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Re: Changing worldviews with language (LONG)

From:H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>
Date:Monday, November 4, 2002, 13:11
On Mon, Nov 04, 2002 at 01:02:25PM +0100, BP Jonsson wrote:
> At 20:49 3.11.2002 -0500, H. S. Teoh wrote: > > >Actually, one might argue that the reason Ebisedian cases are so unusual > >is because the subject is verb, not a noun. The nouns are just predicates > >describing that particular instance of the verb. > > Would you like to give some examples?
[snip] I have plenty. :-) First of all, Ebisedian verbs are used only when describing a change of state, or an event that happened. When describing static or unchanging things, gerunds are used instead (or, quite commonly, verbless sentences are used--but we won't get into that here). None of the noun cases are mandatory in a verbal sentence; the verb can stand for itself. And now, some examples: [Legend: org = originative, rcp = receptive, instr = instrumental, cvy = conveyant, loc = locative, v = verb] 1) pii'z3d0 fww't3 ebu'. man(org) see(v) I(rcp) "I see a man." 2) fww't3 ebu'. see(v) I(rcp) "I see (something)." 3) pii'z3d0 fww't3. man(org) see(v) "A man was seen" or, "a man appeared." 4) fww't3. see(v) "(Something) was seen", or, "(something) appeared". 5) fww't3 d3m3'l. see(v) beauty(cvy) "(Something's) beauty was seen." 6) biz3t30' fww't3 d3m3'l. woman(org) see(v) beauty(cvy) "The woman's beauty was seen", or, "the woman's beauty became apparent." Literally, it means something along the lines of "beauty emanated from the woman and became apparent". 7) biz3t30' fww't3 d3m3'l ebu'. woman(org) see(v) beauty(cvy) I(rcp) "I see the woman's beauty", or, "I see how beautiful the woman is". 8) fww't3 d3m3'l ebu'. see(v) beauty(cvy) I(rcp) "I see (someone's/something's) beauty." 9) fww't3 ebu' loo'ri. see(v) I(rcp) outside(loc) "I see something outside." 10) fww't3 biz3t30' loo'ri. see(v) woman(org) outside(loc) "The woman was seen outside." 11) fww't3 loo'ri. see(v) outside(loc) "(Something) appeared outside", or, "(something) was seen outside". As you can see, the only thing necessary in all of the above examples is the verb _fww't3_, "to see", or "to appear". In fact, if context permits, one can simply write _fww't3_ and it would be understood from context what was seen, who saw it, etc.. Note that word order is free; the *semantic* function of a noun depends totally on its case. There is a distinction between seeing and looking. Another verb, _zota'_ (or _zotww'_ in its perfective), is used for "to look". As you can see from the following examples, case roles aren't quite what you'd expect if you're thinking in terms of the English "see" and "look". 1) zotww' eb0' mangu'. look(v) I(org) horse(rcp) "I looked at the horse." 2) m3ng0' zotww' ebu'. horse(org) look(v) I(rcp) "The horse looked at me." (Don't be distracted by the word order; it doesn't make any semantic/grammatical difference. It's just a matter of preference.) 3) zotww' ebu'. look(v) I(rcp) "(Something) looked at me." 4) eb0' zotww'. I(org) look(v) "I looked (at something)." 5) eb0' zotww' m33j3' jobu'. I(org) look(v) love(cvy) her(cvy) [*] Literally, "I looked love into her". I.e., "I looked at her in a way that conveys love". Note[*]: _jobu'_, from _jubi'_, is the feminine intimate pronoun. It can be understood either as the 2nd person or the 3rd person, depending on context. 6) zotww' m33j3' ebu'. look(v) love(cvy) I(rcp) Literally, "(someone) looked love into me". 7) zotww' m33j3'. look(v) love(cvy) "Love was infused (into someone, by the act of looking)." Again, you can see that none of the 5 noun cases are really necessary in a sentence. There is no concept of subject/object; unless, of course, you think of the subject as the verb, which describes what happened. The nouns are simply predicating the specifics of the verb. Of course, noun cases have quite a lot more to them, esp. in the verbless stative sentences; but I'll save that for another time. :-) T -- It is of the new things that men tire -- of fashions and proposals and improvements and change. It is the old things that startle and intoxicate. It is the old things that are young. -- G.K. Chesterton