FairyLang (fairylang) wrote,
FairyLang
fairylang

Conjugating Nouns

This is probably the weirdest thing I want to do with FairyLang. I want to mark nouns for tense (past, present, future) instead of verbs. I brought this idea up on The Conlang Mailing List and it sparked a lively discussion. The result of the discussion is that I think I can make it work as a useable and useful system, but I'll probably have to do it a little differently than I had initially conceived. Originally, I thought of having the subject and object agree in tense, with aspect (the state of completion of the action) marked on the verb.

Examples:
the cat-PAST eat-PREDICTIVE the mouse-PAST = the cat was going to eat the mouse
the cat-PRESENT eat-IMPERFECT the mouse-PRESENT = the cat eats the mouse
the cat-FUTURE eat-PERFECT the mouse-FUTURE = the mouse will have eaten the mouse


Someone on the list however (sorry, I can't remember who), suggested having the tense marking on the object be relative to the subject. In that way, tense and aspect could both be covered by the nouns. (past object = perfect aspect, present object = imperfect aspect, future object = predictive aspect).

Examples:
the cat-PAST eat the mouse-FUTURE = the cat was going to eat the mouse
the cat-PRESENT eat the mouse-PRESENT = the cat eats the mouse
the cat-FUTURE eat the mouse-PAST = the cat will have eaten the mouse

I like this system because it's simple and elegant, yet allows for a pretty wide range of meanings, so I think it will be pretty useful, and also because it frees up the verb, so to speak, so I can do something else with it. More on that in my next post.
Tags: concept, conjugation, nouns, verbs
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