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Subclause marking

From:Yann Kiraly <yann_kiraly@...>
Date:Tuesday, June 21, 2005, 15:17
In a (not yet named) conlang I'm designing at the moment, a lot of subclauses occur due to the
lack of distinction between attributes and predicates (with the exception of adverbs).

The language is isolating, postpositional  and SOV and I have two markers that help distinguish
embedded clauses from their surrounding clauses.

They are e and u. The postposition e marks the focus of the attention and/or intent of the Agent/
Experiencer (the S in SV, the O in SOV, and the I (indirect object) in SOIV clauses).
Because of the
language's word order, e also always marks the argument directly preceeding the verb.

Together with the postposition u, that marks the end of a subclause, it (as far as I can tell)
unambigiously marks subclauses, even if they are embedded into other clauses. Now, I have two

1. Is this marking really unambigious, or at least unambigous enough for a natlang?

2. This marking system often creates initialy ambigious sentences, that are
clarified later on in the
clause by the marker u (for example: "I child e female u e see.", where the second e marks the
whole preceeding clause). Is the human mind capable of easily understanding such sentences on
one go, and do you know of any natlangs that produce similar situations?

Thanks in advance,
Yann Kiraly.


Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>
Patrick Littell <puchitao@...>