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Re: Fourth person was Re: CONLANG Digest

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Friday, May 26, 2000, 23:45
Peter Clark wrote:
> My terminology is a little rusty, but I would say that the words > you are looking for is "fourth person".
That's one term for it. It's also called "proximate" and "obviate"
> On skazal jemu pravdu o jego matjeri. > He1 told to+him2 truth about his2 mother. > > On skazal jemu pravdu o svojej matjeri. > He1 told to+him2 truth about his1 mother.
Latin did that, too. But, the modern descendants (or at least some) have lost that distinction. In Latin, _sui_ meant "of the subject", _sibi_ "to the subject", and so on, while _is_, etc. meant "he", etc. I'm not sure if _sui_, etc. were used other than to disambiguate, but the accusative form _se_ has given the modern Romance languages their reflexive pronoun, and the genetive _sui_ is the source of forms like Sp. _su_ Watakassí does it rather interestingly. Modifiers must agree with what they modify in case, for instance: Fa-vulík-u pi-saní-s na-Ján-f-as Past-go-I G7-home-ALL G2-John-GEN-ALL I went to John's house Pronouns may also agree in case with what they refer back to (mostly only used in situations of ambiguity), for instance: Fasagátas (naka) nísnaz wawailá tinanímadu nísnaf[al/az] Fa-sagá-tas naka n-ísna-z wa-wailá ti-naní-ma-du n-ísna-f-al/az Past-tell-he/she he.nom G2-pron-DAT G6-truth G2-mother-his-ELL G2-pron-GEN-ERG/DAT The suffix -ma on "mother" is required, since she's "possessed", so to speak. If the final word is nísnafal, then "he" can only refer back to _naka_ (which is not required in the sentence anyways), and if it's nísnafaz, then it can only refer back to _nísnaz_. -- "If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God!" - Ralph Waldo Emerson "Glassín wafilái pigasyúv táv pifyániivav nadusakyáavav sussyáiyatantu wawailáv ku suslawayástantu ku usfunufilpyasváditanva wafpatilikániv wafluwáiv suttakíi wakinakatáli tiDikáufli!" - nLáf mÁldu nÍmasun ICQ: 18656696 AIM Screen-Name: NikTailor