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30 November 2004 @ 12:20 pm
Modifiers for certainty  
The Choctaw language has built-in credibility checking (the term seems to be called evidentiality). There are two past tenses - one for past events which you can personally ascertain as true, and one for past events which a third-party has told you are true (see a small discussion here). Somebody mentioned that this is also a trait shared by Turkish - gunn?

And if you feel up to making your own language, check out the Language Construction Kit.
Hoc Est Qui Sumus: Killer Coding Ninja Monkeysdiscoflamingo on November 30th, 2004 10:30 am (UTC)
Which brings me to the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis again, and its application to programming languages (which is kind of amusing).
Happylittledevilhappy_l_devil on November 30th, 2004 10:40 am (UTC)
Many languages (Japanese for one) distinguish between things they can personally account for and hearsay or 3rd person reporting.

Language kit looks fun.

Damn Sapir-Whorf. Whorf is a moron who used bad science. As for the hypothesis, there's some credability to the weak form, but the strong form is bullshit. Interesting application to CS, but same holds. Weak form: learning a functional language does make the recursive solution leap to mind first, but it does not proclude one from thinking another way. Strong form: Unless you learn an imperative language, you just can't think about implementing the idea that way.
la femme stygiangunn on November 30th, 2004 12:22 pm (UTC)
Oh cripes. Hell if I know. They've got a tonne of verb forms:

Present Progressive
Definite Past
Indefinite Past

Okay- yeah. It's definite versus indefinite past. "'Yaziyormus' signifies, with the addition of the indefinite or doubtful -mus suffix, 'He is supposedly writing' or 'he was or had been (presumably) writing.' In many cases, the permutations convey subtle meanings of tense or action."