Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: Clauses, etc

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Tuesday, January 29, 2002, 7:38
En réponse à Joel <supercooljoel@...>:

> > I never really understood fully clauses and that sort of grammar, so in > my > unseeing blindness, i attempted to construct a clause system. > Basically, > you enclose the clause in "" if I am trying to say, "The man > that > john hit yesterday is angry" Using that in English is should turn out to > be > "Nihk The man john his yesterday il is angry". You follow? I hope I've > got > the right idea with clauses here. >
Partly. Indeed, I think using two words to enclose a subclause is a good idea. The only problem I see in your system is: how do you know which noun of the subclause is the subject of the verb of the principal clause? I mean, if I take your example: "Nihk the man John hit yesterday il is angry". Who is angry? The man, or John? It could be both, since nothing outside the subclause shows which is the subject of "is angry". A way you could solve this problem is to use different enclosing words depending on whether the antecedent (that's to say, the noun to which the subclause is added) is the subject or the object of the subclause. For instance, with your idea, "nihk... li" would mark that the object is the antecedent, while for instance "nes... li" would mark that the subject is the antecedent. With this idea, you would construct things that way: "Nihk John hit the man yesterday il is angry": The man that John hit yesterday is angry. "Nes John hit the man yesterday il is angry": John, who hit the man yesterday, is angry. But usually, languages (including English) solve this problem by putting the antecedent in the principal clause (In "the man (that John hit yesterday) is angry", "the man" is in the principal clause "the man is angry"). With your idea, the construction would be: "The man nihk John hit yesterday il is angry" (or maybe "the man nihk John hit him yesterday il is angry", with "him" reminding the function of "the man" in the subclause). In fact, I prefer your first idea, of putting the antecedent in the subclause instead of the principal clause, but since you admit yourself that you don't understand much of subclauses, maybe you should begin with an easier system (I mean, more similar to English). Once you've mastered this simple one and understood really how it works, you can begin doing more original things.
> Any help or criticism is helpful, be reminded, I have NO idea what I'm > talking about! >
Well, simply speaking, making subclauses is complexifying a sentence by replacing what should be noun phrases or adjectives by verbal sentences. For instance, a relative subclause ("The man (that John hit yesterday)") is really a complex adjective with a verb inside (like an adjective, this subclause is used to qualify a noun). In "I said (that John hit the man yesterday)", "that John hit the man yesterday" is really the object of the verb "said" (see something like: "I said the truth", where "the truth" is obviously the object), but an object with a verb inside. In the sentence "I am angry (because John hit the man yesterday)", "because John hit the man yesterday" is really a circonstancial complement (comparable to "for that reason" in "I am angry for that reason"), but with a verb inside. So try to remember this simple idea: a subclause is a verbal sentence used to replace a noun phrase or an adjective. When you understood that, you understood 70% of what's going on with subclauses. Christophe. Take your life as a movie: do not let anybody else play the leading role.