Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Topics (Was: Re: Inverse marking (was: Kijeb text uploaded))

From:Chris Bates <chris.maths_student@...>
Date:Saturday, April 22, 2006, 14:40
This is not inverse marking, but a kind of combination of inverse
marking and a topic comment system that I've been thinking of recently
for a conlang... tell me what you think? :D Basically, I wanted to make
a language where the most topical NP was the syntactic pivot, and that
NP was the only required argument of a clause (pretty much doing away
with voices), but at the same time avoid the ambiguity if the role of
the topic in a subsequent clause where it's realized by zero isn't
explicitly marked. Here's what I was thinking of:


topic verb other arguments


If the topic is also the S/A, then there is no explicit marking.
Otherwise there is a clitic which marks that the topic is not in the
expected subject role. If the topic is the P, then that is the only
marking. If the topic is some other oblique, then the preposition
governing it remains in final position. Furthermore, an A argument that
is unexpectedly not the topic and explicitly mentioned takes an ergative
preposition. Examples:

man see woman - as for the man, he sees the woman
man see - the man, he sees
woman=Non.subject.topic see - as for the woman, she is seen
woman=non.subject.topic see by man - as the woman, she is seen by the man
glasses=non.subject.topic see by man woman with 0 - as for the glasses,
the man sees the woman with (them)

This is similar I guess to the hanging prepositions at the end of
English relative clauses, except for the fact that it's been extended to
main clauses (and the non subject topic clitic).


The topic is the syntactic pivot (and the only required argument). Examples:

man came, saw=non.subject.topic (by woman) - the man came and was seen
(by the woman)

man came, gave=non.subject.topic food by woman to - the man came and the
woman gave food to (him)