hey maybe you should look up what a chunk of Lakota looks like in practHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA oh lord sorry ... i guess you must have some Intuitions on the matter. Carry on.
I am not sure what you mean here. I was not really asking about Lakota, merely explain to Astraios that he misunderstood what I was asking in the previous post and that his examples have nothing to do with the problem I was describing.
Zero-morphs are your friend, young Padawan.
I have considered that, although it raises the question of whether the verbs really take person marking at all in that case. One could always argue that the verb does not mark person at all and the connection to the subject rests purely on context. Let us imagine that Terpish has the verb lhàrêm
which translates to "he/she drinks it" when unmarked for any person or other inflections. How does that differ from the Japanese verb nomu
which also lacks any overt inflections and which one could also translate as "he/she drinks it" if it stands alone? I believe some languages considered polysynthetic do feature some zero-morphs for person marking, although it would not surprise me if many linguists argued against their polysynthetic status on the grounds that they don't even mark verbs for person in many cases.
I will explain how it is different from Japanese. The main difference is that Japanese doesn't have person marking of any kind. A zero morpheme generally can only exist when there are other morphemes with which it can contrast. Japanese nomu
could mean I drink, you drink, she drinks, we drink, etc. because there is never marking of person on any verb at any time. Because Japanese does not employ personal marking on verbs, a zero morpheme does not have anything to contrast with and thus cannot exist. In Spanish, on the other hand, ve
, just like nomu
, lacks any personal marking, but unlike nomu
it is distinctly recognized as being 3rd person singular because it contrasts with veo
, etc. Because Spanish does employ personal marking on verbs, a zero morpheme can contrast with other morphemes and thus does exist.