Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

NGL: Composition

From:Gerald Koenig <jlk@...>
Date:Friday, February 5, 1999, 7:30
This post looks at some questions raised by Stephen, Jack,and Carlos:

> >On Tue, 2 Feb 1999 17:46:38 -0800 (PST), Gerald Koenig ><jlk@...> wrote: > >>xa::-must,legal shall. x says that y must make "p" true. No choice. >>[default: y is subject of the proposition "p".]
>I follow, but I think it might be confusing to shorten this as "must," >because modals like "must" have no x portion to their proposition in >languages we're used to. The most important thing you have to get >accross to learners in teaching this modal, which is different than >what they are used to, is that the subject of {xa} is the agent >forcing the action and the object of {xa} is in turn the _subject_ of >the classical "must" proposition.
Ok. I defer to your experience in front of the classroom and I'll try again: 1 "I forced you to come here" is Jack's sentence to be translated. The VXT definition of "must, or legal "shall": xa::- A Controller (x) _requires that_ a Controllee (y) make "P" true. There is no choice for the Controllee, y; he will be forced. Symbolicly: XxaY "P" "ex sha why that pee".. X "shalls" Y that P. USAGE: I require of you that: "you come here." is a true sentence: mi xa [be] vu: [vu] tibe eco. mi xa vu tibe eco. I compel you to come here. "P" is a whole sentence or clause. It expands into NGL form:SDVO/SDiOV. Xa and V are two independent verbs in the modalized whole sentence and they can have independent tenses. The independent tenses can create structures that are not grammatical in English. The default tense relationship between the modal and the main verb is matching, or shared. Whichever is tensed explicitly passes its tense to the other which is unmarked: I [past] require of you that you [past] come here. I required of you that you came here. mi pa xa vu tibe eco. Both xa and tibe are simple past tenses (imperfects). mi xa vu pa tibe eco. Both xa and tibe are simple past tenses. (imperfects). Another way of putting it is that the scope of a single tensor is the entire expression. Consider: 1 "I forced you to come here", Jack's sentence to be translated. Jack has used the TVS past perfect tense, -ot; with "forced" and he shares it with "come": Jack:
>In response to Carlos' question, the traditional verb system simply >strings together generics with all of them inheriting the tense of the >tensed verb. For example, "I forced you(sg) to come here" translates >{In`ca`omot tibeam eco.}
^^ -ot is past perfect. English past perfect is "had verbed". VXT is: mi ju xa vu [ju] tibe eco. The ju tensor on "xa" the modal requires it on "tibe" the main verb for a tense sharing default. Jack's "inheritance" of tense is my "sharing" of tense. English: "I had required of you that you had come here." Obviously something has gone awry and Stephen and I copied it. A better tense to use to share in this example would be the past imperfect which does not create these problems. Stephen continues:
>Since a person will want to know how >to make the simpler statement of the type "you had to come here," you >should also, IMO, include an example showing this simpler use. BTW, >I'm guessing here, but I think that sentence would be {ju xa vu tibe >ecoig}, just leave off the agent forcing the action. BTW again, is the >{tibe} automatically in the same time as {xa}? If so, if i tense >{tibe}, will its tense be "calculated," if you like, based on the >present, or will its tense with relation to the presnet be >"calculated" relative to the time of {xu}, making it somewhat like a >PVS displaced tense? > >Stephen
2 "You had to come here". As usual, the translation begins with a search for the underlying sentence being modalized. That this may not be clear is a problem for English, not VXT. I get "You came here" as the underlying claim, and the modal part is " [Compeller] required of you" You came here. vu pa tibe eco. "[Compeller] required of you" [C] [pa] xa vu Combined: [pa]xa vu vu pa tibe eco. xa vu pa tibe eco. Someone made you come here. The Someone can be the self, it is a free variable. You had to come here=Someone made you come here. Tense is shared, both are past imperfect, pa. As Stephen saw, the Compeller can be omitted, and the two vu's merge. That is what is meant by the phrase, the default y is the subject of p. One thing VXT does is avoid the intricate complexities around the use of "have" as a modal auxiliary (hafta come), a tense auxiliary (have come), and a principle verb (have a drink). "You had to come here." 6s Dialectical variants: VXT: 2'xa vu pa tibe eco. Shared tense. 6s 2''pa xa vu tibe eco. Shared tense. 2'''xa vup tibe eco. Contraction. 5s 2''''xa vu tibepa eco. Postfix VTT 2'''''pa xav tibe eco. Contraction. TVS: 3 xa tibeamos eco. 6s putting -os (imperfect)for -ot (perfect).am=you)s 3'xa vu tibeos eco. 3''xav tibeos eco. 5s 3'''pa xa tibeam eco. 3''''"Inca`xomot tibeam eco." 9s PVS: 4 xa ta tibeam eco. 6s I forced you to come here: {Ta incxom mac tibein ecoig} [Apologies to the authors, I don't know the PVS and TVS native modal suffixes or auxiliaries yet.] [more below] X-MIME-Autoconverted: from quoted-printable to 8bit by id FAA27257 On Tue, 2 Feb 1999 05:03:26 -0800 (PST), Jack Durst <spynx@...> wrote:
>In response to Carlos' question, the traditional verb system simply >strings together generics with all of them inheriting the tense of the >tensed verb. For example, "I forced you(sg) to come here" translates >{Inc`xomot tibeam eco.} > >In more complex cases, {fo} is used as a sort of infinitive marker; >especially if there's causality involved as in {Pairevas rl manom fo >vitaxe.} "One must eat (now) in order to live."
Stephen: Just a little note. I use {fo} like this too, with the meaning "in order to" as well as its definition of "because." I'm not exactly _uncomfortable_ with this, because English, for example, is able to use the word "for" in both senses, although the "because" sense of "for" is a trifle archaic. But I have been thinking about splitting the meanings, with {fo} retaining the "because" meaning and having some new word to take up its additional functions, and I think I've settled on using Jerry's proposed word {be} for the new word. BTW, Zumirtok/PVS is currently in development with regards to this type of sentence, currently Zumirtok "I forced you to come here," is {Ta incxom mac be tibe ecoig}, but I'm considering moving my personal standard to {Ta incxom mac tibein ecoig} or {Ta incxom tibean ^ Jerry: "Had forced-I-nom you-acc to come-noun here." To me this "tibein" is more adverbial, describing the manner of forcing, narrowing the forcing action down to a coming. If so this ending would be -if. But I wouldn't argue this. I'd probably evade the issue with {tIRibe}, and use Carlos' accent suggestion if there were any ambiguity. The thing I like about your long formulation is that it is very clear what it means, It could be successfully translated to any language IMO. The VXT conveys the same meaning but takes getting acclimated to. The next form is more problematical to me. The use of "-am" a nominative in "tibeamin" makes for strange english: I forced to come-you-nom. Usually we say things like " They forced _me to come, not they forced _I to come." An english rule is that the subject of an infinitive is always in the objective case. Stephen: ecoig}, something along those lines, borrowing the VTT infinitive. Jerry: Hmm I haven't noticed the slightest wear on it since you borrowed it. I'd even loan it to Jack. But don't forget to try it with VXT :). Jerry. Stephen ----------------------------------------------------------- Jerry tog: Nilenga doesn't have a modal for physical force at the moment, but if the above sentence referred say to Ken Starr's action of subpoenaing Monica Lewinski, the modal XA for legal force, "shall or must" would be used: mi ju xa vu tibe eco. ju= -ot, past perfect markers. I [past perfect] "shalled" [that] "you come here" is true. Again, the trick to using vxt modals is to isolate a plausible and sometimes rather opaque "p" to modalize. This example reminds me a lot of the classic "I tried the door" problem. It can be expanded to "I tried to make "I opened the door" true; here the proposition or sentence modalized is "I opened the door". One reason vxt modals seem abstruse is that we are not mimicking a natlang, it requires a shift in mindset. After that it gets easier. The vxt particles are all designed to contract unambiguously, although I'm sure some errors will turn up, that's why I want usage. The above sentence would be: mij xav tibe eco. xa::-must,legal shall. x says that y must make "p" true. No choice. [default: y is subject of the proposition "p".] Jerry