Monday, 16 April 2018

Of and From

When I was researching Scots I came across the use of “o” for “of”. Something similar is sometimes encountered in English but as a contraction. In Scots, the word for “of” is “o”. The recent changes I made to the coordinating conjunctions have eliminated this possible use in Diinlang, “o” now meaning “or”.

I am not totally satisfied with the use of “del” for “of/from”. I prefer the most used words in Diinlang to be short. In many Romance languages “de” is used for “of/from”. “De” is used in Diinlang as the definite article. This word, or similar sounding words such as “the” in English are used by a wide number of languages, particularly Germanic ones. I cannot see many viable alternatives for the definite article. “Li” or “le” could be used but the “l” sound might trouble some users, and “re” already has a distinct use. Additionally “li” is already used to mean “way” and is used as an adverb ending with similar meaning. English has a wider distribution than any of the Romance languages so I went with “de” for “the” rather than “of/from”.

With “de” off the table Italian offers “di” and “da”. “Di” is a homophone of “de” so that leaves “da”. In practice I think that Diinlang will need two words that mean “from”. In English the use of “of” and “from” overlap. “Book of Jon” could mean it is a book belonging to Jon, or a book about Jon. It can even mean a book written by Jon. “Book from Jon” also has multiple meanings. Did Jon make the book, write it or send it?

In Diinlang we will use “da” and “po”. “Po” is derived from the Latin “ab” and the derived term “apo” that is used in several conlangs.

Da” means “of/from” and is the term used when the meaning is mainly possessive.

Po” mainly means “from” and is used when describing movement or spatial relationship.

As in English and some other languages there is some overlap. “Left of the ship” and “left from the ship” are equally valid.

The Italian “da” and “di” and their equivalent “de” in other Romance languages have a number of other applications that may be applicable to Diinlang. For example, these words can also mean “at”, “by”, “as”, “since” etc.

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