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blazar (7356)

blazar
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Journal of blazar (7356)

Friday August 01, 2008
08:39 AM

Perlative!

[ #37078 ]

Ok, it's been ages since I wrote here last: at some point I had claimed that I had always been half-hearted about blogs in general, but then I had started using the journal to write quite about anything that would spring to mind. The next step has been that I started (somewhat) compulsively writing in my "new" italian/bilingual blog: it's actually a tumblelog, which should make for a slightly different use than a typical blog; but I also use it as a generic blogging platform, which completely suits my needs... (Indeed this article will be imported there!)

Whatever, back to the point: perlative! I stumbled upon this term by means of the aforementioned blog, since someone else had mentioned a strangely (well, for me - for an expert linguist things would be different, I presume) named case, precisely abessive. "Abessive?!?" Who had ever heard it, let alone imagine it could exist? Indeed, checking Wikipedia for cases, I found out that there are so many more than those I studied in Latin! To some extent I expected so, but really, not so many! Amongst these, one called perlative, which sounds so perlish: it

"expresses that something moved 'through', 'across', or 'along' the referent of the noun that is marked."

Indeed, it is not very common, since:

"The case is found in the West Australian Kuku-Yalanji language and in Tocharian."

Whatever, it would be nice if one could find a use for a perlative case in Perl 6, or create some dialect of Perl 6 which has cases and in particular allows a perlative one, possibly with a very perlish (i.e. pragmatic, syncretic, dwimmy) semantics: Perl in general has no cases, and while I see their usefulness in natural languages -for they tend to allow for free word order, which I like- I don't see how could they fit well in its syntax, even with some modifications.

*NIX shells do have a bare minimum of declensions, but that's a whole another story: the syntax is indeed handy and with the possibility of using the accusative form of the noun in the same statement it is one rare case in which it turns out to be more terse than Perl's for a similar semantics; but then Perl achieves a higher degree of combined terseness-power in quite about everything else that there's no competition.

(Incidentally, before someone points out, yes: I am aware of Lingua::Romana::Perligata.)

Both in Italian and in English we have no declensions either, but for some pronouns. Well, I for one, would like more pronouns in Perl 6, independently of all this madness of a meditation. And then there may be some kind flexion applicated to them. Of course one may imagine that even if so, cases should be at most very common ones like nominative and accusative. But perlative? How could we give a semantically useful significance to a syntax "expressing that something moved 'through', 'across', or 'along' the referent of the pronoun that is marked?" Well, perhaps all this may be useful for some Aspect oriented feature. Which may also be not so bad, in general. In which case the "something" above would be probably any kind of data, and the construction could turn out useful to monitor it, or otherwise manage how it is transferred.

Well: end ay crazy brainstorming! ;)

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