Conlanging 2020-03-29

By Max Woerner Chase

I kind of didn't focus much on conlanging today, but I did take some time to go over a few more syntactic transformations.

What I should have thought to do was go over last week's entry. Oh well.

Trying to figure some of this stuff out is making me hyper-aware of stuff that English does. Like, look back at that last paragraph: "What I should have thought to do was go over last week's entry." Means about the same as: "I should have thought to go over last week's entry." But emphasizes what I did or didn't do. I can notice some of this, but not necessarily understand it. Like, does that rearrangement basically frame the sentence as a question that I ask myself and then answer?

Oh, wait, I'm sleepy. "What I should have thought to do" is a relative clause. It's just kind of big.

Now I want to figure out how that kind of construction would work in the conlang, because that's a whole bunch of verbs. Like, the subject and the object are both verbs, right?

Okay, start with "I should have thought to X"

First roadblock: "think" is intransitive in English. I don't think (that) I want that here, so let's have the verb in question be more like "think about" or "think of" in its basic form. "should have" expresses irrealis mood I think, obligation, and whatever the heck "have" even means in a tense/aspect sense by now.

"I [tense aspect mood] think to X"

I want to layer things in a little different of an order. Because the obligation/duty had a point where it should have been handled, and passed by, I want to have the aspect verb first, followed by a modal verb expressing obligation, and to have the object be irrealis, because it's a thing that I didn't do. Maybe I'll go back on the ordering if it turns out that I want to enforce mood before aspect, but I want to start by seeing what happens if I don't.

The highlights of all of this are that the relative pronoun is in the accusative, while "go over last week's entry" is in the nominative (and irrealis. It would be in indefinite or definite if I'd been saying "I was supposed to do this thing, and I did."). The word order of "last week's entry" is "entry last week", where "entry" is in the accusative, and "last" and "week" are in the genitive.

Tomorrow, I should try diagramming this stuff in English and the conlang. Can't handle it now, though. I could barely handle what I did do...

Good night.