". With the "all", the affair is more complicated, because it seems that the "vos" would include present company anyway, since the "all" is used. So if you want to exclude present company, the "non-persona" should be used. But that would be still rather strange. In fact, I think the problem comes from the "all". It was not natural for the Dha'stem to generalize any feature to a whole group (they made an exception with the Tye'khenem - the Evil ones -, the name they gave them is itself a generalization), or at least to make it obvious, so a statement like "all rich people are lunatics" would be rather awckward for a Dha'os. That may be why I have a difficulty to know which person to use in this statement. A Dha'os may have had the same difficulty as me. Interesting anyway. Do you have any natlang (or conlang) example of a statement that can be said without a problem in a certain language but cannot be translated accurately in another language without problems like the ones I have (uneasiness, nearly grammatical incorrectness - not really grammatical incorrectness but grammatical awckwardness, whatever way of translating you choose -)? I would be very interested to hear of such an example. Christophe Grandsire |Sela Jemufan Atlinan C.G. "Reality is just another point of view." homepage : (ou :