Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Voice, Mood, Tense, a minimalist perspective

From:Gary Shannon <fiziwig@...>
Date:Monday, December 29, 2003, 16:53
It seems that if one's intention is to convey
information in the most striaghtforward manner that a
minimalist conlang would need very few tenses, voices,
and moods.

Exotic forms like the passive could certainly be done
without. [:)]

Even the future tense seems unnecessary as long as
some additional word conveys the idea of futurity as
in "Dinner IS SOON ready," "John is here tomorrow."

"I am here for six months already" gives some notion
of pastness without a past tense.

But if one were to strike a happy medium between the
sublime and the ridiculous, which moods, voices and
tenses would you consider to be the minimum set for a
reasonably mature language of daily commerce? (As
opposed to a language of great literary strength or
one of great scientific or legal precision.  In
otherwords, the street language of the common people.)

Who votes for which tenses?

(OT Latin: faciem illius agnosco -> "I recognize that
man's face", but does anyone know how to say "I SHOULD
recognize that man's face" in Latin?  I'm not familiar
enough with the language to know it off hand and I
can't seem to figure it out from my scanty Latin
reference material.)


John Cowan <cowan@...>
Isidora Zamora <isidora@...>Latin "should"
Herman Miller <hmiller@...>
Isidora Zamora <isidora@...>Latin "should"