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183481Re: Further info on tense marking for nouns

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  • R A Brown
    Oct 13, 2011
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      On 12/10/2011 19:44, Anthony Miles wrote:
      > Here's a smaller, but English-language resource for Old
      > Tupi: http://www.unilang.org/course.php?res=82
      > You might want to cross-reference.
      > South Efate also marks tense on nouns:
      > http://linguistics.unimelb.edu.au/thieberger/vanlangs/EFATE.HTM


      The links you found earlier were very interesting. As far
      as I can see, the majority of examples showed nominal tense
      to be basically what I've understood it to be, i.e. its
      scope extends over the noun phrase, not over the whole
      clause (or sentence), i.e. house.PAST = something that was a
      house, a ruin, etc.

      The only example I have found of noun tense being the tense
      of the whole clause is from Australian language 'Pitta
      pitta' (aka Bidhabidha _or_ Bida-bida):

      Ngamari-ngu ngunytyi ngali-ku
      mother-NOM.FUT give we.DU-ACC.FUT.

      mangarni-marru-ngs-ku kathi-ku
      bone-having-GEN-ACC.FUT meat-ACC.FUT

      "Mother will give us the doctor's meat."

      Here the verb is unmarked for tense, and all the nouns are
      marked 'future.' This is more or less what John Erikson
      suggested in his email of 24th Sept.

      But, Pitta pitta being a natlang, things are clearly not so
      simple because in the same article we had an example of the
      same sentence in the past tense:

      Ngamari-lu ngunytyi-ka ngali-nha
      mother-ERG give-PAST we.DU-ACC.

      mangarni-marru-ngs-nha kathi-ku
      bone-having-GEN-ACC meat-ACC

      "Mother gave us the doctor's meat."

      Here the nouns are unmarked for tense, the past tense being
      marked on the verb. Also the agent is expressed by the
      ergative, not the nominative case. One would like to know
      more, but the article gives no more details.

      On 12/10/2011 22:48, Adam Walker wrote:
      > On Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 4:33 PM, Charles W Brickner
      > wrote:
      >> -----Original Message----- From: Constructed Languages
      >> List On Behalf Of Adam Walker Sent: Wednesday,
      >> October 12, 2011 3:11 PM

      >> includes the repeated line "Adonai melech. Adonai
      >> malach. Adonai yimloch."

      >> If I remember my Hebrew correctly from the seminary at
      >> Catholic U. this is what we have:
      >> Adonai (is) king. No copula necessary.
      >> Adonai reigned. The perfect of malak, to reign.
      >> Adonai will reign. The imperfect of malak.

      Dominus regnat. Dominus regnabit. Dominus regnavit.

      > So is there any reason it couldn't be reinterpreted as
      > kings/kang/will king (couldn't resist making it a strong
      > verb) making it a tense marked noun? Or rather, and
      > more on topic, is there any reason why it couldn't be
      > evolved in just such a way for conlanging purposes.

      No reason for _conlanging_ purposes. One of things about
      conlangs is that we can re-interpret features of natlangs
      and try out our re-interpretations and see how they run.

      I mean, as for as conlanging goes, you could re-interpret
      the Latin "regnat, regnabit, regnavit" as three nouns with
      tense makings and develop a conlang accordingly. But, of
      course, it does not effect one whit the fact that the actual
      Latin words are verbs.

      Similarly a re-interpretation of the Hebrew will not make
      any difference to Hebrew grammar, but it could serve as a
      basis for a conlang.

      On 12/10/2011 23:48, Adam Walker wrote:
      > David melech. David kings.
      > Davad malach. David kang.
      > Yidvod yimloch. David will king.
      > Now do you have three sentences composed entirely of
      > tense-marked nouns, or three sentences composed entirely
      > of verbs -- some of which are proper names?

      I don't see how being both verbs will work, unless we have
      parataxis, then we'd have six verbs without marked subject.
      If we assume, as Latin and Romancelangs except French, that
      the 'subject is in the verb, we'd have:
      He davids; he kings.
      He davided; he kang.
      He will david; he will king.

      The last must surely mean that he is not yet called David!

      > Either way it's weird, but why couldn't it work?

      As the example from Pitta pitta showed, it could work for
      nouns - but I don't see how it's going to work out if they
      are all considered to be verbs.

      In any case, I thought the original idea was to retain
      verbs, but not mark them for tense, leaving tense marking to
      nouns. The examples above are all sentences which either
      use a copula or, in many languages, no verb.

      Nid rhy hen neb i ddysgu.
      There's none too old to learn.
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