eodrakken wrote:This is great information to have, and I think I do understand what he means. "Gu(li)" seems to be a separator between two concepts, to show that they're not to be seen all as one. Blue+green, not bluegreen. It also seems that Newari explicitly marks several degrees of oneness between two concepts.
I'll probably incorporate this into a conlang sometime. It never ceases to amaze me how many things are clearly marked in natural languages, that we English-speakers communicate only as implication and poetry. I still remember how stunned I was the first time I was told about grammaticalised politeness in Japanese.
If you think that's interesting, there are some other papers by the same author you might like. (Some of them are a little hard to understand, but nothing too bad.)
On the particular matter of things marked in natural languages which aren't in English, you might enjoy this thing on inverse marking:http://www.uoregon.edu/~delancey/papers/inverse.html
(this is a rough draft, and you're not supposed to cite it without permission, but I'd imagine he was thinking of linguistics journals rather than conlang forums)
Scott Delancey wrote:Direct-inverse marking, like dative-subject marking, ergativity,
active-stative typology, and evidentiality before it, is an
exotic typological pattern which, once recognized, turns out to
be far more common than anyone ever suspected.
The characteristic features of a classic inverse system are
hierarchical indexation and inverse marking. Hierarchical
agreement is, prototypically, agreement with an SAP in preference
to a 3rd person argument, regardless of grammatical role, though
many languages show various idiosyncratic complications of this
general pattern. Inverse marking is a special morphological mark
on the verb in the 31 and 32 configurations; some languages may
also apply the same mark to 3Obv3Prox and/or to one of the 12 or
That extract doesn't make it very clear, and the paper itself is rather technical. But it's a very interesting feature. See what you can make of it.
More generally, his work on core case roles and grammaticalization is interesting (and tends to be more readable). Both feature in the lectures from his course on functional syntax, which I really recommend to conlangers. Most of his stuff online can be reached from his homepage, here