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Re: Mood and author opinion

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  • Adam Walker
    ... That is pretty cool. Gravgaln has three levels of both affirmation and negation (not/definitely not/absolutely not you fool!) (yes/oh yes/you bet your
    Message 1 of 16 , Jun 28, 2013
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      On Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 7:01 PM, Jyri Lehtinen <lehtinen.jyri@...>wrote:

      > At least Yukaghir extends this system by having a special affirmative affix
      > that has similar morphology than the negative affix and that contrasts with
      > the unmarked "non-negative" verb forms. While the unmarked forms simply
      > indicate non-contrastive declarations, or inferences if evidential
      > morphology is present, the marked affirmative forms place contrastive focus
      > on the verb or the whole clause. So in a sentence like
      >
      > "I got a lot to do for today, but managed to finish it all."
      >
      > you'd likely leave "got" in the first clause unmarked for polarity but mark
      > "managed" in the second clause with the affirmative affix to highlight the
      > contrast between the information contents of the two clauses.
      >
      > -Jyri
      >


      That is pretty cool. Gravgaln has three levels of both affirmation and
      negation (not/definitely not/absolutely not you fool!) (yes/oh yes/you bet
      your sweet bippy!) But they don't accomplish this very cool trick. I
      wonder....

      Adam
    • Alex Fink
      ... Responding to Padraic s confusion, Leonardo s author is what s more usually framed as speaker (primacy of speech, wahey), that is, the person being
      Message 2 of 16 , Jun 28, 2013
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        On Fri, 28 Jun 2013 09:11:18 -0300, Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...> wrote:

        >It seems that the ideas of "may", "will hardly", "must", "not", etc.,
        >are logically equivalent to "the author <verb>".

        Responding to Padraic's confusion, Leonardo's "author" is what's more usually framed as "speaker" (primacy of speech, wahey), that is, the person being deictically referred to by the first person singular.

        >Naturally, instead of
        >explicitly writing "the author", the verb could simply receive a
        >particular form to mean that it's an opinion of the author or a fact
        >that doesn't depend on the text character's opinions. Apparently,
        >English can do this with adverbs:
        [...]
        >Do any nat or conlangs express this type of ideas by means of a
        >specific conjugation of verbs such as "guess", "believe", "deny",
        >"affirms", etc., instead of using "might", "probably", "not", "yes",
        >etc.?

        Identifying these two sorts of phenomena, or at least considering doing so, seems to be the sort of thing that Sai and I have a habit of doing.
        In the gripping language, the resulting system was the so-called ascriptors, which are a lot like evidentials and modals and the lot with a source-of-information argument, which in mòst cases defaults to the speaker. They are the default thing used to render many of what in English are verbs taking a clause argument, but their syntax marks them as clearly nonverbal: in the sentences below they come in first position. Thus we could have e.g.
        deduction rain "it must (therefore) be raining"
        deduction Harry rain "Harry deduces that it's raining"
        assumption rain "let's say it's raining"
        assumption Harry rain "Harry assumes that it's raining"
        sight rain "it appears (visibly) to be raining"
        sight Harry rain "Harry sees that it's raining"
        hearsay.distrusted rain "it's said to be raining (but I don't believe it)" -- note this one is nòt speaker default
        hearsay.distrusted Harry rain "Harry says it's raining (but I don't trust him)"
        There is also a semantically empty ascriptor, which is used for instance to ascribe subjective judgments to their judger:
        rain scary "rain is scary"
        (empty_ascriptor) rain scary "rain is scary" -- or at least it would be, but since pragma abhors a no-op, this actually has a note of skepticism. never mind that though.
        (empty_ascriptor) Harry rain scary "rain scares Harry"
        Negation is not in this system, though.

        In UNLWS, I suppose the expression of the same principle is that there are two fundamental predicates called "line decorations", namely "S is expected" and "S is good", and their negatives, which are frequently applied to the Davidsonian event argument of some other predicate (e.g. "it is expected that [it will rain]".) If one wants to mention an expector or a valuator, one has to bring in the predicate "X thinks S", and there is a special abbreviatory syntax for nesting that with a line decoration, to build things like "I expect that it will rain" = "I think that [it is expected that [it will rain]]". If one dòesn't mention an expector or a valuator, Sai wants it to default to first person, but I would rather have it default to something more like the reasonable person of legal fiction.
        But we're not consistent in doing modal-like senses like that. For instance there are predicates "X has low / ... / high degree of commitment to Y", and by binding Y to the Davidsonian of "X thinks S" we make "X is uncertain / ... / certain that S"; as a consequence, rendering a disjunct "Certainly" with unspecified deemer isn't as easy as the analogue with line decorations is. And negation is still not in any such system.


        AF-notM-CL, I imagine Lemizh <http://lemizh.conlang.org/> would do something close to this. But I never did get past chapter 4 of the Lemizh documentation, so don't take my word for it. (I shd give it another try one day, now that Anypodetos has put some interlinears in; that was my stumbling block earlier.)

        There was also a conlang of one of the listmembers not too long after I joined, so the mid-2000s, which required, effectively, a verb of speech act in every complete sentence, so most sentences ended with a word meaning the analogue of "I say that"; it might be the sort of language to do this too. But I can't remember enough about it to track it down.


        Also, I annoyed Tom Chappell in the prevolcanic stages of the Kalusa project once when he was proposing such a derivation of... mm, it was of a content (noun? verb?) word meaning "command" from the imperative particle. At the time I absolutely couldn't be convinced of the believability of that; I described it as suggesting the speakers had an absurd level of metalinguistic awareness. (I'm not so unmovable, now -- I suppose we speak of "dos and don'ts" in English, for instance, doing something similar -- but still those are at least vèrbs, and dropping a syntactically sui generis particle into derivational morphology is still weird.)

        Alex, rambling
      • Gleki Arxokuna
        Lojban simply has a predicate like: kanpe = x1 expects event x2 with likelihood x3 (by default likelihood ~=1) carvi sei kanpe = Raining (is expected by
        Message 3 of 16 , Jun 28, 2013
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          Lojban simply has a predicate like:

          kanpe = x1 expects event x2 with likelihood x3 (by default likelihood ~=1)

          carvi sei kanpe = Raining (is expected by someone with the default
          likelihood)

          Of course other options are possible. But this one is probably closest to
          your idea of explicit marking it as verbs.




          On Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 4:11 PM, Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...>wrote:

          > Consider the following sentence groups:
          >
          > "Tom guesses it will rain."
          > "It may rain."
          > "The author guesses it will rain."
          >
          > "Dick doubts it will rain."
          > "It will hardly rain."
          > "The author doubts it will rain."
          >
          > "Harry knows it will rain."
          > "It must rain."
          > "The author knows it will rain."
          >
          > "Harry denies that it's raining."
          > "It's not raining."
          > "The author denies that it's raining."
          >
          > It seems that the ideas of "may", "will hardly", "must", "not", etc.,
          > are logically equivalent to "the author <verb>". Naturally, instead of
          > explicitly writing "the author", the verb could simply receive a
          > particular form to mean that it's an opinion of the author or a fact
          > that doesn't depend on the text character's opinions. Apparently,
          > English can do this with adverbs:
          >
          > "Possibly, it will rain."
          > "Hardly, it will rain."
          > "Probably, it will rain."
          > "Negatively it's raining." (I guess this one is not really said.)
          >
          > Do any nat or conlangs express this type of ideas by means of a
          > specific conjugation of verbs such as "guess", "believe", "deny",
          > "affirms", etc., instead of using "might", "probably", "not", "yes",
          > etc.?
          >
          > Até mais!
          >
          > Leonardo
          >
        • Leonardo Castro
          ... Yes, I meant the author of the sentences . The definition the person being deictically referred to by the first person singular is great! I avoided
          Message 4 of 16 , Jul 1, 2013
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            2013/6/29 Alex Fink <000024@...>:
            > On Fri, 28 Jun 2013 09:11:18 -0300, Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...> wrote:
            >
            >>It seems that the ideas of "may", "will hardly", "must", "not", etc.,
            >>are logically equivalent to "the author <verb>".
            >
            > Responding to Padraic's confusion, Leonardo's "author" is what's more usually framed as "speaker" (primacy of speech, wahey), that is, the person being deictically referred to by the first person singular.

            Yes, I meant "the author of the sentences". The definition "the person
            being deictically referred to by the first person singular" is great!
            I avoided "speaker" because one could be reading someone else's
            speech, and so I don't know who would be considered as the "speaker".

            >>Naturally, instead of
            >>explicitly writing "the author", the verb could simply receive a
            >>particular form to mean that it's an opinion of the author or a fact
            >>that doesn't depend on the text character's opinions. Apparently,
            >>English can do this with adverbs:
            > [...]
            >>Do any nat or conlangs express this type of ideas by means of a
            >>specific conjugation of verbs such as "guess", "believe", "deny",
            >>"affirms", etc., instead of using "might", "probably", "not", "yes",
            >>etc.?
            >
            > Identifying these two sorts of phenomena, or at least considering doing so, seems to be the sort of thing that Sai and I have a habit of doing.
            > In the gripping language, the resulting system was the so-called ascriptors, which are a lot like evidentials and modals and the lot with a source-of-information argument, which in mòst cases defaults to the speaker. They are the default thing used to render many of what in English are verbs taking a clause argument, but their syntax marks them as clearly nonverbal: in the sentences below they come in first position. Thus we could have e.g.
            > deduction rain "it must (therefore) be raining"
            > deduction Harry rain "Harry deduces that it's raining"
            > assumption rain "let's say it's raining"
            > assumption Harry rain "Harry assumes that it's raining"
            > sight rain "it appears (visibly) to be raining"
            > sight Harry rain "Harry sees that it's raining"
            > hearsay.distrusted rain "it's said to be raining (but I don't believe it)" -- note this one is nòt speaker default

            The "but I don't believe it" part is the difference between what I'm
            proposing and how most languages I know work.

            In Portuguese, the expression "{verb}-se que..." after a verb makes
            something similar to "it is {verb}-PP that..." in English. For
            instance, "sabe-se que..." is similar to "it's know that...". It's
            very succinct, so it looks like a "conjugation" associated with the
            the person being deictically referred to by the first person singular.
            But "afirma-se que" (it's affirmed that) and "nega-se que" (it's
            denied that) have the additional idea of "but I don't guarantee what
            is being told", while using "sim" (yes) and "não" (not) gives us the
            idea of undoubtful information, although we know that we are simply
            trusting the person who says that.
          • George Corley
            ... Speaker is a convention -- linguists generally talk about language in terms of speech, since it s generally accepted that speech is primary and writing
            Message 5 of 16 , Jul 1, 2013
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              On Mon, Jul 1, 2013 at 8:27 AM, Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...>wrote:

              > 2013/6/29 Alex Fink <000024@...>:
              > > On Fri, 28 Jun 2013 09:11:18 -0300, Leonardo Castro <
              > leolucas1980@...> wrote:
              > >
              > >>It seems that the ideas of "may", "will hardly", "must", "not", etc.,
              > >>are logically equivalent to "the author <verb>".
              > >
              > > Responding to Padraic's confusion, Leonardo's "author" is what's more
              > usually framed as "speaker" (primacy of speech, wahey), that is, the person
              > being deictically referred to by the first person singular.
              >
              > Yes, I meant "the author of the sentences". The definition "the person
              > being deictically referred to by the first person singular" is great!
              > I avoided "speaker" because one could be reading someone else's
              > speech, and so I don't know who would be considered as the "speaker".


              "Speaker" is a convention -- linguists generally talk about language in
              terms of speech, since it's generally accepted that speech is primary and
              writing is secondary.
            • Padraic Brown
              ... Ordinarily, the speaker is, well, the one speaking ! In this present paragraph, *I* am the speaker. In the paragraph I m responding to, *you* are the
              Message 6 of 16 , Jul 3, 2013
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                > From: Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...>

                >
                > 2013/6/29 Alex Fink <000024@...>:
                >>  On Fri, 28 Jun 2013 09:11:18 -0300, Leonardo Castro
                > <leolucas1980@...> wrote:
                >>
                >>> It seems that the ideas of "may", "will hardly",
                > "must", "not", etc.,
                >>> are logically equivalent to "the author <verb>".
                >>
                >>  Responding to Padraic's confusion, Leonardo's "author" is
                > what's more usually framed as "speaker" (primacy of speech,
                > wahey), that is, the person being deictically referred to by the first person
                > singular.
                >
                > Yes, I meant "the author of the sentences". The definition "the
                > person being deictically referred to by the first person singular" is great!
                > I avoided "speaker" because one could be reading someone else's
                > speech, and so I don't know who would be considered as the
                > "speaker".

                Ordinarily, the "speaker" is, well, the one "speaking"! In this present
                paragraph, *I* am the speaker. In the paragraph I'm responding to, *you*
                are the speaker. In the paragraph you were responding to, *Alex* is the
                speaker. Things only gets a little wonkier in fiction: the author is
                always the underlying speaker, because the words and their context are
                his. (Unless it's a direct quote belonging to someone else, in which case
                *that* is the speaker and the author is merely quoting.)  Above the level of
                author, the character to whom the author has given words to say is the
                in-story speaker.

                "The speaker" isn't always the first person, though. Even a story told in the
                first person might still record speech of other people. Those other people
                would still be the speakers of their own words. Of course, any story narrated
                in second person has *you* as the speaker, even though you never had anything
                to do with the actual writing of the story.


                >>> Naturally, instead of
                >>> explicitly writing "the author", the verb could simply receive  a
                >>> particular form to mean that it's an opinion of the author or a fact
                >>> that doesn't depend on the text character's opinions.  Apparently,
                >>> English can do this with adverbs:
                >
                >>> Do any nat or conlangs express this type of ideas by means of a
                >>> specific conjugation of verbs such as "guess", "believe", "deny",
                >>> "affirms", etc., instead of using "might", "probably", "not", "yes", etc.?

                >

                >>    hearsay.distrusted rain "it's said to be raining (but I don't believe it)"

                >>    -- note this one is nòt speaker default
                >
                > The "but I don't believe it" part is the difference between what I'm
                > proposing and how most languages I know work.
                >
                > In Portuguese, the expression "{verb}-se que..." after a verb makes
                > something similar to "it is {verb}-PP that..." in English. For
                > instance, "sabe-se que..." is similar to "it's know that...".

                Right. Or, "they say that", or "everyone knows that". Belief in what is so commonly
                said or known, at least in English, is conveyed through a wide variety of means. We
                strongly rely on the combination of inflection of tone and body language to convey
                trust or distrust in the information contained in the sentence -- maybe something as
                subtle a slight emphasis and a slight lengthening of an auxiliary verb coupled with the
                raising of an eyebrow is enough to convey the absolutest distrust in whatever it is
                "they sáy..."


                We also use extra-sentential phrases, complete modules that convey ideas abòut
                the ideas contained in the main clauses, but that themselves have no effect on or
                interaction with the grammar of the sentence: "well, I heard on the news last night
                that thus-and-so took place in some-such location..." The phrase "I heard on the
                news last night" isn't really the main verb, and is not really part of the sentence. It
                is an extra module we often tack on to sentences that we want to say and what

                they do is offer our opinion on the validity of the information conveyed. I.e., this
                is an evidential. If inflected one way, it can mean "and I don't believe one word
                of it!" If inflected another way, it can mean "I totally buy into every single word!"

                Other common evidentials of this sort are like the Ptg. ones you give as examples:
                "they say that...", "it is said that...", "everyone knows that..."


                We can also add on auxiliary verbs either in the indicative or subjunctive to indicate
                relative and increasing levels of distrust or ignorance or direct knowledge of a thing.
                For example, "so-and-so is dating so-and-so" speaks of a known fact. "So-and-so
                might be dating so-and-so" speaks of insecurity about the fact. You can further
                distance yourself from knowledge by heaping on deeper layers of disavowal:
                "I've heard that so-and-so might be dating..." to "I might have heard something
                to the effect that so-and-so might possibly be dating..." You get the idea. The more
                of these auxiliary phrases you heap on there, and more subjunctives they contain,
                the more unsure you are of the fact!


                Again, all this strikes me very much as evidentiality. It just seems to boil down to a
                question of how it gets accomplished. I don't think any of this is "logically equivalent"
                to the speaker, because evidentiality itself is not the speaker. Evidentiality is the
                speaker's perspective or opinion on the nature of the action spoken of. I also think
                the answer to your question, "Do any nat or conlangs express this type of ideas by
                means of a specific conjugation of verbs such as "guess", "believe", "deny",  "affirms",
                etc., instead of using "might", "probably", "not", "yes", etc.?" must be *yes*. The use
                of modals like "might" and "may" and so forth in English (as adjuncts to a main verb)
                answer that question for us! I think it's also pretty clear that there is a lot of overlap
                of these two areas: modals don't always imply that an evidential statement is in play;
                the lack of a modal doesn't mean that an evidential statement is not in play.


                > It's very succinct, so it looks like a "conjugation" associated with the
                > the person being deictically referred to by the first person singular.
                > But "afirma-se que" (it's affirmed that) and "nega-se
                > que" (it's denied that) have the additional idea of "but I don't guarantee what
                > is being told", while using "sim" (yes) and "não" (not)
                > gives us the idea of undoubtful information, although we know that we are simply
                > trusting the person who says that.


                Right. I don't see any "conjugation" here that specifically refers to the speaker.
                What's referring to the speaker is his perspective on whatever is being confirmed
                or denied. In other words, the speaker is neither confirming (afirmo) nor negating
                (nego), but rather is opining on what some amorphous group of other people -- the
                proverbial "they" -- have supposedly confirmed or denied. Indeed "yes" and "no" and
                direct affirmation of the "I affirm that" or "I deny that" sort indicate the most trustworthy
                of evidentials: the speaker himself has direct knowledge of what he is talking about!


                Padraic
              • H. S. Teoh
                On Wed, Jul 03, 2013 at 10:10:07AM -0700, Padraic Brown wrote: [...] ... This reminds me of a funny anecdote... when I was back in 13th grade (back in those
                Message 7 of 16 , Jul 3, 2013
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                  On Wed, Jul 03, 2013 at 10:10:07AM -0700, Padraic Brown wrote:
                  [...]
                  > Ordinarily, the "speaker" is, well, the one "speaking"! In this
                  > present paragraph, *I* am the speaker. In the paragraph I'm responding
                  > to, *you* are the speaker. In the paragraph you were responding to,
                  > *Alex* is the speaker. Things only gets a little wonkier in fiction:
                  > the author is always the underlying speaker, because the words and
                  > their context are his. (Unless it's a direct quote belonging to
                  > someone else, in which case *that* is the speaker and the author is
                  > merely quoting.)  Above the level of author, the character to whom the
                  > author has given words to say is the in-story speaker.
                  >
                  > "The speaker" isn't always the first person, though. Even a story told
                  > in the first person might still record speech of other people. Those
                  > other people would still be the speakers of their own words. Of
                  > course, any story narrated in second person has *you* as the speaker,
                  > even though you never had anything to do with the actual writing of
                  > the story.

                  This reminds me of a funny anecdote... when I was back in 13th grade
                  (back in those days when Ontario had such a thing), my English teacher
                  once stated in class that while a story could be written in the 3rd
                  person or the 1st person, it was impossible to write a story in the 2nd
                  person. Such a claim, of course, provoked me to prove her wrong, so I
                  set out to write exactly such a story. I've since lost the manuscript,
                  but it went something like this:

                  "You are standing at the bank machine, and there is a long line of
                  people waiting behind you. You fumble for your wallet, fighting against
                  the loose thread from your pants that has conveniently decided to get
                  entangled with your wallet just on this very occasion. After an
                  embarrassingly long struggle, you manage to dislodge the wallet, and
                  reach for your bank card. But wait... where is it? There are too many
                  cards in your wallet, stuffed in way too many different compartments,
                  some obvious, some quite hidden, that you simply couldn't find it! You
                  feel the impatience grow palpably behind you, especially from the
                  weight-challenged person next in line behind you, who has begun panting
                  like an angry bear... "

                  The point was about the proliferation of plastic cards that one has to
                  carry around these days -- credit cards, bank cards, driver's license,
                  health care card, insurance card, SIN card, etc., etc., such that it was
                  almost impossible to find the right one on the right occasion. At the
                  end the ... um ... reader? (don't you love 2nd person narratives? :-P)
                  makes a big fool of himself by spilling all his loose change and loose
                  bits of paper on the floor, proceeds to pick everything up, then forgets
                  his PIN due to his increasing embarrassment and frustration while the
                  crowd behind him gets positively furious.

                  The teacher remarked that it was hilariously dramatic, but sadly, she
                  didn't seem to have noticed that it was a story in 2nd person, contrary
                  to her claim that such a thing was impossible! :-P


                  [...]
                  > Right. Or, "they say that", or "everyone knows that". Belief in what
                  > is so commonly said or known, at least in English, is conveyed through
                  > a wide variety of means. We strongly rely on the combination of
                  > inflection of tone and body language to convey trust or distrust in
                  > the information contained in the sentence -- maybe something as subtle
                  > a slight emphasis and a slight lengthening of an auxiliary verb
                  > coupled with the raising of an eyebrow is enough to convey the
                  > absolutest distrust in whatever it is "they sáy..."

                  Such things tend to be peculiar to regional dialects, too. Sometimes
                  that leads to embarrassing misunderstandings. :-P This happens
                  especially when mock-seriousness in used in a sarcastic way; outsiders
                  may miss the subtle sarcasm cues, and interpret it at face-value.


                  > We also use extra-sentential phrases, complete modules that convey
                  > ideas abòut the ideas contained in the main clauses, but that
                  > themselves have no effect on or interaction with the grammar of the
                  > sentence: "well, I heard on the news last night that thus-and-so took
                  > place in some-such location..." The phrase "I heard on the news last
                  > night" isn't really the main verb, and is not really part of the
                  > sentence. It is an extra module we often tack on to sentences that we
                  > want to say and what they do is offer our opinion on the validity of
                  > the information conveyed. I.e., this is an evidential. If inflected
                  > one way, it can mean "and I don't believe one word of it!" If
                  > inflected another way, it can mean "I totally buy into every single
                  > word!"

                  The word "apparently" can also be used as an evidential, which can shift
                  depending on how you intone it. "She apparently said that to her
                  boyfriend", or "appárently, eating fat-free diets is linked to cancer"
                  (depending on how the latter is intoned, it could mean incredulity or
                  tentative possibility).


                  > Other common evidentials of this sort are like the Ptg. ones you give
                  > as examples: "they say that...", "it is said that...", "everyone knows
                  > that..."

                  Other variations: "they claim that ...", "they think that ...", "he's
                  convinced that ...", "who dóesn't know that ... ?!", "it's true that
                  ...", "I'm pretty sure that ...", "I totally think that ...".

                  Funny how a change in person may negate the sense of an evidential, e.g.
                  "I totally think that ..." (total belief) vs. "she totally thinks that
                  ..." (disbelief, or belief, depending on context/intonation/relationship
                  to said person).


                  > We can also add on auxiliary verbs either in the indicative or
                  > subjunctive to indicate relative and increasing levels of distrust or
                  > ignorance or direct knowledge of a thing. For example, "so-and-so is
                  > dating so-and-so" speaks of a known fact. "So-and-so might be dating
                  > so-and-so" speaks of insecurity about the fact. You can further
                  > distance yourself from knowledge by heaping on deeper layers of
                  > disavowal: "I've heard that so-and-so might be dating..." to "I might
                  > have heard something to the effect that so-and-so might possibly be
                  > dating..." You get the idea. The more of these auxiliary phrases you
                  > heap on there, and more subjunctives they contain, the more unsure you
                  > are of the fact!
                  [...]

                  OTOH, one can indicate undisclosed source by "A little bird told me that
                  ...". Conceivably, a conlang (or natlang!) can convey this via a
                  grammatical particle / morpheme rather that such periphrases, e.g.,
                  morpheme X indicates strong confidence from an undisclosed source.


                  T

                  --
                  Never trust an operating system you don't have source for! -- Martin Schulze
                • Leonardo Castro
                  ... It occurs to me that if there was a narrator pronoun in some language, it could unify not and deny , yes and affirm , may and guess , but it
                  Message 8 of 16 , Jul 4, 2013
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                    2013/7/3 Padraic Brown <elemtilas@...>:
                    >
                    >> On Fri, 28 Jun 2013 09:11:18 -0300, Leonardo Castro
                    >> <leolucas1980@...> wrote:
                    >> It's very succinct, so it looks like a "conjugation" associated with the
                    >> the person being deictically referred to by the first person singular.
                    >> But "afirma-se que" (it's affirmed that) and "nega-se
                    >> que" (it's denied that) have the additional idea of "but I don't guarantee what
                    >> is being told", while using "sim" (yes) and "não" (not)
                    >> gives us the idea of undoubtful information, although we know that we are simply
                    >> trusting the person who says that.
                    >
                    >
                    > Right. I don't see any "conjugation" here that specifically refers to the speaker.

                    It occurs to me that if there was a "narrator pronoun" in some
                    language, it could unify "not" and "deny", "yes" and "affirm", "may"
                    and "guess", but it would sound very unnatural or philosophically
                    sophisticated.

                    Isn't "narrator" a better word than "speaker" for the person we're
                    talking about?

                    2013/7/3 H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>:
                    > On Wed, Jul 03, 2013 at 10:10:07AM -0700, Padraic Brown wrote:
                    > [...]
                    >> Ordinarily, the "speaker" is, well, the one "speaking"! In this
                    >> present paragraph, *I* am the speaker. In the paragraph I'm responding
                    >> to, *you* are the speaker. In the paragraph you were responding to,
                    >> *Alex* is the speaker. Things only gets a little wonkier in fiction:
                    >> the author is always the underlying speaker, because the words and
                    >> their context are his. (Unless it's a direct quote belonging to
                    >> someone else, in which case *that* is the speaker and the author is
                    >> merely quoting.) Above the level of author, the character to whom the
                    >> author has given words to say is the in-story speaker.
                    >>
                    >> "The speaker" isn't always the first person, though. Even a story told
                    >> in the first person might still record speech of other people. Those
                    >> other people would still be the speakers of their own words. Of
                    >> course, any story narrated in second person has *you* as the speaker,
                    >> even though you never had anything to do with the actual writing of
                    >> the story.
                    >
                    > This reminds me of a funny anecdote... when I was back in 13th grade
                    > (back in those days when Ontario had such a thing), my English teacher
                    > once stated in class that while a story could be written in the 3rd
                    > person or the 1st person, it was impossible to write a story in the 2nd
                    > person.

                    That's how choose-the-ending kids books are written. Take a look:
                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choose_Your_Own_Adventure
                  • George Corley
                    ... I don t fully understand how a narrator pronoun would be any different in use than a normal first person pronoun. ... As I said upthread, it s just a
                    Message 9 of 16 , Jul 4, 2013
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                      On Thu, Jul 4, 2013 at 7:47 AM, Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...>wrote:

                      > 2013/7/3 Padraic Brown <elemtilas@...>:
                      > >
                      > >> On Fri, 28 Jun 2013 09:11:18 -0300, Leonardo Castro
                      > >> <leolucas1980@...> wrote:
                      > >> It's very succinct, so it looks like a "conjugation" associated with the
                      > >> the person being deictically referred to by the first person singular.
                      > >> But "afirma-se que" (it's affirmed that) and "nega-se
                      > >> que" (it's denied that) have the additional idea of "but I don't
                      > guarantee what
                      > >> is being told", while using "sim" (yes) and "não" (not)
                      > >> gives us the idea of undoubtful information, although we know that we
                      > are simply
                      > >> trusting the person who says that.
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Right. I don't see any "conjugation" here that specifically refers to
                      > the speaker.
                      >
                      > It occurs to me that if there was a "narrator pronoun" in some
                      > language, it could unify "not" and "deny", "yes" and "affirm", "may"
                      > and "guess", but it would sound very unnatural or philosophically
                      > sophisticated.
                      >

                      I don't fully understand how a "narrator pronoun" would be any different in
                      use than a normal first person pronoun.


                      > Isn't "narrator" a better word than "speaker" for the person we're
                      > talking about?
                      >

                      As I said upthread, it's just a convention. It's possible that it's not
                      inclusive enough (sign language "speakers" don't actually speak, for
                      instance), or has other issues, but it's what people tend to use.


                      > 2013/7/3 H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>:
                      > >
                      > > This reminds me of a funny anecdote... when I was back in 13th grade
                      > > (back in those days when Ontario had such a thing), my English teacher
                      > > once stated in class that while a story could be written in the 3rd
                      > > person or the 1st person, it was impossible to write a story in the 2nd
                      > > person.
                      >
                      > That's how choose-the-ending kids books are written. Take a look:
                      > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choose_Your_Own_Adventure
                      >

                      Yeah, Choose Your Own Adventure books are the only genre I know that
                      regularly uses second person narration. When other genres use it, it's
                      usually as a gimmick in some small section.
                    • Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets
                      ... Zompist s Mark Rosenfelder s _Against Peace and Freedom_ ( http://www.zompist.com/apaf.html) is written entirely in the 2nd person, and it s surprisingly
                      Message 10 of 16 , Jul 4, 2013
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                        On 4 July 2013 16:59, George Corley <gacorley@...> wrote:

                        >
                        > Yeah, Choose Your Own Adventure books are the only genre I know that
                        > regularly uses second person narration. When other genres use it, it's
                        > usually as a gimmick in some small section.
                        >

                        Zompist's Mark Rosenfelder's _Against Peace and Freedom_ (
                        http://www.zompist.com/apaf.html) is written entirely in the 2nd person,
                        and it's surprisingly readable and entertaining. He even manages to
                        completely avoid assigning a gender to this 2nd person protagonist (or even
                        a sexual orientation), *despite including a sex scene* :P. It has to be
                        read to be believed :P.
                        --
                        Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets.

                        http://christophoronomicon.blogspot.com/
                        http://www.christophoronomicon.nl/
                      • Padraic Brown
                        ...   ...   I m not sure I follow... How does a narratory pronoun unify those words? I m also not so sure I d actually wánt a narratory pronoun ---
                        Message 11 of 16 , Jul 4, 2013
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                          > From: Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...>
                           >
                          > 2013/7/3 Padraic Brown <elemtilas@...>:
                          >>
                          >>>   On Fri, 28 Jun 2013 09:11:18 -0300, Leonardo Castro
                          >>> <leolucas1980@...> wrote:
                          >>> It's very succinct, so it looks like a "conjugation"
                          > associated with the
                          >>> the person being deictically referred to by the first person singular.
                          >>> But "afirma-se que" (it's affirmed that) and
                          > "nega-se
                          >>> que" (it's denied that) have the additional idea of "but
                          > I don't guarantee what
                          >>> is being told", while using "sim" (yes) and
                          > "não" (not)
                          >>> gives us the idea of undoubtful information, although we know that we
                          > are simply
                          >>> trusting the person who says that.
                          >>
                          >>
                          >> Right. I don't see any "conjugation" here that specifically
                          > refers to the speaker.
                          >
                          > It occurs to me that if there was a "narrator pronoun" in some
                          > language, it could unify "not" and "deny", "yes"
                          > and "affirm", "may"
                          > and "guess", but it would sound very unnatural or philosophically
                          > sophisticated.
                           
                          I'm not sure I follow... How does a narratory pronoun "unify" those words?
                          I'm also not so sure I'd actually wánt a narratory pronoun --- if Narrator
                          and Speaker are the same person, there's no need. If Narrator is external
                          to the story, there is also no need, because he takes no part in the action
                          and only rarely injects his own opinions on the action. (Indeed, I have written
                          stories where Narrator speaks on his own behalf, offering some opinion on
                          this or that. I'd rather not overdo it, because of the risk of letting the story
                          become about Narrator rather than about the people in the story.) I didn't
                          need a special pronoun; I just used ordinary conventions to alert the Reader
                          that what he's reading is now not part of the plot. I placed the aside into a
                          foot note and used a more direct, conversational / conspiratorial tone, as if
                          Narrator had just set the book down for a moment of extemp conversation
                          with his interlocutor. Aside done, Narrator simply picks the book up again
                          and continues with the story.
                           
                          I could see devising such a combined pronoun if, for example, the conventions
                          of typography did not have any quotation marks. In most (all?) real world
                          languages, quotation marks are used to denote direct speech, and thus Speaker
                          is made explicit and is also differentiated from Narrator. If we get rid of the
                          quotation marks, it might indeed be helpful for there to be some way of
                          distinguishing those roles.
                           
                          > Isn't "narrator" a better word than "speaker" for the
                          > person we're talking about?
                           
                          Perhaps. If Narrator and Speaker are the same person! Indeed, the story
                          can be narrated by one of the characters (typical of first person stories),
                          or by an external / dispassionate / omniscient narrator (third person), or
                          even by Reader (second person). In the cases of the first and third,
                          Narrator and Speaker are (or may be) the same. We just have to keep in mind
                          that the "speaker" can change at any given time, depending upon who in
                          the story is actually talking! If the narration is first person, but someone
                          else is talking, then that character is Speaker, but not Narrator.
                           
                          >
                          > 2013/7/3 H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>:
                          >>  my English teacher  once stated in class that while a story could be
                          >> written in the 3rd  person or the 1st person, it was impossible to write a
                          >> story in the 2nd  person.
                          >
                          > That's how choose-the-ending kids books are written. Take a look:
                          > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choose_Your_Own_Adventure

                          Quite so.
                           
                          Padraic
                        • taliesin the storyteller
                          ... Charles Stross has (so far) written two books in the same setting that are entirely in 2nd person, Halting State and Rule 34 . IIRC it s not *the same*
                          Message 12 of 16 , Jul 5, 2013
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                            On 07/04/2013 05:19 PM, Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets wrote:
                            > On 4 July 2013 16:59, George Corley <gacorley@...> wrote:
                            >> Yeah, Choose Your Own Adventure books are the only genre I know that
                            >> regularly uses second person narration. When other genres use it, it's
                            >> usually as a gimmick in some small section.
                            >
                            > Zompist's Mark Rosenfelder's _Against Peace and Freedom_ (
                            > http://www.zompist.com/apaf.html) is written entirely in the 2nd person,
                            > and it's surprisingly readable and entertaining.

                            Charles Stross has (so far) written two books in the same setting that
                            are entirely in 2nd person, "Halting State" and "Rule 34". IIRC it's not
                            *the same* second person throughout the books though! The only character
                            that is the same in both books is a police detective.


                            t.
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