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Re: Existential voice

From:Gary Shannon <fiziwig@...>
Date:Monday, May 2, 2005, 19:46
--- Ray Brown <ray.brown@...> wrote:

> On Monday, May 2, 2005, at 02:13 , Gregory Gadow > wrote:
> > My solution was to create a distinct voice for > when > > a verb has no specific do-er or done-to, the > existential voice. > > Why? Why not just use _impersonal_ verbs, i.e. verbs > with no grammatical > subject as very many natlangs and quite a few > conlangs do, i.e. just say > "is-raining"? Cf. > Latin - pluit (*_id pluit_ just would not make > sense! - the verb cannot > have a subject)
My very experimental conlang Soaloa requires two "things" (objects, attributes, states, etc.) and a relationship between them, so the minimum sentence has three words: (SOA) "Rain is-in-the-state-of falling." (Brashu to Kwiantum) <snip>
> Most, possibly all, languages have a set of verbs > which have no direct > object and a set of verbs which may have direct > objects. Thus a set of > verbs with no "done-to".
So far (and I don't claim anything like an exhaustive search) I've found for Soaloa that verbs "lacking" a done-to actually have a "done-to" that is implied. Requiring two exactly participants in every relationship, no more, no less, seems to work just fine when whatever is implied is made explicit. "Sit!" -> "You seat yourself."(SOA) or even "I command that you seat yourself." (SOA+SOA) "There is a fly in my soup" -> "Fly in soup." (SOA) or more completely "I have soup; fly in it." (SOA+SOA) So I think any statement can be paraphrased to make the doer and done-to both explicit, because philosophically, isn't there always a doer and a done-to associated with every do? And when it appears that there are more players, isn't that really just a compounding of two do's? E.g. "John gave the book to Mary" concatenates the two actions "John gave book." and "Mary accepted book." But in reality they are two distinct actions, each with a doer and a done-to. --gary