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Showing posts from July, 2011

Kahtsaai: the Irresultative

I recently ran across a line in reference to the mass of British politicians suddenly turning on Murdoch, "if you strike at the king you must kill him." That, and the slides from LCC4 about Dothraki, reminded me I needed to tackle the irresultative for Kahtsaai.

The irresultative is a bit of an odd beast — is it an aspect? lexical aspect? mood? Some languages are quite sensitive to telic irresultatives, such as Finnish which uses an irresultative construction for verbs of emotion, so that direct objects are marked with the partitive instead of the accusative. In English we have various ways to mark a failed attempt, such as the example above, "strike at someone," or the ever-popular, "she was talking at me."

For Kahtsaai, I'm less interested in lexical aspect, but wanted a way to encode an action that didn't quite work out, or didn't quite meet expectations. The most interesting formal marking for this I've been able to find is in Tarian…