Grammar prevents lies!Every language has particular features. But some also have characteristics that are unique worldwide. Among these languages is Trio. Trio is a Native American language in South America. Around 2,000 people in Brazil and Suriname speak it. What makes Trio special is its grammar. Because it forces its speakers to always tell the truth. The so-called frustrative ending is responsible for this. This ending is added to verbs in Trio. It indicates how true a sentence is. A simple example explains how exactly it works. Let's take the sentence The child went to school. In Trio, the speaker has to add a certain ending onto the verb.
Through the ending he is able to communicate whether he saw the child himself. But he can also express that he only knows it from speaking to others. Or he says through the ending that he knows it's a lie. So the speaker has to commit to what he is saying. Meaning, he must communicate how true a statement is. In this way he cannot keep anything a secret or sugarcoat anything. If a Trio speaker leaves the ending off, he is deemed a liar. In Suriname the official language is Dutch. Translations from Dutch into Trio are often problematic. Because most languages are much less precise. They make it possible for the speakers to be vague. Therefore, interpreters don't always commit to what they are saying. The communication with Trio speakers is thereby difficult. Perhaps the frustrative ending would be helpful in other languages too!? Not only in the language of politics…