Thursday, August 11, 2016

Comparison again

I'd honestly really like a comparative particle. I'm just not pleased with taha despite the typological motivation:

iso taha
big surpass

iso i taha ni
big FIN surpass 1SG
"bigger than me"

What about:

iu iso
COMP big

iu iso ____ ni
"bigger than me"

The question is what kind of mechanism for "than" can be derived from first principles. Iu iso o ni looks like an IE calque and is an arbitrary convention that has to be memorized: not what we want, even though (or especially because) it's familiar to me as an IE person.

iu iso taha ni
COMP big surpass 1SG
"bigger than me"

What if iu means "to such a degree?" iu iso taha, iu iso kase -- "big to such a degree it surpasses/meets" > "bigger, as big"

Do we have a way of saying "less?" Hm.

ai se halu ___ pi lele?
Q 2SG want [more] QUANT milk
"do you want more milk?"

Oh my...should there actually be a "more" word? That certainly shouldn't be taha in a sentence like that. Vese pi lele -- much better than taha pi lele. Quantity and comparison are not the same thing, clearly don't need the same structures.

asi iu vaka
asi vaka taha
asi vaha i taha
asi iu vaha i taha
"a more important matter" *sigh*

I don't know what to do here, but more work is needed.