Definiteness of verbs?
|From:||Harald S. <polysynthetic@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, July 19, 2006, 23:45|
Today I stumbled upon a handy mechanism one could use in a conlang to allow
scattered references to the same verbal action. I will elaborate on this
idea using the example "She ate because she was hungry. There was tiramisu
in the fridge. She ate it with great pleasure.".
>From the above, it is not clear whether the third sentence refers to thesame action of eating as the first one does. In English or German, one could
clarify this by actually saying "She ALSO ate it with great pleasure.". If
she did not eat with great pleasure the first time then that sentence would,
again, be augmented to say: "She ALSO ate it BUT with great pleasure (THIS
A different approach came to my mind today. Let us assume that we have a
definite article which denotes something that is supposed to be identifiable
and known to the audience and an indefinite article which marks that which
is mentioned for the first time and, thus, is NOT known or identifiable to
the audience. If this semantic is extended to include verbs then we could
easily communicate for the second instance of eating in our example whether
or not it refers to the same process of eating. The definite article would
make it refer to the same eating and, thus, just elaborate further on this
event. The indefinite article however would make clear that - although the
same verb is used - it is a completely different event of eating.
I wanted to share this neat trick (as it seems to me) with you. What do you