Post #1000

This is my 1000th post to this blog. Yay, me!

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In honor of the 1000th post, I was going to post something about the progress made so far on these sentences and such. In preparation, I looked at the full list of what I had so far and thought I would check that I used the imperfect and perfect forms correctly. I get to sentence #39:

39. idÉ›l ha Mada tɨŋi do dÉ›stÉ›.

(I’m told)

and I decide it ought to have been in perfect, since the cat got all the way to lost. I notice that I got it wrong with #41 and right with #51 and wrong with #66 and #90.

I also wonder why I have a word for ‘lost’ anyway. The simple answer is because English has a word for ‘lost’ and this is one of the pitfalls of creating vocabulary in order to translate something. What does it mean to say that something is ‘lost’–it means I do not know where to find it. (Or if I am lost, I do not know where I am.) Really, it means that something is in an unknown location, and since SL is a language that pays attention to paths and location, it doesn’t need an adjective ‘lost’ so much as it needs a noun (or indefinite pronoun) for an unknown location.

Easy fix? Just say that do means an unknown location. But that is not very satisfying. What about an unknown path or an unknown point in time?

I have also noticed that when I have a complex subject of the type POSSESSOR PN POSSESSEE, sometimes the possessor is the subject and sometimes the possessee, and it is all a complete mess. Bah. So I hereby declare all the previous and future sentences to be first drafts. When I am finished with all 218 sentences, I will think about what to change and why. I may experiment in some of the future sentences with different ways of doing things. We’ll see.

As for the unknown location, I may make do a prefix for use on the generic nouns susi and daka and yanda (time). I’ll have to reread Haspelmath’s book to see how such things might work.

And actually, I am not sure I need so many adjectives. What is the difference between “I stand happy” and “I stand happily”? The idea of having a smaller class of adjectives appeals to me. We’ll see. I might try to minimize adjective use in future sentences.

Next post: I will plough forward in an effort to finish all 218 sentences before I completely redo my grammar.