The Spem conlang

The Spem conlang: multiple predicates

Spem sentences are allowed to have multiple predicates, in the pattern "subject verb1 object1 verb2 object2". For example, this is how we communicate "by means of" by means of the verb "use" (ku):

"mi zu ɪl ku ɪl sezi." Literally, "I do it use the scissors"; idiomatically "I do it with ('using') the scissors".

Note the difference between this and "I do it *and* use the scissors". *And* makes them two separate actions; the double-predicate syntax implies that they're the same action. To do X "with" the scissors is to do a single act that is both doing X and using the scissors.

You see a similar pattern in English with phrases like "come help me". That doesn't mean the same thing though; it means "come *in order to* help me", rather than "help me *by* coming".

You can extend this to more complicated uses too: "mi ɑn ven ke ɪl zu ɪl ku neʃu ɪl tizu" = "I prevented them from doing it by hiding the tool".

Another good example is "so that". Spem does this with the verb "try" (vi):

"mi vɪn vi ve myuki." Literally "I go try can help"; idiomatically "I go so that I can help". It means this because it means I do one action that is both going and trying to be able to help.


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