Different Way of Doing Adpositions - help request

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Different Way of Doing Adpositions - help request

Post by Oil In My Lamp » 09 Jul 2019 22:02

Hello! I would like some advice/information if anyone feels so inclined to offer it.

Basically, I am looking for a different way to show where a subject is. In my language, almost everything is a verb or can be. I do not want to create an 'adposition' part of speech. Basically, positional words are instead stative or dynamic verbs, depending on if they show movement or not. The problem is that this creates a lot of verbs (with their objects) and makes a sentence too full/cluttered.

Is my explanation understandable? I believe I know about adpositions (pre-, post-, in-, circum-) and showing direction through inflection, but I figure there must be more ways to show position and relation.

Thank you for any help!
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Re: Different Way of Doing Adpositions - help request

Post by cedh » 10 Jul 2019 15:29

You might want to look into serial verb constructions; specifically, at the way some languages use serialized "coverbs" in order to express positional and directional meanings. Two good introductions are "The serial verb construction: Comparative concept and cross-linguistic generalizations" by Martin Haspelmath (2015) and "Serial verb constructions in typological perspective" by Alexandra Aikhenvald (2006; the rest of the book it's in is also great, consisting of language-specific case studies). You can find pdfs of both if you google for "serial verb constructions type:pdf" plus the name of the respective author.

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Re: Different Way of Doing Adpositions - help request

Post by Oil In My Lamp » 12 Jul 2019 17:10

@sedh, thank you for your reply. Serial verb construction is something that I am trying to work into my language. But, I definitely need to know more about it. Thank you for your reading recommendations. I appreciate it.
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Re: Different Way of Doing Adpositions - help request

Post by Mándinrùh » 14 Jul 2019 20:24

Insofar as I understand it, serial verbs let you say things like "John take knife cut bread" in order to say "John cut the bread with the knife." I don't know that this solves your problem though. How much do your verbs inflect? The simplest approach (taken by languages like English) is to discern the role of a word in a sentence through syntax. Then there are the prototypical head-marking (polypersonal agreement) and dependent-marking (case) solutions.

If you're trying to create a normal language (i.e. not Lojban or Ithkuil), some words are going to be used like nouns, no matter what you call them, so you can look to the same sorts of solutions generally available. In fact, it may be helpful to think of nouns, verbs, &c. as ways words are used, instead of as types of words. It just happens that in Western European natlangs, types of words correspond pretty well to uses of words (and where they don't, we get things like interjections, conjunctions, and everyone's favorite "particles" [:S]).

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Re: Different Way of Doing Adpositions - help request

Post by eldin raigmore » 14 Jul 2019 21:10

tlHiNgaan (if i recall correctly) uses nouns for almost all of the purposes English etc use adpositions for.

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Re: Different Way of Doing Adpositions - help request

Post by Oil In My Lamp » 17 Jul 2019 20:39

Hello all, thank you for your answers.

@Mándinrùh, after reading about head and dependent marking, I can say my language is heavily dependent marking. So, then switching to head marking for differentiation is maybe an option. I am trying for more or less free word order that defines transivity and topicallization by which word heads the phrase (I am aiming for kind of a topic-comment structure, but it is a work in progress). Words are marked for their function in the sentence, as subject, object, action (verb), etc. Verbs are marked for aspect, mood, (perhaps more), and reflexivity, stativity, and dynamicity.

@eldin raigmore, I checked out tlhIngan, and it was interesting. Perhaps I will be able take something from there. I would not have thought of looking for inspiration from Klingon!

And after some thinking and working through other answers on another forum, I came to the realization that it is not the extra verbs that are the trouble, it is the extra objects, sort of. Before, in a sentence, there were subject(s), verb(s), and object(s), which all applied to each other/the whole sentence. By this, I mean that the object(s) of the sentence, no matter what order they were in, would all be acted upon by every verb in the sentence, kind of. The more I write this, the more peculiar it sounds, but let me try a gloss (I am not good with gloss):
The man throws a ball in the house.
(meaning throwing the ball took place in the house)
In the word order of English: (DYN=dynamic verb, STV=stative verb)
man-SUB throw-DYN ball-OBJ being-in-STV house-OBJ
This says that the man throws the ball and throws the house (while he is inside something [EDIT: while he is in the house maybe? I am not yet sure how much stative verbs will take objects as arguments. EDIT 2: I guess he would also have to be inside the ball, if I were consistent. So, I would prefer he 'be in' neither, in this case.]).
Edit: Perhaps this would be used while playing Monopoly [:D]
Obviously, since I cannot use word order, or the fact that there are multiple verbs, to show which verb the object is the object of, I will need to change my language or apply something different to fix this. Perhaps 'house' could somehow be attached to the stative verb. I think I attempted different things like that already, but maybe it could work.
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Re: Different Way of Doing Adpositions - help request

Post by eldin raigmore » 18 Jul 2019 23:47

“Oil In My Lamp” wrote:Obviously, since I cannot use word order, or the fact that there are multiple verbs, to show which verb the object is the object of, I will need to change my language or apply something different to fix this. Perhaps 'house' could somehow be attached to the stative verb. I think I attempted different things like that already, but maybe it could work.
You will need to mark the verb about the object, or mark the object about the verb, or both.
This will be easier if a given verb can’t have more than one object of the same kind. For instance, there may be two kinds of secondary object, and while a verb might have three objects, it can have at most one primary object, at most one secondary object of one kind, and at most one secondary object of another kind.

If you mark the verb with information about the object, you will need to mark it with some semantic or grammatical information about the object, such as what kind of object it is (causee, beneficiary, maleficiary, location, instrument, means, path, recipient, ...), or its pragmatic status (definite, specific indefinite, or nonspecific), gender or noun-class, number, person, clusivity, quality (proper noun or common noun), or such.

If you mark the object, you may want to mark it for its semantic and/or syntactic and/or pragmatic role.
Is it a topic or a focus? Is it a primary object, a direct object, a secondary object, an indirect object? Is it a causee or a patient or a recipient or a beneficiary, or something else? This might come under the rubric of “case-marking”.
You can also mark it with information about its verb; aspect, modality/mode/mood, polarity, tense, voice, etc. Or your verbs may come in classes, and you make the object agree with its verb by marking the object with the verb’s class.

——————

Does any of that sound interesting?

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Re: Different Way of Doing Adpositions - help request

Post by Oil In My Lamp » 19 Jul 2019 06:36

@eldin raigmore, yes that does sound interesting. I had not considered having different kinds of objects, with the exception that I do have an indirect object showing the secondary recipient of some action or recipient of some object (although I would prefer that it not imply a literal recipient, as in specifically receiving a thing, but rather someone/thing involved in the action somehow). I am now considering how to use the indirect object for my positional constructs using the genitive case. I was not satisfied with a solution, but I just realized that I could have different rules for different kinds of objects ( :idea: ) [:D] . I also am considering using a verb in the genitive case (would it still be called the genitive case?).

"He throws the ball in the house."

Code: Select all

 3SP throw-DYN ball-OBJ inside- GEN-house -STV
[He  throws    ball     being- house's -inside] (modifiers are between verb and marker)
Anyway, you gave me much to research about what qualifications my objects and verbs can have. Thanks.
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Re: Different Way of Doing Adpositions - help request

Post by Ser » 20 Jul 2019 14:42

There is nothing wrong in having multiple verbs with their objects modifying each other in a sentence. This doesn't make sentences "full" or "cluttered", in fact, this is what serial verb constructions are all about! I disagree with Mándinrùh, as using serial verb constructions would be an easy solution to get rid of all adpositions if that's the only aim. I'd also say the simplest approach is actually serial verb constructions following a narrative logic (as Mandarin tends to do), not the approach English takes.
  • man-SUBJ throw-DYN ball-OBJ being.in-STV house-OBJ
    'The man throws a ball in the house.'
This is a good serial verb construction that's very similar to how Mandarin would render it:
  • nánrén zài fángzi tóu qiú
    man be.in house throw ball
    (assume VO order for both verbs)
The problem of using serial verb constructions in your case is that you also have a second aim (you want free word order), but these serial verb constructions tend to rely on word order. In your case you have no choice except using plenty of marking (head-marking or dependent marking). For example, one strategy would be to assign gender (dep. marking), nominal cases (dep. marking) and verbal subject+object-agreement (head marking):
  • ball-OBJ.CONCRETE man-SUBJ.MASC 3S.MASC=throw=3S.CONCRETE house-LOC.BUILDING
House is marked as a location by the LOC (locative) case affix, and the subject and object can be identified through both the case suffixes. You can have long lists of cases, although you need to watch out so that your case affixes aren't interpretable as adpositions. BUILDING and CONCRETE are genders here, useful to link nouns to their verbs. Less basic notions of location can be expressed through relational nouns or subordinate verbs:
  • ball-OBJ.CONCRETE man-SUBJ.MASC kitchen-ILLAT.ROOM go.into-3S.ROOM go.through-3S.FLAT 3S.MASC=throw=3S.CONCRETE window-ILLAT.FLAT
    'The man throws the ball into the kitchen through a window."
Even if we assume "go.into" and "go.through" take nouns in the same case (here the ILLAT illative), which is not necessarily the case, the preposition objects can be perfectly distinguished from the direct object of the main verb by means of verbal head marking for noun gender: "go.into" takes an object with the ROOM gender so its object has to be the kitchen.

By the way, don't think that this is cluttered either. The actual 3S.MASC=throw=3S.CONCRETE word could be quite short.
Oil In My Lamp wrote:Perhaps 'house' could somehow be attached to the stative verb. I think I attempted different things like that already, but maybe it could work.
This would be compounding objects into a verb, i.e. "noun incorporation". Another perfectly good thing to do. Just watch out that your noun incorporation is not interpretable as object+verb with a strict word order (since your aim is to have free word order throughout), typically best achieved by losing noun distinctions when incorporated (perhaps plural becomes indistinguishable from singular) and making the stem "bare" in some sense.
Oil In My Lamp wrote:inside- GEN-house -STV
Interesting. I guess you could argue this whole thing is a verb because of the verbal affix -STV. Looks good to me at least, although I'd like to mention you don't even need the GEN case affix. It could be inside-house-STV with a "bare" stem.

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Re: Different Way of Doing Adpositions - help request

Post by Oil In My Lamp » 20 Jul 2019 20:20

Good morning @Ser, thank you for your detailed and easy-to-understand explanation! I actually had been using Mandarin a lot for the features I wanted to incorporate (or at least I would refer to Mandarin to solve problems, haha). But, like you said, I would need to allow serial objects along with my verbs to do that.

I thought of perhaps something like this (see this indirect quote from my notebook):
"Perhaps a Indirect marker/case for receivers and one for givers, while also using it for towards (dative case) and from/away from (ablative case) and then the STV verbs for being in/at/etc. (locative case). The instrumental case (with, using) can probably be done with adverbs, e.g. "He cut the meat scissoringly." ("He scissored the meat")"

Basically, what you are saying is that a gender simply like grouping or classifying? I could have as many objects as I want for one verb as long as they have the same 'gender'. And I could have my many verbs that all still make sense (I am not sure if they are still classified as serial in this case) while still putting the relevant parts first, all without changing the subject. That sounds awesome.

A question with an obvious answer maybe, but why did you put 3S on the verb twice?
Ser wrote:
20 Jul 2019 14:42
3S.MASC=throw=3S.CONCRETE

For "inside- GEN-house -STV", how would one write in gloss that 'house' is genitive without implying a marker is there?
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Re: Different Way of Doing Adpositions - help request

Post by Ser » 21 Jul 2019 03:47

Oil In My Lamp wrote:
20 Jul 2019 20:20
Basically, what you are saying is that a gender simply like grouping or classifying? I could have as many objects as I want for one verb as long as they have the same 'gender'. And I could have my many verbs that all still make sense (I am not sure if they are still classified as serial in this case) while still putting the relevant parts first, all without changing the subject. That sounds awesome.
If you want to implement the crazy freedom in word order that you seem to want, then no, that would not be any serial verb construction anymore.

Agreement of verbs with multiple objects could get quite tricky. Perhaps you would have less distinctions in gender / noun class in the plural.
A question with an obvious answer maybe, but why did you put 3S on the verb twice?
Ser wrote:
20 Jul 2019 14:42
3S.MASC=throw=3S.CONCRETE
3S.MASC is the subject, 3S.CONCRETE is the object.
For "inside- GEN-house -STV", how would one write in gloss that 'house' is genitive without implying a marker is there?
I don't understand this question.

I was saying that the noun doesn't need to be in a nominal case here. Your language could incorporate nouns inside compounds in a "bare" form that is not in any particular case. Ancient Greek did this a lot by ending nouns in a short -o when compounding, e.g. ῥῖνᾰ rhīna 'nose' + κέρᾰς keras 'horn' + the suffix -ως > ῥῑνόκερως rhīnokerōs 'rhinoceros' (that is, rhīn-o-ker-ōs "nose-horn-being", where rhīn-o- is not in any particular case of the five Greek nominal cases).

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Re: Different Way of Doing Adpositions - help request

Post by eldin raigmore » 22 Jul 2019 07:49

IF
you have a clause with two verbs and two object-nouns,
and the nouns are the same case, same pragmatic status (definite/indefinite and/or specific/nonspecific or referential/nonreferential), gender, number, person, and anything else a verb could agree with;
and one verb and one object-noun go together while the other verb and other object-noun go together;
and you don’t want to depend on word-order or incorporation;
THEN
you have to mark the object-nouns with something about the verbs they go with.

This could be any semantic or grammatical feature(s) of the verb, like aspect, modality/mode/mood, polarity, tense, voice, etc. But if the two verbs are in the same clause, they probably share most of those features.

You could have verb-classes, the way nouns in many languages have genders or noun-classes;
and make object-nouns agree in verb-class with the verbs they’re objects of,
the way adjectives —— and sometimes verbs and/or adpositions —— sometimes have to agree with the gender or noun-class of their objects.

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Re: Different Way of Doing Adpositions - help request

Post by Oil In My Lamp » 22 Jul 2019 17:39

Ser wrote:
21 Jul 2019 03:47
For "inside- GEN-house -STV", how would one write in gloss that 'house' is genitive without implying a marker is there?
I don't understand this question.
That is okay, do not worry about it then. I have more studying to do, obviously. Thanks anyway [:)] . (By the way, I did not know that is how the word rhinoceros came about. That is interesting.)
eldin raigmore wrote:
22 Jul 2019 07:49
THEN
you have to mark the object-nouns with something about the verbs they go with.

This could be any semantic or grammatical feature(s) of the verb, like aspect, modality/mode/mood, polarity, tense, voice, etc. But if the two verbs are in the same clause, they probably share most of those features.

You could have verb-classes, the way nouns in many languages have genders or noun-classes;
and make object-nouns agree in verb-class with the verbs they’re objects of,
the way adjectives —— and sometimes verbs and/or adpositions —— sometimes have to agree with the gender or noun-class of their objects.
I like this idea. I think my language is mostly dependent marking and so this fits with that as well as the rest of the pattern of my language.

To think, all this to learn something new and to avoid having adpositions, but it worked and I may end up changing so much for the better! [:D] I think it was worth it to gain new perspective and insight. I have a lot more with which to build now [:D] .

I also appreciate how polite you guys have been. Even though I may not be the easiest person to explain things to. [<3]
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Re: Different Way of Doing Adpositions - help request

Post by eldin raigmore » 25 Jul 2019 03:32

BTW if you want to allow interruptible phrases, where two verb-phrases in the same clause could each have a piece of the other between their own first part and last part, or their own verb and object, then it might be good to use double-marking; mark the heads to give clues which dependents they go with, and also mark the dependents to show which heads they go with.

The phrases can be interruptible without word-order allowing scrambling.
For instance, maybe the objects have to be mentioned in the same order as the verbs;
verb1 verb2 verb3 object1 object2 object3, or
object1 object2 object3 verb1 verb2 verb3.
That can be accomplished without double-marking. But note word-order is not free, even though VPs are interruptible.

But if you don’t want to use word-order, and you want it to be free, and essentially want the multiple verb-phrases in your clauses to be mutually interruptible and “scramble-able”, I recommend double-marking.

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Re: Different Way of Doing Adpositions - help request

Post by eldin raigmore » 27 Jul 2019 07:21

https://minerva-access.unimelb.edu.au/b ... sAllowed=y
says Wambaya has free word-order and serial-verb constructions and allows discontinuous constituents.
It might be an inspiration for ways to achieve what you desire.

In some SVCs in Wambaya the verbs in the series must share their subject and their auxiliary but may have different non-subject arguments.

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Re: Different Way of Doing Adpositions - help request

Post by Omzinesý » 27 Jul 2019 15:30

This is not quite a comment on the discussion but fits the title.

I've been reading about the difference between adpositions and adverbs.

Finnish
(1) Menin talo-on sisään.
I.went house-ILL in(to)

(2) Menin talo-n sisään.
I.went house.GEN in(to)

Both mean 'I went into the house.' (1) has an adverb "sisään" that kind of codes the same info as the illative form of the noun. (2) has a postposition "sisään" that governs the genitive.

Old IE langs had the ablative that appeared with course adpositions, the accusative that appeared with goal adpositions, and the locative that appeared with location adpositions. So it's kind of transition state between (1) and (2). But they differ from Finnic in that they use the same adposition/adverb for both goal an location, while Finnic adpositions/adverbs inflect.

Differentiating between adpositions and adverbs in modern Germanic langs is even harder than in Finnish.
(3) I [went in] the house.
or
(4) I went [in the house].

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Re: Different Way of Doing Adpositions - help request

Post by Oil In My Lamp » 28 Jul 2019 00:14

eldin raigmore wrote:
27 Jul 2019 07:21
https://minerva-access.unimelb.edu.au/b ... sAllowed=y
says Wambaya has free word-order and serial-verb constructions and allows discontinuous constituents.
It might be an inspiration for ways to achieve what you desire.
This looks great!
In some SVCs in Wambaya the verbs in the series must share their subject and their auxiliary but may have different non-subject arguments.
This sounds pretty interesting. I look forward to reading about it [:D] [:D] .
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Re: Different Way of Doing Adpositions - help request

Post by Oil In My Lamp » 28 Jul 2019 01:01

Omzinesý wrote:
27 Jul 2019 15:30
Finnish
(1) Menin talo-on sisään.
I.went house-ILL in(to)

(2) Menin talo-n sisään.
I.went house.GEN in(to)

Both mean 'I went into the house.' (1) has an adverb "sisään" that kind of codes the same info as the illative form of the noun. (2) has a postposition "sisään" that governs the genitive.
I do not know Finnish, so maybe this is silly, but I wonder why the adverb is needed on (1) if 'house' is already in illiative case.
Differentiating between adpositions and adverbs in modern Germanic langs is even harder than in Finnish.
(3) I [went in] the house.
or
(4) I went [in the house].
That does look like it is frustrating. [:S]
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Re: Different Way of Doing Adpositions - help request

Post by Omzinesý » 28 Jul 2019 02:28

Oil In My Lamp wrote:
28 Jul 2019 01:01
Omzinesý wrote:
27 Jul 2019 15:30
Finnish
(1) Menin talo-on sisään.
I.went house-ILL in(to)

(2) Menin talo-n sisään.
I.went house.GEN in(to)

Both mean 'I went into the house.' (1) has an adverb "sisään" that kind of codes the same info as the illative form of the noun. (2) has a postposition "sisään" that governs the genitive.
I do not know Finnish, so maybe this is silly, but I wonder why the adverb is needed on (1) if 'house' is already in illiative case.
It isn't needed, and often it isn't used, but redundant elements often appear.

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Re: Different Way of Doing Adpositions - help request

Post by Oil In My Lamp » 28 Jul 2019 10:07

Omzinesý wrote:
28 Jul 2019 02:28
It isn't needed, and often it isn't used, but redundant elements often appear.
Ah, I see.
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