2008년 3월 21일 금요일

Anaphora

English anaphora are so inadequate. Consider a sentence, "Although the motorcycle hit the tree, it was not damaged." Is the damaged thing the motorcycle or the tree?

The teacher says that I am supposed to rewrite the sentence to either "the motorcycle was not damaged" or "the tree was not damaged". Really English is damaged. Anaphoric expressions are useless if one is forced to repeat nouns when one wants to be unambiguous.

I would like to use "the subject of the last verb was not damaged" or "the object of the last verb was not damaged". These are too verbose. Case marking can make them succinct, as in "itos was not damaged" or "itom was not damaged". Haha, they sound better to me.

Note that I marked cases according to the role the word played in the previous sentence, not in the current sentence. In both cases "it" is the subject of the predicate "was damaged". This is different from case systems of other languages. I wonder whether there is any natural language which marks cases on anaphora the way I conceived here.

댓글 1개:

James :

An elegant solution to many an anaphoric conundrum, Sanghyeon. I like the marker solution, myself. I've only studied French, English, and Korean, so I can't comment as to whether your system is somewhere in use. Tell me again which languages you've studied? Also, is your marker system in use for your own invented languages?

James