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Re: Pro-drop was RE: Conlang collaboration

From:Dan Sulani <dnsulani@...>
Date:Monday, February 17, 2003, 19:58
On 16 Feb, Muke Tever  wrote:

> From: "Tristan" <kesuari@...> > > Dan Sulani wrote: > > > > > What exactly is meant by "pro-drop"? > > > > A tendency to drop unnecessary subject pronouns that are implied in > > inflexions on the vowel. > > Actually I think it's just a tendency to consider subject pronouns
> whether or not the inflections encode it--Japanese is pro-drop without
> inflections at all, IIRC.
Thanks, guys, for the explanations. Back to the question that prompted me to ask: On 15 Feb, Shreyas Sampat wrote:
> On the subject of pro-drop, my Syntax class mentioned that modern Hebrew > permits it in present tense 1sg and 2sg, but not elsewhere. Anyone know > why this is the case?
In light of the above explanations, I'm not sure that it _is_ the case. In the future and past tenses, AFAIK, Hebrew can drop subjects. The one tense I rarely hear it done is in the present, _especially_ in the 1sg and 2sg. The reason, I would suppose, is that the present tense of most verbs has the same form for all persons: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. (different form for masculine and feminine, singular and plural). One kind of needs to specify a subject to make clear one's intent. In the future and past tenses, the verb forms are different for the persons, so that it's easier to understand which is meant without needing to use a subject. I could always be overlooking something, of course. What examples were given in your Syntax course? ObConlang: Since my conlang, rtemmu, doesn't really have "verbs" as such, let alone verbs marked for person, gender, and number, those properties of a subject can't be known unless they are specifically mentioned somewhere in the sentence. Thus, rtemmu, would probably not be a pro-drop lang. Dan Sulani ---------------------------------------------------------------- likehsna rtem zuv tikuhnuh auag inuvuz vaka'a A word is an awesome thing.