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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:17 am 
Avisaru
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Are there any languages in which verbs inflect differently in the third person depending on whether the subject is nominal or pronominal, or on some other factor for that matter?

Pertinent to this is the inflection -nte in Quenya, which is glossed as something like "3p when subject is not previously mentioned".

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:10 pm 
Lebom
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alice wrote:
Are there any languages in which verbs inflect differently in the third person depending on whether the subject is nominal or pronominal, or on some other factor for that matter?

Pertinent to this is the inflection -nte in Quenya, which is glossed as something like "3p when subject is not previously mentioned".


Split-ergative languages - 123 being NOMACC, but everything else ABSERG? Active-stative languages? Languages with 4th person?


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:14 pm 
Smeric
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Probably not what you were looking for, but a lot of Dravidian have verbs with suffixes that agree with the subject in gender and number only in third person. This includes situations where the gender of the subject is left unspecified, possibly because using gendered pronouns or suffixes can be considered impolite. (Malayalam doesn't have this morphology, but it does have something of a taboo against using gendered pronouns).

There's also obviative markers, which sound kind of like what you mention in Quenya.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:46 pm 
Avisaru
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I was thinking along the lines of, for example, "asks" having different morphology in the following examples:

(He/She/It) asks a stupid question
The wannabe conlanger asks a stupid question
Legalis asks a stupid question

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:16 pm 
Avisaru
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Well, if I remember correctly, in Modern Standard Arabic, the "plural" inflections of a verb occur only when there is no explicit subject or when the subject precedes the verb (a construction that I think historically originated as a form of left-dislocation/topicalization, since Classical Arabic is considered to have VSO as the "unmarked" word order). When the subject follows the verb, the verb agrees in gender, but not in number (it takes the "singular" form).

Here are papers I found that discuss it: http://people.ds.cam.ac.uk/mtb23/NSP/Ch ... Arabic.pdf, http://webspace.buckingham.ac.uk/kbernh ... okarno.pdf


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:11 pm 
Smeric
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alice wrote:
I was thinking along the lines of, for example, "asks" having different morphology in the following examples:

(He/She/It) asks a stupid question
The wannabe conlanger asks a stupid question
Legalis asks a stupid question

I can't think of any natural language where this happens because, as I understand it, there are only so many where there is any clear motivation for treating pronouns or proper nouns as distinct from common nouns anyway.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:14 pm 
Avisaru
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You could look at languages where the subject inflections are still clitic pronouns, at least to an extent. Then have a rule that the subject clitics can never appear together with subject nouns.

I'm out of any good natlang examples of exactly this but it felt natural enough for me to derive two 3rd person subject inflection patterns for Kišta that follow this pattern. One is the regular unmarked form that's used in most cases, notably with overt NP subjects. The other consists of the anaphoric endings -ti (SG) and -in (PL) that descend from an anaphoric extra subject clitic and are used with omitted 3rd person human subjects. Some examples to show this:

Ketti-n šami-k.
stone-FOC take-SG1
"I takePFV a stone."

Ketti-n šammi-ti.
stone-FOC take-SG3.H
"He/she takesPFV a stone."

Ńaarra ketti-n šammi.
boy stone-FOC take
"The boy takesPFV a stone."

Again, it's not a natlang example, but I'm pretty sure that some amount of digging will turn up something that's reasonably close to this. And even if you don't find anything, I find that working out reasonable grammaticalisation patterns for your morphology helps a lot if you are aiming for naturalism.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:54 pm 
Smeric
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Maybe I'm stating the obvious, but I mean, one thing that does happen in a lot of languages is that it's not always necessary to specify who the subject is, even without any verbal morphology to clarify that, if it's already clear from context. In fact, it may even sound awkward to use pronouns too often; this seems to be the case in Mandarin Chinese, for example (or perhaps any variety of Chinese).


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:33 pm 
Boardlord
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alice wrote:
I was thinking along the lines of, for example, "asks" having different morphology in the following examples:

(He/She/It) asks a stupid question
The wannabe conlanger asks a stupid question
Legalis asks a stupid question


Colloquial French, if you accept the analysis that the original pronoun has become part of the verb:

/ipoz yn kɛstjõ/, cf. /lɥi ipoz yn kɛstjõ/
/lə læ̃ŋgɥist poz yn kɛstjõ/


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:47 pm 
Smeric
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You know what, you do see something like this with copulas in some languages. For example, in some English-based creoles such as Krio:

na '(he/she/it) is, (they) are'
mi na 'I am'
yu na 'you are'
wi na 'we are'
una na 'y'all are'
pikin na 'the child is'

Also, forms of the verb for 'to be' in Serbo-Croatian are typically clitics, and they always have to occupy a certain slot in a clause, e.g. (and this is just a quick-and-dirty gloss that I can conveniently make because Serbo-Croatian happens to be an Indo-European language of Europe)

On je visok.
he is tall
'He is tall.'

but

Visok je.
tall is
'He's tall.'


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:03 pm 
Smeric
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You can analyse Ancient Egyptian that way: sš.f "he writes" vs. sš s "the man writes". But this can also be analysed as the verb not actually inflecting at all, and the apparent personal inflection just being a nominative pronoun that happens to be suffixed to the verb.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:49 pm 
Avisaru
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KathTheDragon wrote:
You can analyse Ancient Egyptian that way: sš.f "he writes" vs. sš s "the man writes". But this can also be analysed as the verb not actually inflecting at all, and the apparent personal inflection just being a nominative pronoun that happens to be suffixed to the verb.


Yes. There can also be morphological evidence for that analysis. I forget where I read this, but apparently there's some Celtic language where it's possible to say something like "Went-1s and 3s" to mean "He and I went" (although I don't know how it compares in frequency to versions with a doubled phonologically separate pronoun like "Went-1s 1s and 3s", which are also possible in some Celtic languages--I don't know if the same ones).


Last edited by Sumelic on Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:07 am 
Avisaru
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Sumelic wrote:
KathTheDragon wrote:
You can analyse Ancient Egyptian that way: sš.f "he writes" vs. sš s "the man writes". But this can also be analysed as the verb not actually inflecting at all, and the apparent personal inflection just being a nominative pronoun that happens to be suffixed to the verb.


Yes. There can also be morphological evidence for that analysis. I forget where I read this, but apparently there's some Celtic language where it's possible to say something like "Went-1s and 3s" to mean "He and I went" (although I don't know how it compares in frequency to versions with a doubled disjunctive pronoun like "Went-1s 1s and 3s", which are also possible in some Celtic languages--I don't know if the same ones).


This is the case in Welsh. The form of the verb is determined entirely by what immediately follows. If it's a noun (singular or plural) then it'll be third person singular. Otherwise, it will conjugate depending on the pronoun following it, without any consideration of the number or w/e of the subject taken as a whole:

es i a fo - go.PST.1sg I and he
aeth Megan a fo - go.PST.3sg Megan and he

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:56 pm 
Avisaru
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Yng wrote:
This is the case in Welsh. The form of the verb is determined entirely by what immediately follows. If it's a noun (singular or plural) then it'll be third person singular. Otherwise, it will conjugate depending on the pronoun following it, without any consideration of the number or w/e of the subject taken as a whole:

es i a fo - go.PST.1sg I and he
aeth Megan a fo - go.PST.3sg Megan and he


Thanks. Does any variety/register of Welsh also allow the construction "es a fo", or is the use of the pronoun "i" mandatory in the first sentence?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:06 pm 
Sanno
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Welsh is also one of those languages where an explicit 3P form is only possible with a pronominal subject, e.g.:

Fe aeth y blant adre. "The children went home."
Fe aethon nhw adre. "They went home."

Irish is the same, except that it doesn't use a pleonastic pronoun[*]:

Chuaigh na páistí abhaile. "The children went home."
Chuadar abhaile. "They went home."

[*] Except occasionally in Munster, e.g. Táid siad sa bhaile anois. "They're home now."


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:58 pm 
Avisaru
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Sumelic wrote:
Yng wrote:
This is the case in Welsh. The form of the verb is determined entirely by what immediately follows. If it's a noun (singular or plural) then it'll be third person singular. Otherwise, it will conjugate depending on the pronoun following it, without any consideration of the number or w/e of the subject taken as a whole:

es i a fo - go.PST.1sg I and he
aeth Megan a fo - go.PST.3sg Megan and he


Thanks. Does any variety/register of Welsh also allow the construction "es a fo", or is the use of the pronoun "i" mandatory in the first sentence?


No - there has to be a pronoun. I'm pretty sure this would generally be the case anyway - it strikes me as strange for 'and' to coordinate a person suffix and a pronoun.

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tà yi póbo tsùtsùr ciivà dè!

short texts in Cuhbi

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:33 pm 
Avisaru
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(alice, let me know if this discussion is getting to be too much of a derail. I am continuing it here for now because I feel like it is still tangentially related)

Yng wrote:
Sumelic wrote:
Yng wrote:
This is the case in Welsh. The form of the verb is determined entirely by what immediately follows. If it's a noun (singular or plural) then it'll be third person singular. Otherwise, it will conjugate depending on the pronoun following it, without any consideration of the number or w/e of the subject taken as a whole:

es i a fo - go.PST.1sg I and he
aeth Megan a fo - go.PST.3sg Megan and he

Thanks. Does any variety/register of Welsh also allow the construction "es a fo", or is the use of the pronoun "i" mandatory in the first sentence?

No - there has to be a pronoun. I'm pretty sure this would generally be the case anyway - it strikes me as strange for 'and' to coordinate a person suffix and a pronoun.

Maybe the language I was trying to think of was Irish. Apparently, at least some varieties of Irish allow or require the (apparent) coordination of person suffixes and pronouns in some contexts. The Morphosyntax of Irish Agreement (Julie Anne Legate) gives the following examples (although it looks like it may require some kind of "contrastive particle" suffix glossed as "contr.", which is also present on coordinated independent pronouns):

Code:
(13)

a. mi -se    agus tu -sa
   I -contr. and  you-contr.
   ‘you and I’

b. dá mbe-inn     -se     agus tu -sa      ann
   if be.cond-1sg -contr. and  2sg -contr. there
  ‘if you and I were there’


(Interestingly, Legate argues for complicated reasons that I don't understand very well that what's going on is not noun incorporation, but that the verb in fact does truly exhibit person agreement, with a pronoun that has an obligatorily null realization; I guess this would make the situation more similar to Welsh than it appears)


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:55 am 
Avisaru
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Sumelic wrote:
(alice, let me know if this discussion is getting to be too much of a derail. I am continuing it here for now because I feel like it is still tangentially related)


Nah, don't worry. My original question has been answered anyway.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:20 am 
Avisaru
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I think the reason that Irish is sometimes analysed as having pronominal agreement there is that throughout the Irish verbal system suffixed forms and forms with no suffix and an independent pronoun are in complementary distribution, often within the same paradigm, and cannot co-occur. So for example for the imperfect you have mhol-ainn 'I used to praise' and mhol-tá 'you used to praise' but mholadh sé 'he used to praise'.

That suffix on the pronouns is presumably cognate to our -thau/-nnau (tithau, minnau for example) which is also contrastive.

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short texts in Cuhbi

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 12:28 am 
Smeric
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alice wrote:
Are there any languages in which verbs inflect differently in the third person depending on whether the subject is nominal or pronominal, or on some other factor for that matter?

Pertinent to this is the inflection -nte in Quenya, which is glossed as something like "3p when subject is not previously mentioned".
I didnt realize it until now, but I basically do this myself in Poswa, except I put the extra inflection on the object instead of the verb. Basically, if the object precedes the subject in the sentence (or the subject is omitted), the objects gets an extra vowel after it's accusative suffix which indicates the agent and tense of the verb.

I did this totally on my own because I realized that having a language with no pronouns made it highly inconvenient for the listener to have to wait until the end of t he sentence (Poswa is SOV) to find out who the agent is. I dont expect natlang attestation because there are no (or very few) languages with no pronouns at all. But since then I've heard that some languages do something vaguely similar, but that's all I know.

It's good to see natlang attestation for the different verb forms, though; I'd call that close enough for me to be confident, and I might do something like that in a minor conlang which does have pronouns and has less inflection.

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