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Re: Something for we to discuss!

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  • C. Brickner
    ... In expressions like for me to do , do you use me or I in your conlangs? (If it distinguish them.) Leonardo Senjecas requires an adjectival clause in
    Message 1 of 63 , Jul 5, 2013
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      ----- Original Message -----
      In expressions like "for me to do", do you use "me" or "I" in your
      conlangs? (If it distinguish them.)

      Leonardo

      Senjecas requires an adjectival clause in this sentence, rather than a dependent infinitive.

      I have something for you to do.
      (mus)—nu tus nom kı̋a—sémom űda:
      (I)—that you it do—something have

      This is true even if the persons in both clauses are the same, dropping the pronouns.

      I have something to do.
      nu nom kı̋a—sémom űda:
      that it do—something have

      Charlie
    • And Rosta
      ... Aversion to positing items present in sentence syntax but not sentence phonology is widespread, even among grammarians, but I think that aversion has no
      Message 63 of 63 , Oct 6, 2013
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        James Kane, On 06/10/2013 19:55:
        > You do make some valid points about negation and tense, but I'm still
        > very unwilling to accept a _silent_ auxiliary. It's not just that I
        > think it adds words that aren't there but also that it goes from
        > simply saying 'use the bare stem of the verb in subjunctive
        > subclauses' to 'use an inverted auxiliary that then disappears for no
        > apparent reason'.

        Aversion to positing items present in sentence syntax but not sentence phonology is widespread, even among grammarians, but I think that aversion has no rational basis, being merely a kind of instinctual conservatism. If silent words are abundant then an unwillingness to accept a silent auxiliary here would not make much sense. The auxiliary doesn't "disappear for no apparent reason", since it doesn't disappear, but its silence is, like inflection in general, for no apparent reason: its failure to correspond to a chunk of sentence phonology is an arbitrary inflectional fact, like the alternation between _am_ and _are_, or the alternation between auxiliaries HAVE, BE, DO -- in English (and all languages) the inflectional correspondences between bits of sentence syntax and bits of sentence phonology are "without apparent reason".

        > It seems unnecessary and I don't think deductible from the syntax of
        > the sentence.

        Grammatical analysis is abductive rather than deductive; it proceeds by seeking, via leaps of the imagination, the simplest rule set that accounts for the observed facts. (It's kind of like science; I consider it one of the few remaining branches of natural philosophy.)

        > Anyway, here's some interesting usage I heard a friend say to another
        > friend yesterday: 'did you make any friends at law school and they
        > not get in?'. This is freshly picked from real world speech. I can't
        > tell if that [not get] is a subjunctive, or if it's somehow borrowing
        > the [did] from the start of the question, which English often does
        > but seems weird in this instance as 'did you make any friends at law
        > school and did they not get in?' is asking something else.

        That is a wonderful datum! I take it that it is simple coordination:
        Did {[you make any friends at law school] and [they not get in]}
        with the "and" within the scope of the interrogativity, so that, as you observe, the sentence is not synonymous with "Did you make any friends at law school and did they not get in", where the interrogativity is within the scope of the "and". I was thinking a lot about this construction earlier this year; it had seemed to me that, mysteriously, it was not grammatical, and I was racking my brains for an explanation for why on earth it should not be grammatical. Now your splendid datum liberates me from that brain-racking, since it demonstrates that the construction is in fact possible (as my theory so strongly predicted it should be).

        --And.
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