Monday, February 20, 2012

Questions and Negation

In fĺuðét questions and negations are shown with one suffix, and a couple of modifications of it. Below are the most irregular words and the most regular word.

-ji/-ju (see table below for full explanation)

Not all of the question words are listed above, this is because fĺuðét does not have special words for those, but instead uses “which”. “Which” can be attached to a number of different things to show different types of questions, and negations. The forms ji and ju ds not do all of the work though; they have two other forms used for negation shown in the table below.


The “statement” column is mostly for negation. The “question” column is used to ask questions. A question with -ju would be “is it not?” (There should be no expecting the affirmative that there is in English though), and a question with -ji is just “is it?”. ði and ðu can also be used as “yes” and “no” respectively. To make questions with “where?”, “how?” and “which cow?” one must use -ji and -ju and attach them to the noun that they are asking about, so “where?” would be ślot “place” + -ji or śloji; “how” can mean various different things, but for the “how” that means “by what means?” or “in what way?” one would use fĺtéþ “method” + -ji or fĺtéði; “which cow?” would be pédli “cow” + -ji or pédliji. Of course in any of these words -ji can be replaced with -ju to make it a negative question.
Another aspect of questions and negation is that multiple parts of speech can be questioned and negated simultaneously. So this also leads to the fact that if anything can be negated, then some things probably need to be negated. What I mean by this is if you’re trying to say “The cow did not want to eat the grass” where there is emphasis on the point that it’s the grass that the cow does not want to eat, then you would negate the “grass”, but you’re also saying that the cow didn’t want to do the verb (“eat” in this case) either, so you have to negate it too; it is essentially a double negative. A multi-question (if you will) is where you’re asking about two or more things at once. It’s like the English: “Who did what?”, except it is more widely accepted and used.
Almost any word can be negated, or asked about. For most things (i.e. nouns, adjectives, adverbs [other than tense]) the appropriate suffix is merely attached to the end of the subject in question (no pun intended), but for verbs the suffix is isolated and placed immediately after the tense marking.
I have begun work on the “first language” of Dunta. I put “first language” in quotes, because the language probably has a couple hundred years worth of predecessors, but this is the first, fully fledged language with a complex grammar. It is almost entirely isolating, and most of the grammatical words are still used as a more concrete form elsewhere. A simple sentence can only be intransitive; to make it the equivalent of transitive sentence, one must add another clause with the same verb as the first clause in the passive voice with the object as the subject. So, to say “I eat the cow” one would have to say something like “I eat; the cow is eaten”. I made it this way, because it seems like the first language’s predecessors would not express anything, but simple intransitive sentences, and this would be the logical step towards transitivity. I think the passive voice in this language will be a simpler form than in English, but I have just started this language and have not worked everything out yet.
I would love any input on what you think a first (or almost first) language would look like in its phonology, its morphology, and I’m very curious what you think the word order should be (at this point I’ve decided SAOP [where A=Active of verb, and P=Passive of verb], but if you have a convincing argument otherwise I would love to hear it.

No comments:

Post a Comment