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Re: What a Conlanger am I!!!

From:Matthew Pearson <matthew.pearson@...>
Date:Thursday, October 4, 2001, 18:22
--- David Peterson wrote:
    In the first, whoever "they" is, they're all going to the store together
in one direction.  However, in the phrase "they" talk, you can assume that
(a) they're talking to each other, and (b) they're taking turns.  Why is
that?  We'd use the same phrase to describe seven people all talking at once
to a wall.  So, my dream marker is one that attaches to the verb that
indicates the action goes on between the members of the subject.  (Something
like inferrent, only concrete?)

go (pres)=mina:s
allative ending= -u
talk (pres)=goli:s
"Inferrent" marker= -en

So, the two sentences above are:

1.) sam mina:s bastaku.
2.) sam goli:sen.

    What do you think?  Does this already exist somewhere?  Have I reinvented
yet another wheel?
--- end of quote ---

If what's crucial is that the members of the subject are acting upon each other,
then you've got yourself a reciprocal ("each other") construction. Malagasy,
like many other languages, marks this by means of an affix:

  miresaka = "talk, converse"
 mifampiresaka = "talk to each other" (I *think* that's the right form; don't
have my dictionary handy)

If what's crucial is that the participants are taking turns, rather than all
performing the action at the same time, then perhaps "-en" could be called a
distributive marker. What if you had a group of people who were each going to
the store individually, one after the other? Could you say "Sam mina:sen

If reciprocity and taking turns are both important, then perhaps "-en" could be
called a distributive reciprocal suffix.


Matt Pearson
Department of Linguistics
Reed College
3203 SE Woodstock Blvd
Portland, OR 97202 USA
ph:  503-771-1112 (x 7618)