Sunday, September 5, 2010


Utterance = Interjection / Vocative / Answer / Sentence
Interjection = I / NP (a)
Vocative = NP o
Answer = NP / VP / PP
Sentence =  (taso) (Cond la) (o) NP+  VP (li VP)
Cond = NP / Sentence
NP+ =  o / mi / sina / Oword li / NP- li
Oword = any word in tp except: li. la. e, o, pi, mi, sina, [en, anu, a, mu] (probably but status to be decided)  
Word = Oword / mi /sina
NP = Word / NP-
NP- =  NP Word /
            NP pi NP- /
            NP Conj NP /
            NP Num /
            NP pi PP
Conj = en / anu          
PP = XPrep NP
XPrep = Prep /
              XPrep NP
Prep =  P / poka / sama /[kepeken] (doesn't work in verb slot)  (surely there will be more)
Num =  (nanpa) Dig x
Dig = ala / wan / tu / mute / lili [luka / ale / ali]  (probably more, like the last, frowned on)  
VP = VC (e NP) x (PP)x
      = PP
      =  XM VP
XM = M /
          XM NP

The first word in NP is called noun, the words added to the right are modifiers.  The first word in VP is a verb, words added to the right are modifiers.  If the VP contains e the verb is verb t, otherwise verb i.  The NP after e is DO..

This lets in a lot of nonsense, but cutting the weirdies off is more trouble than it is worth -- until someone makes a clear case against them.

Oh yeah
o o > o

There is no rule for kin here.  It probably belongs in Group F, with one additional use.  But, again, ...
The first refinement I see is to narrow the set of NP that can go into XPrep and XM.


  1. Re: first draft
    nanpa prefix by canon says it becomes a ordinal and without the prefix it is a cardinal. In the case of 20, 100, I don't see how that works because
    ijo mute = things, 20 things
    ijo ale = everything, 100 things

    Also, I'm increasingly convinced that these phrase grammars stop at S, which might be okay for English because we can put so much into one sentence. But tp requires interlocking sentences and these sentences interlock with a level of co-ordination above and beyond just a string of sentences. For example, taso may start a sentence, but it implies a sentence came earlier. e ni:, comparatives, questions that span more than one sentences come to mind.

    In the places where you have mi/sina, I'd assume ona would be there and possible ijo/jan ('unspecified' and indefinite pronouns)

  2. Exactly how to distinguish the two uses of 'mute' and 'ale' has never been worked out.I suppose we could use 'nanpa' for the more precise forms, but not, apparently, as a prefix, so maybe as a suffix. Let's see what develops before we write a rule.

    Typically, grammars stop at S (or start), The transsentential features are largely pragmatic or semantic and are handled by a different set of mechanism (none as thoroughly formulated as grammars are): dialog analysis, for example. tp does seem to require a bit more to be accurate at the sentential level, but it seems we can get things right without that addition (and with sort of informal notes here and there -- something for later).

    'mi' and 'sina' are distinctive in tp; the other things called pronouns are not the same as these, not only in not requiring 'li' but also in the the kinds of extragrammatical fidgetry needed. So, 'ona' and 'ni' are not personal but anaphoric and deictic respectively and 'jan' and 'ijo' are just nouns with no (official) anaphoric/deictic use.

  3. I imported this to a context free grammar parser, and it seems to work. Wasn't enough space to post it here, so here is the link:

  4. Thanks. It is nice to know it at least coheres, whether or not it is right sometimes.

  5. What does this mean (particularly x)?
    VP = VC (e NP) x (PP)x

    In this, P is undefined:
    Prep = P / poka / sama /[kepeken]

    Similarly, M is undefined:
    XM = M / XM NP

    And if M is modifier, I'm not sure I follow what is the difference beween XM and M

  6. Verb Phrase - Verb Core + e Noun Phrase repeated any number of times + Prepositional Phrase repeated any number of times.
    P and M are defined in the basics: the classes of prepositions and of modals.
    XPrep and XM are prepositions or modals modified by modifiers but retaining their power to take complements.