[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Parsing tenses and sumti tcita

>Date:         Thu, 9 Sep 1993 13:29:15 -0400

>  1.   placed sumti
>  2.   FA tagged sumti
>  3.   <modhead> sumti
>  -------
>  4.   <modhead> KU
>  5.   NA KU

>    where <modhead> is a (tense, BAI etc.) tag

>  Now, 1-3 are sumti of one type or another and 4&5 are interpreted
>  presently as floating selbri tcita.

>  I have never felt quite comfortable with these floating selbri tcita.
>  They have been used mainly to shift the emphasis, e.g.

>        naku mi klama

>  The same result with even more emphasis can be obtained with

>        na klama fa mi

>  I think the latter structure is much more intuitive and doesn't
>  lead to mush at the <term> level.

Maybe so, but my brain reminds me of a situation where one of these
floaters was the most general choice, though I didn't much like it.
Perhaps the grammar needs tweaking to avoid this case:

It was in the ckafybarja discussion; I had mistakenly taken {lo selpinxe
ckafi} to mean {lo ckafi poi ca'a se pinxe}, i.e. "coffee that's sliding
down someone's throat", as opposed to the intended meaning "coffee type-of
beverage".  The latter I had thought to translate {na'o selpinxe ckafi} for
"typically-drunk coffee", but alas, this parses to {na'o <selpinxe ckafi>},
with the {na'o} applying to the whole phrase and not just the {selpinxe},
as I intended.  {*ke na'o selpinxe ke'e ckafi} isn't grammatical.  You can
use {ckafi co na'o selpinxe}, but I don't trust {co}, since it won't get
you out of a jam in all situations.  John Cowan (I think) said that the way
to do it, if needed, was {selpinxe be na'o ku ckafi}, with the "floating"
nature of the selbri tcita doing just the Right Thing.

ckafi for thought...