|From:||Irina Rempt <ira@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, April 1, 2000, 18:19|
On Mon, 20 Mar 2000, Shreyas Sampat wrote:
> Would it be feasible for a language to have tense based on a definite
> event or an event defined at the start of a conversation, where actions
> occurring within a certain duration of the event are present and others
> degrees of past and future depending on their distance from the action?
Of course. That's basically how it works in Valdyan: when telling a
story, the time of the event is set at the start and the whole story
is then told in the present. Events that take place before or after
the "defined present" take tenses or aspects related to it.
> This sounds like another of those stortelling culture features, where
> perhaps it's traditional to start a story in the present in the middle
> of the plot, and bounce back and forth in time as the story progresses.
Well, a story about something that has either taken place in reality
or is supposed to be set in the past usually has the simple past in
the very first sentence, and not at any moment after that.
> Also, is there precedence for inflection patterns dependent on word
> origin, or is that too artificial? I was considering having words
> native to my language inflect with case suffixes, and use prefixes for
> obviously foreign words, or words that the informal register allows but
> aren't used in polite conversation.
It's not unusual for words foreign to a language not to inflect at
all; even Latin does that at times with Hebrew words.
Varsinen an laynynay, saraz no arlet rastynay.
email@example.com (myself) - http://valdyas.conlang.org (Valdyas)