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Lin: verbs (& numerals)

From:Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Wednesday, April 17, 2002, 19:29
Next instalment of R. Srikanth's compact conlang called Lin:

Surprisingly, in the notes I have, this is a short section. But there's
stuff here to keep one thinking  :)

The copula "to be" as it appears in sentences like "the person is big", etc
cannot be handled by the normal process of sentence formation in Lin, since
it is a N-V-N construct, and will expect a noun, not and adjective, in slot
#3.  However, the "psychic verb" [Srikanth's term] comes to the resue!

(a) The verb {~}
    This is the psychic verb which converts all sorts of things into a
statement.  If it is added after a qualifier-noun construction, it converts
it to an existential meaning, thus:
   i5o   "(an/the) interesting agreement"
we get
   i5o~  "the agreement is interesting"

In principle, according to Srikanth, one could circumvent it by saying:
   o+h\I   "The agreement has interestingness"

[The last sentence reminded me immediately of the way 'Inky' speaks in the
stories of Billy Bunter, i.e. something pecularly Indic.]

By itself {~} means "a something other than nothing" with a strong leaning
towards "a happening"; it needs no agent, no patient, nor verb.
"Just," wrote Srikanth, "what the philosophers ordered....  :)"

(b) Verbs of the 1st gen. nouns {i, u, e, o, h}
    The verbs derived from the pronouns/nouns {i, u, e, o, h} (I/we, you,
she/they, he/it. person) according to the PoS cycle #1, namely {I, U, E, O,
H} mean "belong(s) to/ is possessed by me/you/et al", thus:

px I, sb U       "The bird is mine, the dog is yours"

Possessive adjectives are derived as participles of these verbs.
U<h+M ur`a
{station belonging to you moves to the city}
"Your station moves to the city."

Cementry is avoided in the possessive clause as it can be specified in the
main clause.

(c) Moods
    The imperative mood is formed by replacing the period/full-stop by an
exclamation mark.  In the case of the 2nd person imperative, the subject
may be omitted.
  u v px!      "See the bird!"
  v px!        "see the bird!"
  o v px!      "Let him see the bird!"

If the verb in the 2nd person is relativized, it needs no inversion because
it is already 'exposed'; so the only the subordinate clause is subject to
inversion if need be.  For example:
  i v px               _and_     v px!
 "I see the bird"               "See the bird!"

can be convolved to:
  i<v px!
  "See the bird, even as I do!"
  "I see the bird. So see it too!"

(d) Compositions of verbs
   Where in English we have a verb+infinitive (e.g. like to know, wait to
bloom), Lin forms a compound with the actual finite verb post-posited.  The
verb modifying it (i.e. the English inifinitive) is joined through an
internal cement, except that cement {1} (the one with 1st generation verbs
each side) is dropped.   The external cement binding the subject is
dropped.   A hash {#} is added in between the modifying verb & the
post-posited finite verb to signal  'verbal composition'   Where {1} is not
operative, then the relative positions of {#} and the cement can be used to
convey active/passive senses.

   u N          "You know"
   u N#k        "You can know"
   u N/#k       "You can be known"

   ki\f         "The child fears"
   ki f2#k      "The child can fear"
   ki Q4#f      "The child fears to ask"
   ki Q#4f      "The child fears to be asked"

There were some gaps in Srikanth's description which I'm sure he'd have
plugged if he had stayed on the list and continued work on Lin.   One such
are numerals.

The only thing I find among my notes is the one sentence:
"The numbers in Lin are used in their usual Arabic form, treated as
generation 1 nouns and adjectives."

I assume Srikanth means the westernized 'Arabic' numbers, not those
actually used in Arabic, and that one just pronounces each digit with the
same vocalic values as the digits are given when used as internal cements
between consonants, i.e.
21    /i:a/
465   /e:}:o:/

But the pronunciations are not convincing (all vowels) and there is no
indication how the symbol zero is to be pronounced in any context.

Last episode coming up next time:A SHORT LEXICON




Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>Lin: short lexicon
Aidan Grey <grey@...>Vocab #4