Diinlang 2.0 Phrasal Verbs

The other day I had a reason to reread a section of my novel. In it was the sentence:

“She brushed her hands together to clear some of the dirt from the rock off, and then began to walk towards Ianas.”

Nothing technically wrong with this, but it would read better as “… to clear off some of the dirt from the rock, and …”

In English it is acceptable to split phrasal verbs. Phrasal verbs are formed from a verb combined with a preposition/directive/adverb/particle or combination of these.

In Diinlang the preposition/directive/adverb/particle(s) should be joined together, for example, by a hyphen. Thus “She handed it in” would have the order: “She handed-in it” and “They brought that up twice” becomes “They brought-up that twice”. Note that the verb comes first and the preposition last. This will be easier to learn and clearer. 
The interpretation rules of Attempto Controlled English require that the phrasal particle of a phrasal verb (e.g. look up, drop out, shut down) and the direct preposition of a prepositional verb (e.g. look at, apply for) are hyphenated to the verb. This will become a standard practice for Diinlang.


Diinlang 2.0 Possessives

There are several ways to form a possessive statement in Diinlang.

The simplest is to place the noun or pronoun for the owner before the possession, using it rather like an adjective.

Jon kanis = Jon’s dog.

Jon vz kanis = Jon’s dogs.

The second way is to use the above construction but place the word “vo” before the possession. This emphasises that the statement is possessive. The plural “voz” is used when needs to be made clear there is more than one of the possessions. Note that “vz” in the example above stands for “vez” (plural definite article) not “voz”.

Jon vo kanis = Jon’s dog.

Jon voz kanis = Jon’s dogs.

The third method of construction places the possession(s) before the owner and links them with “di”. This can be shortened to “d”.

Kanis d Jon = Dog of/belong Jon

Vz kanis d Jon = Dogs of/belong Jon.

When the phrase (clause) has a verb things get a little more involved:

Jon VERB vo kanis = Jon VERB his dog.

In such a clause the object(s) denoted by vo(z) are specifically those of the subject. Compare to:

Jon VERB zo kanis = Jon VERB his dog.

Jon VERB zo vo kanis = Jon VERB his dog.

Here the Diinlang version tells us the owner of the dog is male, but not necessarily that of the direct subject of the verb. This should be clearer if we change the pronoun:

Jon VERB zo kanis = Jon VERB his dog.

Jon VERB zo vo kanis = Jon VERB his dog.

Jon VERB ze kanis = Jon VERBs their(singular person’s) dog.

Jon VERB zez kanis = Jon VERBs their(other people’s) dogs.

Jon VERB zez vo kanis = Jon VERBs their(other people’s) dog.

Jon VERB zez voz kanis = Jon VERBs their(other people’s) dogs.

Jon VERB zo kanis” has some ambiguity, but not as much as English. “Jon VERB vo kanis” has a specific meaning. A careful writer may reserve the other constructions for when the possession is not that of the clause subject. The object is assumed to be singular unless it has voz, vez/vz, jez/jz, before it. This may become a general rule for Diinlang. Only place a pronoun before the object when it represents someone other than the subject. To understand this better re-read the above sentences replacing zez, ze, zo or za with a name  such as “Mary” or “Peter”.


Indefinite Plural(s)

A useful shorthand in English is placing the “s” in parentheses, such as in phrases like “the girl(s) may come”. This indicates that the phrase may relate to one or multiple individuals or objects.

I have chosen to call this a shorthand since there is no verbal form. If reading the above statement out loud one would have to say “girl or girls” or edit the statement to the correct context.

In Diinlang plurality is indicated by the form of the determiner. A singular object has the articles “ve” or “je” and plural has “vez” or “jez”. The plural forms of the pronouns follow the same convention: “em, yu, ze” become “emz, yuz, zez”.

Clearly “optional plurality” could be indicated by “(z)” but it would be nice to have a form that could be distinguished in spoken conversation. I am not sure of the best way to do this. It may be to add an ending to the plural form that makes it less definite. Or it may be better to create a new determiner, effectively a quantifier that will mean plural or singluar.