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Re: Related to the recent discussion about counting the number of possible English sentences

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  • Leonardo Castro
    ... I thought standard German did this: aren t Was ist das? and Das Auto. standard German? ... My conlang doesn t distinguish pronouns by gender: it ,
    Message 1 of 42 , Mar 1, 2013
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      2013/3/1 Alex Fink <000024@...>:
      > On Fri, 1 Mar 2013 08:21:06 -0300, Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...> wrote:
      >>2013/2/28 Matthew George <matt.msg@...>:
      >>> I suppose definite/indefinite gets a lot of use in English precisely
      >>> because it's simple and available. Plus, there are many situations where
      >>> it can't be omitted formally.
      >>I've considering using the same word for "it" and the definite article
      >>in my conlang.
      >>"The dog wants the bone." -> "It dog wants it bone."
      >>The only problem I see is that "it" could refer to an undefined object,
      >>"The dog gnaws a bone and don't want to drop it.".
      > That's completely the opposite of a problem, as I see it! It's a natural unification of the functions: "it" just means 'that thing we're talking about, or that thing that's salient'; if you want to give the hearer a bit more of a hint, supply a noun after "it"; if not, fine. I mean, pronouns and articles both tend to derive from demonstratives, which at least for English-speakers it's less surprising that take identical forms whether modifying a noun or standing alone. "My dog wants that (bone)."
      > And there are ANADEWs: e.g. nonstandard German does this, doesn't it?

      I thought standard German did this: aren't "Was ist das?" and "Das
      Auto." standard German?

      > Do you select "it" by contrast to other gender forms of the pronouns? The most natural thing to do would be to make gender behave the same way in pronoun and article function, IMO.

      My conlang doesn't distinguish pronouns by gender: "it", "he" and
      "she" are all written as "liai".
    • Leonardo Castro
      ... In Portuguese, the object pronouns have exactly the same form of the definite articles: o, a, os, as . But sometimes the object pronouns can be written
      Message 42 of 42 , Mar 2, 2013
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        2013/3/2 Roger Mills <romiltz@...>:
        > --- On Fri, 3/1/13, MorphemeAddict <lytlesw@...> wrote:
        >> In Spanish, the masculine definite article is identical to the nominative
        >> of the masculine pronoun (though in writing, the pronoun is spelled with an
        >> acute accent to disambiguate).
        > Only in the singular: el libro (the book) vs. él (he). In the plural it's
        > "los libros" (the books) vs. ellos (they [m or mixed]).
        > stevo
        > Also, I believe the pronominal forms _lo_
        >> and _la_ (object forms of some kind -- often cliticised to the verb) are
        >> also used as a kind of article, though I'm not sure what to call it.
        > ================================================
        > lo is the masc. object pronoun; la of course is the fem. def. art and also the object pronoun (plural ellas, las parallel with ellos, los.)
        > lo is also used to form "neuter" nouns < adjectives, but with a special meaning-- lo bueno can be just "the good", but more often I think means 'the good thing is....' or 'the good part is...' I'm not sure you can use it with every adjective

        In Portuguese, the object pronouns have exactly the same form of the
        definite articles: "o, a, os, as" . But sometimes the object pronouns
        can be written as "lo, la, los, las / no, na, nos, nas" for
        phonotactics reasons.
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