Verbs are very very simplified in this language. There are basically three tenses; past, present and future. Other kinds of verbs can be applied to grant further tenses, e.g. iošomoš is a combination of om and i, which are both in past tense, 'om' meaning 'to have' and 'i' meaning 'to be', so basically the whole word means 'has been', -oš is the past tense modifier.
This is fine as long as you remember a couple things: (1) The use of "have" in this way is very much a Western European Sprachbund
feature; most other languages do not conflate possession and past tense in this way. (2) Has been
differs from is
not only in tense but also in aspect
. Again, this particular conflation is very much a feature of English and is not even shared by languages like French and German.
I agree; I need to change this feature. Rethink the concept.
Let's take 'olam uram i', 'uram' refers to any length of time or 'a while' in English. The idea is that 'os uram' or 'os uram i' would mean, it 'it is a while' or 'it is a length of time'. 'os uram ioš' would mean 'it was a while', which basically suggest that something was a length a time. For it to be referring to say the time between last time we met, in English you would say 'it has been a while', while in Standard you could not produce a 'has been' scenario, but would rather say 'it is a while since [last time we met]', or in Standard 'os, uram, on'za miewo'oš,, olam' or basically 'it, [a]while, us [verb]met,, since' (notice the subclauses (the double comma is not accidentally). As you will notice, there are prefixes to define verb types, if a clause cannot follow the strict word order, e.g. 'I live' in English or 'o milil', where mi- indicates that would otherwise be an object is now a verb. But this sentence can be shorten to 'olam uram i' or 'since is [a]while'. Since as a subject refers to the context dependent concept of between last time something occurred and now, it can there be a while (I'll explain 'i' later).
The 'i' is actually superfluous in this example, as 'i' is always assumed if no other verb is provided.
Again, this is English-bound thinking. English distinguishes clearly between such parts of speech as nouns, verbs, and adjectives. This forces the use of auxiliaries like is
since nouns and adjectives can't take verbal inflections when functioning as predicates. In non-inflected languages like Chinese, this problem doesn't arise and the literally translation of "It is red" is "It very red", of "It has become read" is "It red le
" (where le
is a post-verbal particle indicating change of state), and so forth.
If the syntax of Standard minimally requires that all clauses have "verbs", then it's simpler to say that anything in clause-final position will be interpreted as the predicate.
It doesn't. In fact, it doesn't require any words. I realise I did not specify this appropriately, and I apologise for the confusion. See more: http://standard.sviip.dk/Appendix:Clause
Another thing I forgot to mention about the clause definers are they are not required. A certain range of words are defined as 'clause definers', and if none of these words are provided at the beginning, a clause definer is not assumed to be present.
You might want to note in your grammar section which constituents are absolutely required (if any) and which are merely optional.
See link above.
The question I would pose is whether in your mind "The future is now" is the same as "The past is a foreign country" or "The present is here."
I am not sure I understand the question properly. I assume you do not mean by meaning, but by use of 'is'? I apologise for my ignorance.
Exactly. If that pair of contrasts isn't clear to you, try this one:
(1) Svip is a conlanger.
(2) Svip is home.
I get where you're going.
'i' means something is something else. It cannot mean something is a state. Or in a state. If I said 'svip rumu i' (svip home is), it would mean I was a home, I wasn't home, but was one. To be at a place, 'iw' (or at) is required, 'svip rumu i iw', 'iw' is a preposition describing to be a location. Consider that without a preposition, each clause is 'absolute'. If that make sense.
In the first case, the only function of is
is to link two nouns. (For this reason, English school grammars often refer to it as a "linking verb" in these sorts of constructions. The preferred term in linguistics is copula
.) In the second case, its function is locative. It's not equating you with your home, it's supplying "home" as where you are located right now. One can say "Svip is at
home" with no difference in meaning, but obviously this doesn't work with *"Svip is at a conlanger".
A third important function of is
is purely existential. (3) "There's Svip" can be used in a presentational sense, in a context where the speaker is actually pointing you out. But also in other contexts, e.g. "I can't think of any conlangers who use 'clause-definers'." (4) "There's Svip." I'm not pointing to you, I'm not equating you with a location, I'm simply asserting that you exist.
For 'there', in that case, a special form of 'there' is used. The word basically means to the content of a location. Which means, if it is something, it is containing something, where 'kikal Svip' would mean '[the content of the location in question] is Svip'.
Again, most Western European languages conflate these functions, but not all. Consider Welsh:
(1) "Iaithadeiladwr yw Svip."
(2) "Mae Svip adre."
(3) "Dyma Svip!"
(4) "Mae 'na Svip."
So the question remains: What is nuk? Are you essentially saying "The future is the present" or are you saying that the future is in a place and that place is the present time?
I am saying that the future is
the present or now. Does it make sense?
By the way, I really thank you for these contributions, it has really got me thinking about certain functions about the grammar.