The Spem conlang

The Spem conlang: default identifiers

There's a very important insight to be had by reflecting on the following English sentences and noticing the implied quantifiers:

So English, with an omitted quantifier, allows as interpretations `yɪm`, `nir kim`, `nau nir kim`, and possibly other options.

Japanese is an even more interesting case. Since Japanese has no word for "the", and its general philosophy is "leave out as much as you can to infer it from context", often an unqualified noun in Japanese conveys the meaning of "the". Although, I'm pretty sure Japanese would also express the English "`nir kim`" meaning the exact same way: I think "猫はかわいい" means "cats are cute" just as much as it means "the cat is cute". It's a horrible case of ambiguity, but it demonstrates the possibility of *the* as a default.

I've thought a lot about what Spem should do as a default; my current belief is that yɪm and *the* should be allowed as interpretations, but nothing else. I wanted to make only yɪm acceptable but I decided it was too inconvenient to not allow *the*. Use examples:


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