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Ambiguity in accusative systems (Was: Re: Latin Grammar Dilemma)

From:H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>
Date:Thursday, November 28, 2002, 20:25
On Thu, Nov 28, 2002 at 02:46:05PM -0500, John Cowan wrote:
> Christian Thalmann scripsit: > > > Should that be parsed as "I want you to eat" or "I want to eat > > you"? > > > > Does Latin have this ambiguity too? > > You betcha. In fact, there is a story about a Roman general asking > an oracle who was going to win the next battle. The god replied on > the lines of "I foresee the Romans-ACC the enemy-ACC to conquer", neatly > ambiguous. The general charged into battle on the strength of this -- and lost.
[snip] It was ambiguities like these that drove me to design Ebisedian's (unusual) case system. I wouldn't have minded if the ambiguity was between, say, an object and an oblique object; but to be ambiguous between *subject* and *object* was just too much for me. (Of course, Ebisedian is ambiguous in other ways, but at least it gets such basic things as noun roles straight. :-P) T -- Always remember that you are unique. Just like everybody else. --