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Translation Challenge? (was Re: Iconicity)

From:Paul Bennett <paul-bennett@...>
Date:Thursday, October 13, 2005, 6:59
On Thu, 13 Oct 2005 02:30:53 -0400, David J. Peterson <dedalvs@...>
wrote a lot of good stuff, from which I have excerpted perhaps the
least-relevant parts to the thrust of the post:

> Here are some of the article's greatest hits: > > "Since linguists hope to find all universals most perspiculously > expressed in the language they have studied most..." > > "Whether or not this is an interesting hypothesis is, of course, not a > subject for debate." > > "Finally, one cannot hope to dismiss principle 3 by robust common > sense. I have nothing against common sense: in fact, principle 3 > incorporates it, and languages conform to it. In the present context of > linguistic research, I maintain that this is a significant finding." > > Said of "He lifted himself up": "Here the most plausible interpretation > is one in which the subject is somehow handicapped, and forced to treat > his body as dead weight. (This is, of course, also the most plausible > interpretation of the English gloss.)" > > "Where the causee is inanimate or unconscious, the analytic causative > suggests that the causer has magical powers." > > "In the absence of such contact, and in the absence of an explicit > intermediary, the result can only be effected by telekinesis." > > "While conceptual distance is intuitively obvious, I will not offer a > formal definition at this point." (Note the use of "while".)
I smell a translation challenge. Which conlangs are capable of expressing any of the above utterly fascinating utterances, and how do they do so? Indeed, are they expressible with the same sets of baggage, even in other natlangs? I, for one, will sit this one out, due to my languages all being severely lexically challenged, though with bated breath[*]. Paul [*]This, of course, should not be held as an example of good English sentence construction[**], though a similar word order will be possible with less mental crowbarring in Thagojian just as soon as I get some lexical flesh on the grammatical bones. [**]And is probably classifiable under the heading "comma abuse" in anyone's terminology.