Conlang polypersonal agreement is a fascinating topic that deserves attention from both linguists and language enthusiasts. It refers to the grammatical phenomenon in which verbs agree with multiple arguments in a sentence, including the subject, object, and indirect object. This type of agreement is prevalent in many constructed languages (conlangs), as well as some natural languages, such as Basque, Eskimo-Aleut, and Mayan.
Polypersonal agreement can take various forms, depending on the language. In some languages, such as Inuktitut and Yupik, the agreement is based on a combination of suffixes and prefixes attached to the verb root. For example, in Inuktitut, the verb “to eat” is “niriq” and changes to “niniriqtuq” when conjugated to agree with a third-person singular subject (he/she/it) and a third-person singular object (him/her/it). Thus, “he/she/it ate him/her/it” would be expressed as “niniriqtuq.”
Other languages, such as Georgian and Swahili, use different suffixes to encode the subject and the object agreement. For instance, in Georgian, the verb “to write” is “megobari” and changes to “mamogebuli” when conjugated to agree with a third-person singular subject and a third-person singular object. Therefore, “he/she/it wrote him/her/it” would be expressed as “mamogebuli.”
Polypersonal agreement is a complex phenomenon that can pose a challenge for language learners and translators. However, it has several advantages, such as reducing the need for explicit pronouns and clarifying the relationship between the verb and its arguments. It also allows for more fluid and concise sentence structures, as it eliminates the need to repeat the same argument multiple times.
In conlangs, polypersonal agreement is often used to create more intricate and nuanced communication systems. For example, in the constructed language Ithkuil, each verb has a complex system of agreement markers that encode specific semantic features, such as animacy, volition, and causation. This allows Ithkuil speakers to convey a vast amount of information in a single verb, making the language highly expressive and efficient.
In conclusion, conlang polypersonal agreement is an exciting and complex grammatical phenomenon present in many constructed and natural languages. While it can be challenging to learn and translate, it offers numerous benefits such as reducing redundant pronouns and clarifying the relationship between the verb and its arguments. For those who love delving into the intricacies of language, polypersonal agreement is a fascinating topic that is worth exploring further.