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Re: GROUPLANG: Pronouns

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Friday, October 16, 1998, 19:45
Carlos Thompson wrote:
> I've suggested we have a compulsory gender/class dictintion with other > optional "genders" or markers which would be needed for agreement > differenciation or extention of the meaning. I've post sex being one of > them, deixis or another referencial mark as another one. Number would be an > optional mark also. Politeness would be also optional.
I don't know about all these "optional" features. I don't know of any language where such a thing is optional. And politeness couldn't be optional. By having no indication of politeness level, that in itself would say something, just as in English, not saying "please" says something. And optional number just seems odd. If we're going to have a number system, we oughta make it mandatory. Please, let's not have an obviously artificial language. We're not re-inventing NGL here. (I intend no disrespect to NGL, my point was that NGL is obviously artificial, and unnatural; I'm hoping to have a natural-looking lang) As for the cases, I really don't like the proposal. Is it set in stone yet? I'd like to propose another system. This isn't all-or-nothing, of course 1. Absolutive 2. Ergative These might be in a mixed system, thus more accurately absolutive-nominative 3. Genetive 4. Dative 5. Instrumental 6. Role (I don't know the term) 7. Comitative (with; co-agent) 8. Aversive (avoidance; he avoided *the fire*, he fears *fire*) Of course, this could be handled by other cases, perhaps local cases 9. non-Comitative (I don't remember the term; without) 10. Associative (non-possessive genetive, e.g., *his* illness) 11. Partative 12. Vocative 13. Comparative (he is older *than me*) 14. Various local cases - I'm not particularly attached to any specific system, but the more cases, the better, as far as I'm concerned. Perhaps think about multiple case-marking? -- "It's bad manners to talk about ropes in the house of a man whose father was hanged." - Irish proverb ICQ: 18656696 AOL: NikTailor