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Re: Trigger languages

From:R A Brown <ray@...>
Date:Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 8:10
Carsten Becker wrote:
> Matahaniya ang R A Brown <ray@...>: > >> If (a) is intended, read David's comments from "The >> notion of the 'trigger' language, then, is something >> exclusive to conlangs" onwards; also take a look at >> Carsten's Ayeri conlang. >> > > The thing that goes on in Ayeri has grown out of the same > misunderstanding as in the article in the Wikibook.
Yes, I know - but it is nevertheless surely a worked example of a "trigger conlang." I wrote that I agree with David's comments; therefore I agree that" [quote} The notion of the "trigger" language, then, is something exclusive to conlangs. For example, one could create a language like the following: Verb: maka "eat" Subject Trigger: makana Object Trigger: makasi Indirect Object Trigger: makalo Genitive Trigger: makava Adessive Trigger: makawe Allative Trigger: makatu Abessive Trigger: makaje Ablative Trigger: makazo Inessive Trigger: makapi Illative Trigger: makaha Etc. {/quote} The trigger in such languages is, of course, the semantic role of the subject and the different verb forms are triggered by that role. David also wrote: "I don't mean to suggest that the trigger conlang is a bad thing (as I said, I have one myself), only that it isn't necessarily a representation of something that's naturally occurring." I agree. A "trigger conlang" is not a bad thing, nor is Ayeri flawed in any way because it may have developed out of a misunderstanding. I feel certain that features in some auxlangs, for example, arose from misunderstanding of natlang features (but I must tread carefully here ;)
> I forgot my handle > there, so please delete that anyone who has access, because it's kind of > inaccurate AIUI now. Instead I think it's better to refer to the > Wikipedia article on "Austronesian alignment", that is, >
I agree, it's better. But I have reservations with that article. I would have preferred more actual examples; nor am I convinced that the analysis given is complete. Paz Buenaventura Naylor's paper "Nominal Syntax in Verbal Predications" offers a rather different analysis of the Austronesian verb (unfortunately I can't find a copy of this on the Internet). [snip]
> Also, as far as Describing Morphosyntax goes, > "trigger morphology" is classified as an applicative *voice* -- not as a > special syntactic alignment as such! -- which, I think, suits the whole > thing better.
So do I. Indeed, I think the term "trigger morphology" is unhelpful. Morphological forms are triggered all the time in very many languages, particularly where there is any system of 'agreement'. In languages with case systems, often different adpositions trigger the use of one case or another etc, etc.
> I'm sorry for having provided misleading information > before, but actually it has been explained that way on Conlang-L before > (!).
...and it has been explained in other ways on threads in Conlang-L as well; see for example: :) -- Ray ================================== ================================== Frustra fit per plura quod potest fieri per pauciora. [William of Ockham]


ROGER MILLS <rfmilly@...>