Triconsonantal roots: how?

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CarsonDaConlanger
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Triconsonantal roots: how?

Post by CarsonDaConlanger » Tue 20 Mar 2018, 17:51

I have been hearing about triconsonantal roots and I want to incorporate them into a conlang I am making. I haven't been able to find a lot of info on them online, so I was wondering if someone could explain how they work in natlangs.
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Re: Triconsonantal roots: how?

Post by Parlox » Tue 20 Mar 2018, 18:07

  • :con: Cajun, a descendant of French spoken in Louisiana.
  • :con: Bàsupan, loosely inspired by Amharic.
  • :con: Oddúhath Claire, a fusion of Welsh and Arabic.
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Re: Triconsonantal roots: how?

Post by sangi39 » Tue 20 Mar 2018, 20:02

Parlox wrote:
Tue 20 Mar 2018, 18:07
This should help, http://www.incatena.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=44883.
Always a good thread to link to [:D]



The one thing I will say is to not rely too heavily solely on changing the vowels and the syllable structure.

I think I've mentioned this before, possibly to Ahzoh while he was working on Vrkhazhian a couple of years ago, but maybe to someone else, is that while languages Semitic languages are described as being "triconsonantal" with "changes in vowels having changes in meaning", that's not to say that a lot of the morphological weight doesn't fall elsewhere, like on suffixes, prefixes or infixes which might be considered more "normal".

If you look at Arabic kataba, for example, the conjugation for that verb contains just four stem changes (-katab- vs. -ktub- vs. -katib- vs. -ktab-) which mark change in voice (-katab- ~ -ktub- for the active, and -katib- ~ -ktab-) and for a change in mood/aspect (-katab- ~ -katib- for the perfect, -ktub- ~ -ktab- for everything else). All of the rest of the morphological changes are handled by prefixes and suffixes, and the perfect indicative has a different set of affixes to the other forms, e.g. -tu marking the first person singular in the perfect indicative vs. 'a- in other aspects/moods. In this case, it's not just a change in the stem that indicates a change in aspect or mood, with this also being indicated by a change in inflection (IIRC, though, this is because the perfect indicative and the other verb forms come from two different sources, something like one of them coming from an adjectival or nominal form but I honestly can't remember).

Similarly, the derivational forms of kataba don't rely exclusively on changes in vowels. You get kattaba (make someone write), kaataba (write to), 'aktaba (dictate), takaataba (correspond with each other), inkataba (subscribe), iktataba (copy something), istaktaba (ask someone to write something) in the verbal forms, and of those only one of them relies solely on changing the vowels of the stem, with the rest relying on a combination of a change of the stem and affixation (well kattaba uses gemination so two, ish). The same goes for nouns, IIRC, with most nouns derived from kataba relying on both stem changes and affixes (kitaab, maktaba, miktaab, etc.).

I really need to have a look at Akkadian again to see if this was a thing in Semitic that far back as well, but the main point is to not have vowels do all the work. Oh, and not everything needs to be tied to a triconsonantal root, e.g. it can have two consonants in the root, or four, or five, and some words don't need to have huge levels of derivation.
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Re: Triconsonantal roots: how?

Post by Parlox » Tue 20 Mar 2018, 21:09

In addition to what sangi said above, derived word forms can also be repurposed as roots.

t-n-p “Computerize” > Untapiva “Hack”. This is repurposed as a quadrilateral root “t-n-p-b, which can be used to to derive "Hacker”, with Imtunpav being the result.

(Usually the -va in "Hack" would be -ba in other wordforms, and derived forms can changed quite a bit in Bàsupan, so "Hack" would be Utnapiba were it not for phonotactics. This is only if it were a derived form, but because of the repurposing it stays as t-n-p-b. So logically t-n-p-b would surface as something like Tinupav in speech)
  • :con: Cajun, a descendant of French spoken in Louisiana.
  • :con: Bàsupan, loosely inspired by Amharic.
  • :con: Oddúhath Claire, a fusion of Welsh and Arabic.
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Re: Triconsonantal roots: how?

Post by k1234567890y » Tue 10 Apr 2018, 18:31

you can start with agglutination with stress rules and ablauts, then the original pattern messed up because of vowel change, which may include but not restricted to the weakening of unstressed syllables.
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Re: Triconsonantal roots: how?

Post by MoonRightRomantic » Wed 27 Jun 2018, 00:21

I noticed that Old English has a lot of words which inflect by changing the vowel. I was thinking about developing an Old English based conlang with polyconsonantal roots which is written using entirely or mostly consonants. I would use runic as the basic script since it is supported in unicode.

You can see some examples of the inflection logic here: https://www.languagesoftheworld.info/st ... glish.html
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Re: Triconsonantal roots: how?

Post by Keenir » Thu 28 Jun 2018, 07:59

if you're still looking, this may help...assuming I interpretted the OP correctly & you're trying to make one: http://cbb.aveneca.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... l&start=40
At work on Apaan: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4799
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Re: Triconsonantal roots: how?

Post by Lambuzhao » Fri 29 Jun 2018, 04:01

sangi39 wrote:
Tue 20 Mar 2018, 20:02
Parlox wrote:
Tue 20 Mar 2018, 18:07
This should help, http://www.incatena.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=44883.
Always a good thread to link to [:D]

I really need to have a look at Akkadian again to see if this was a thing in Semitic that far back as well, but the main point is to not have vowels do all the work.
http://akkadian.wikia.com/wiki/Category ... ntal_roots

Whatever 3con roots that Akkadian shared with Hebrew &/or Arabic.
Oh, and not everything needs to be tied to a triconsonantal root, e.g. it can have two consonants in the root, or four, or five, and some words don't need to have huge levels of derivation.

Very good point. You remind me of Akkadian's cousin Middle Egyptian:


https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Pre-Lat ... ptian_Verb

Egyptian Reduplicated Verbs {triconsonantal <and other> stems gone polyploid (!!?) }
https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... _interface
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Re: Triconsonantal roots: how?

Post by MoonRightRomantic » Fri 29 Jun 2018, 13:32

Speaking of Ancient Egyptian, there do no seem to be any reliable online resources indicating how Ancient Egyptian inflected. I know that as an Afroasiatic language it inflected primarily by transfixing the vowels of poly-consonant roots, but all the grammar guides I found through google have no mention of transfixing whatsoever. Meanwhile, it is trivial to find the Latin inflection of the word telepathy.

If a linguist was able to create a fully functional Ancient Egyptian dialect for the movies Stargate and The Mummy, why the heck is that dialect not available to learn? I am pretty sure members of the Kemetic Orthodoxy would be happy to learn it in order to write more authentic prayers.
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Re: Triconsonantal roots: how?

Post by Lambuzhao » Fri 29 Jun 2018, 16:55

MoonRightRomantic wrote: If a linguist was able to create a fully functional Ancient Egyptian dialect for the movies Stargate and The Mummy, why the heck is that dialect not available to learn?
Uy! Yerps! Hollywoodified Coptic does not an Ancient Egyptian Dialect make. [:(]

MoonRightRomantic wrote: I am pretty sure members of the Kemetic Orthodoxy would be happy to learn it in order to write more authentic prayers.

And well they deserve it!
[;)]
MoonRightRomantic wrote: ¿Resources?
I discovered Ancient Egyptian: A Linguistic Introduction (1995) by Antonio Loprieno while finishing my Post-Baccalaureate in Classical Studies (mumble 28 mumble years ago) . His work provides a number of examples, but no complete verbal paradigms.

https://books.google.com/books/about/An ... 8Mzji0XRgC
Not sure if there's an 'open' version of this book (mebbe a Russian Egyptophile scanned & uploaded its entirety somewheres… :roll: )

Loprieno's insights give a most valuable perspective of (mostly Middle) Egyptian language, and also larger diachronic changes into Coptic.


A close second would be to dig up a copy of Werner Vycichl's La vocalisation de la langue égyptienne (¿1983-4?). The version I found was written in French, but the grammatical/phonetic terminology is almost identical between :fra: and :eng:, so I would make this a definite recommendation. Oh, another thing, he relies on an extensive knowledge of Coptic language, both written and spoken (He did fieldwork recording a number of native speakers in the village of Zeniya in Egypt during 1934-38). He was born in Austro-Hungary in 1901 and died in 1999 [:'(]. That makes Yycichl older than Yoda, and just a little bit younger than the Pharaohs.

An even closer 3rd (mebbe really 1st?) would be to familiarize oneself with Coptic. There are a number of resources out there on the Internet. Fortunately, Cyberspace has come a long way to uniting various little brush-fires of Coptic revitalization throughout the Diaspora.

I just found out about this:

Christian de Vartavan, Vocalised Dictionary of Ancient Egyptian (2016 ?!):
https://www.academia.edu/24283355/Vocal ... o=download

Vartavan seems to completely ignore the glottal/pharyngeal consonants, or rather 'vowellify' them, which I find a little disheartening, since they should have existed in Ancient-Middle Egyptian based on reconstructions based on Semitic cognates. That would make his reconstructions less Vocalized Ancient Egyptian, and more somewhere along the continuum between Demotic and Pre-Proto-Coptic. Nonetheless, he builds pretty squarely upon the work & shoulders of Vycichl's Dictionnaire Etymologique, so there's that. He also seems pretty well versed (could be just from Vycichl's work) in Coptic, and has many etymologies back-hoed from the Coptic,

which is better end mere refresheng then seeng menee Egepten werds weth these desgesteng egeptelegecel E's everewhere. [}:(]

I just got the download, so I'm perusing this, as you will be doing, with Pacman-like interest, gusto and zeal.

/ˈʕɑːnx/ /uːd͡ʒɑ/ /sɑnɑːb/
[;)]
Last edited by Lambuzhao on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 17:24, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Triconsonantal roots: how?

Post by Lambuzhao » Fri 29 Jun 2018, 17:06

Ooh! Also these:

https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Ancient ... ized_forms

https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Ancient ... ct/Numbers

Wow, Internet: ♫bit by bit putting it together…
[:)]
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Re: Triconsonantal roots: how?

Post by MoonRightRomantic » Fri 29 Jun 2018, 21:41

Vartavan’s conclusions seem highly questionable.
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Re: Triconsonantal roots: how?

Post by Lambuzhao » Sat 30 Jun 2018, 01:31

For his work to be titled Vocalised Ancient Egyptian, the reconstructions don't look ancient enough to me.
Upon further perusal, many look almost exactly like the Coptic, w/o any heed to sound change.

If you can get your hands on Loprieno's book (electronic or papery), do so with all haste.
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Re: Triconsonantal roots: how?

Post by MoonRightRomantic » Mon 02 Jul 2018, 13:53

Lambuzhao wrote:
Sat 30 Jun 2018, 01:31
For his work to be titled Vocalised Ancient Egyptian, the reconstructions don't look ancient enough to me.
Upon further perusal, many look almost exactly like the Coptic, w/o any heed to sound change.

If you can get your hands on Loprieno's book (electronic or papery), do so with all haste.
That is why I think his conclusions are highly questionable. He assumes that a number of consonants and biliterals are intended to represent vowels or diphthongs, but there is no evidence that this is the case. Indeed, if such a convention was used it then would have been present in the alphabets derived from hieroglyphic.

He is clearly working backwards from the assumption that Ancient Egyptian was pronounced like Coptic, even though anyone with even minimal knowledge of language change over time would think this was nonsense.

Stuart Tyson Smith's reconstruction of Ancient Egyptian is probably more accurate, and it was never intended to be accurate just functional.
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Re: Triconsonantal roots: how?

Post by Lambuzhao » Mon 02 Jul 2018, 18:51

mȝˤ.t m{Ã} truth MAA , MH , MЄ , MOΥ
Why he doesn't just say moɒt , with /oɒ/ like he suggested /ȝˤ/ was to be read. I dunno. :roll:
Furthermore, he blatantly prunes off the final feminine /t/ … GRRRRR [>:|]

Even de Vartavan's 'master' Werner Vicychl reconstructs it
* /muȝˤ.at/

with the /t/ desinence (!!) [Vocalisation, p. 193] [>:|]

Loprieno also reconstructs it:

Proto-Coptic */meʔʕə/ < ME */muʔʕat/ < AE */muʀʕat/

(An Introduction, p. 47)

Even the Akkadian onomastic transcription renders (-mu-a) (ibid., 39)
[:S]

Tsk tsk, de Vartavan. [:(]


Stuart Tyson Smith…
Of the two cin-Egyptians, Stargate sounded right to me; there were words that I could recognize.

bani, nofi, naturu (though he liked to blip off final /r/, which made it sound a little Coptesque to me.

I think he even used mua in his scripted dialogues for 'truth', and no bleating /mɛː/ (!)
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Re: Triconsonantal roots: how?

Post by MoonRightRomantic » Mon 02 Jul 2018, 20:35

What is reasoning behind the inflection of the first vowel in a root? I have not been able to find an explanation for the underlying logic. For example, katīb "writer" versus kitāb "book". Does CaCīC indicate an agent noun, CiCāC an inanimate object or past participle used as a noun?
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