"Make these work together" game.

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Re: "Make these work together" game.

Post by Keenir » Wed 10 Jul 2013, 20:34

Creyeditor wrote:First of all, thanks for that detailed answer, Eldin [:)]
Let's use quantum mechanics and say that I've got half a success, that's more than I usually get in games [:D]
congratulations.

that makes it your turn.
At work on Apaan: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4799
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Re: "Make these work together" game.

Post by Creyeditor » Thu 11 Jul 2013, 00:48

Keenir wrote:that makes it your turn.
Okay, I don't really know if this is challenging and I don't even know if each two appear together in a natlang (1 and 2 do though), but I think the results will be interesting [:)]

1. The language has a vertical vowel system
2. The morphology of the language uses ablaut and concatenative formatives
3. There is some kind of vowel harmony
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Re: "Make these work together" game.

Post by eldin raigmore » Thu 11 Jul 2013, 01:07

Creyeditor wrote:First of all, thanks for that detailed answer, Eldin [:)]
Let's use quantum mechanics and say that I've got half a success, that's more than I usually get in games [:D]
More than half. And I think it's now your turn.

Creyeditor wrote:I intended the applicative to apply for only some Oblique adjuncts, namely Benefactive, Locative and Instrumental.
All adjuncts are oblique; all core terms are arguments; but there are such things as oblique arguments.
Applicatives promote oblique arguments to the second core position; ordinarily they don't have anything to do with adjuncts.
If a clause has a Benefactive argument, and it's not a core argument, promoting it into the second core position would be a Benefactive Applicative.
If a clause has a Locative argument, and it's not a core argument, promoting it into the second core position would be a Locative Applicative.
If a clause has an Instrumental argument, and it's not a core argument, promoting it into the second core position would be an Instrumental Applicative.

Look up the difference between Adjuncts and Arguments. Having done so you may not see what the big deal is, or you may not see how anyone can ever be sure; OTOH you may find it useful, at least for conlanging purposes.

Creyeditor wrote:In fact I've never heard of a language that uses applicatives for the theme of a ditransitive clause, but I haven't heard much about applicatives anyway. Is there such a natlang?
Maybe so.
Most languages with Applicative "Voice(s)" have only two M.A.P.s or G.R.s anyway, at least according to some analyses.

And there may not be a big, obvious difference between:
  • on the one hand, languages whose "Ditransitive" verbs are really Monotransitives whose only Object is the Recipient but which obligatorily have the Theme as an Oblique argument (these would be languages with only two Grammatical Relations);
  • and on the other hand, languages whose Ditransitive verbs really do have two Objects, but the Recipient takes the same case as the Patient of a Monotransitive while the Theme takes a brand new "Secundative" case (these would be languages with three GRs).
AIUI, that latter group is what is meant by "Dechticaetiative" when used in the strict sense; but some linguisticians probably call some of the first group Dechticaetiative as well. And even that assumes that linguists can tell which languages go in which groups.

But something similar does occur in, for instance, English.
Suppose we have a language with a Nominative/Accusative/Dative alignment and three GRs, namely Subject (Nominative), Direct Object (Accusative), and Indirect Object (Dative).
Many such languages, English among them if English actually has a third GR (I think there's disagreement about that), have a phenomenon called "Dative Movement" in which the Indirect Object gets promoted to the Direct Object slot; or in other words, in which the Dative argument gets promoted to the Accusative argument position.
Some people -- Wikipedia can tell you who some of them are -- consider that a kind of Applicativization.

I'm pretty sure somebody -- Haspelmath or Dryer or somebody like that -- published a list of languages with various combinations of Intransitive-Monotransitive alignment and Monotransitive-Ditransitive alignment, and that some few of his/her/their examples combined Ergativity with Dechticaetiativity. But I'll bet that Applicatives weren't discussed in the same paper.

The latest incarnation of "Relational Grammar" is M.A.P. theory or Mapping theory or something like that.
One of the tendencies that some of those grammarians have noticed and published is, that when any process (such as a Voice) promotes something into or out of a core position (a Grammatical Relation), it usually -- some say "almost always" IIRC -- has either the top MAP (the Subject) or the bottom MAP (whatever that is) as either the source or the destination.
If the language has two or fewer GRs or MAPs, that remark carries no content that's not just a consequence of the definitions.

But if it has three or more GRs, for instance Subject and Primary Object and Secondary Object, that would mean that all the voice-like processes have to either demote the Subject, or promote something to Subject, or demote or promote something to Secondary Object.
To Applicativize a ditransitive clause by promoting an oblique argument to the Primary Object position when there already is a Secondary Object, would violate the above "Universal" (which seems to be a Conditional Statistical Universal).

Without violating the above "Universal", you could Applicativize an Intransitive clause, adding a Primary Object to it without demoting anything. In effect this voice-operation would turn a formerly oblique argument into the new Primary Object, and turn the formerly Intransitive verb into a newly Monotransitive form.
And, without violating the above "Universal", you could Applicativize a Monotransitive clause, replacing its original Primary Object with a new Primary Object that used to be an oblique argument, and demoting the original Primary Object to something implicit, or to some oblique position. Either way the verb would still be Monotransitive.
And, IMO without violating the above "Universal", you could Applicativize a Monotransitive clause, replacing its original Primary Object with a new Primary Object that used to be an oblique argument, and demoting the original Primary Object to be a new Secondary Object. That would change the Monotransitive verb to a Ditransitive form.

But if a Ditransitive clause already has a Subject and a Primary Object and a Secondary Object, and you want a "voice"-process to move something into the middle, Primary Object slot, you can only demote the Subject to there, or promote the Secondary Object to there, or violate the "Universal" mentioned above.

(By the same token if a Ditransitive clause already has a Subject and a Primary Object and a Secondary Object, and you want a "voice"-process to move something out of the middle, Primary Object slot, you can only promote it to Subject, or demote it to Secondary Object, or violate the "Universal" mentioned above.)

That's my understanding of Dechticaetiativity and of Applicativization. If my understanding is correct you can see one reason why I thought it was challenging to combine them. But maybe my understanding is incorrect and there are natlangs that do it easily.

Of course, combining Applicativization with Ergativity is also challenging. Does the oblique argument get promoted into the Absolutive slot, or into the Ergative slot? For that matter, is the Absolutive argument the syntactic Subject of the default-voiced, unmarked monotransitive clause in an Ergative language? And is the Ergative argument an Object thereof? If so, promoting an oblique argument into the Subject slot (the Absolutive slot) would be a "Circumstantial Voice" rather than an "Applicative Voice" -- woudln't it?
At least, IMO, it wouldn't violate any "universals" either way; so the challenge is perhaps not as great. But it's still there.

I hope all that's not a "tl;dr".
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Re: "Make these work together" game.

Post by Creyeditor » Thu 11 Jul 2013, 01:38

eldin raigmore wrote:
Creyeditor wrote:I intended the applicative to apply for only some Oblique adjuncts, namely Benefactive, Locative and Instrumental.
All adjuncts are oblique; all core terms are arguments; but there are such things as oblique arguments.
Applicatives promote oblique arguments to the second core position; ordinarily they don't have anything to do with adjuncts.
If a clause has a Benefactive argument, and it's not a core argument, promoting it into the second core position would be a Benefactive Applicative.
If a clause has a Locative argument, and it's not a core argument, promoting it into the second core position would be a Locative Applicative.
If a clause has an Instrumental argument, and it's not a core argument, promoting it into the second core position would be an Instrumental Applicative.

Look up the difference between Adjuncts and Arguments. Having done so you may not see what the big deal is, or you may not see how anyone can ever be sure; OTOH you may find it useful, at least for conlanging purposes.
I just looked it up. Now I definitly know what the theoretic difference between an argument and an adjunct is (Is this my German SOV in subclauses? [;)] )
eldin raigmore wrote:Of course, combining Applicativization with Ergativity is also challenging. Does the oblique argument get promoted into the Absolutive slot, or into the Ergative slot? For that matter, is the Absolutive argument the syntactic Subject of the default-voiced, unmarked monotransitive clause in an Ergative language? And is the Ergative argument an Object thereof? If so, promoting an oblique argument into the Subject slot (the Absolutive slot) would be a "Circumstantial Voice" rather than an "Applicative Voice" -- woudln't it?
At least, IMO, it wouldn't violate any "universals" either way; so the challenge is perhaps not as great. But it's still there.
I guess this is why I created two "applicatives". I know for sure that one this is a "real apllicative" and the other one is a kind of circumstantial (well applicatives increase valency and circumstantials do not, so there must be another difference)
eldin raigmore wrote:I hope all that's not a "tl;dr".
No, I read it, at least twice. I'm very glad you pinted all that out as I am going to start studying Linguistics on University this year.
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Re: "Make these work together" game.

Post by DesEsseintes » Tue 16 Jul 2013, 15:28

Fascinating stuff [:D]

Long before reading this thread, I decided that I wanted my conlang to be dechticaetiative and to possess applicatives, and the alignment is looking pretty ergative (quite by accident, mind), so if I work something out I'll come back and haunt you all.

Thank you, Eldin, for your analysis above. Reading it has made me realise that I was definitely working with a rather lax version of dechticaetiativity in Sōkoan.
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Re: "Make these work together" game.

Post by eldin raigmore » Tue 16 Jul 2013, 22:00

Creyeditor wrote:
Keenir wrote:that makes it your turn.
Okay, I don't really know if this is challenging and I don't even know if each two appear together in a natlang (1 and 2 do though), but I think the results will be interesting [:)]

1. The language has a vertical vowel system
2. The morphology of the language uses ablaut and concatenative formatives
3. There is some kind of vowel harmony
Did anyone try this yet?

"Vowel harmony" would probably mean that every non-primarily-stressed syllable has an underspecified nuclear vowel, which copies its unspecified features from the primarily-stressed syllable's.
Suppose both frontness/backness and roundedness are harmonized. Then for non-primarily-stressed syllables, the only thing about the nuclear vowel that would be specified, would be its height or closeness. So there would be a "vertical vowel system" in non-primarily-stressed syllables.
Odds are the primarily-stressed syllable would be the first syllable of the root-morpheme; odds also are the primarily-stressed syllable would be the first syllable of the word. Odds are all affixes would be suffixes.
So in a suffix the only feature of a vowel-phoneme specified would be its height or closeness; suffixes would have a "vertical vowel system".

How would ablaut fit in?

Ablaut frequently affects only one syllable. If it affects only one syllable, that's frequently always the last syllable. Otherwise it's frequently always the first syllable.

If some root-morphemes had two or more syllables, it could be that the vowel in the last syllable (assuming it's unstressed) could change -- especially, could change height -- consistently in order to reflect some morphological meaning.

OTOH, suppose the first syllable of any root-morpheme is always the primarily stressed one. That syllable's vowel could consistently mutate in such a way as to convey some morphological information; it might mutate with some other feature than height/closeness, such as frontness-backness, or roundedness.

Also, there could be phonemic length for vowels, without disturbing the "verticality" of the vowel system. There might also or instead be phonemic nasalization for vowels provided the vowel was neither preceded nor followed by a nasal consonant. One or both of those features, and/or "Advanced Tongue Root" ("widening"), or some such thing, might be ablaut-food perhaps with or without being swallowed up by "harmony" in unstressed syllables.

And what about diphthongs? Could those be allowed?

What exactly are "concatenative formatives"?
WALS Chapter 20: Fusion of Selected Inflectional Formatives by Balthasar Bickel and Johanna Nichols wrote:Concatenative formatives are phonologically bound. They need some other host word for their pronunciation and form one single phonological word together with that host. The usual effects of this are that concatenative formatives cannot be individually stressed, and that the combination of formative and host undergoes various phonological adjustments. The past tense marker of Turkish, for example, undergoes vowel harmony and assimilates in consonant voicing to the host stem. Thus, the past tense formative is -ti after a stem with unrounded front vowels and a voiceless final consonant (e.g. git-ti ‘go-past’), -tı after a stem with unrounded back vowels and a voiceless final consonant (e.g. yap-tı ‘do-past’), -di after a stem with unrounded front vowels and a voiced final consonant (e.g. gel-di ‘come-past’), and so on. A subset of concatenative markers is constituted by cliticized words. The Spanish object marker a, for example, is syntactically a word (preposition) but phonologically it is a clitic and thus concatenative.

Once the phonological alternations are properly analyzed, strings of concatenative formatives can be segmented into clear-cut morphemes. Nonlinear formatives are not amenable to this because they are realized not in linear sequence but by direct modification of their host. In our sample, we found two subtypes of nonlinear formatives: ablaut and tonal. Modern Hebrew illustrates the ablaut type. The past (“perfect”) vs. future (“imperfect”) opposition, for example, is expressed by (i) the choice of a stem template (e.g. CaCVC in the past, CCVC in the future) and (ii) the choice of agreement affixes (entirely suffixes in the past, mostly prefixes in the future).
In other words, "concatenative formatives" are prefixes and suffixes. Or at least that's how I interpret it.
WALS Chapter 20: Fusion of Selected Inflectional Formatives by Balthasar Bickel and Johanna Nichols wrote:Most of the languages in our sample (75%) rely exclusively on concatenative morphology for case and tense-aspect-mood. Languages with some isolating or nonlinear formatives are much rarer and have limited areal distribution.
....
In our sample, ablaut morphology is always mixed with concatenative morphology and appears as an African singularity limited to representatives of Afro-Asiatic (Hebrew, Egyptian Arabic, Middle Berber Atlas, Beja) and the Central Sudanic branch of Nilo-Saharan (Lugbara).

Concerning vowel-harmony.
http://www-01.sil.org/linguistics/GlossaryOfLinguisticTerms/WhatIsVowelHarmony.htm wrote:Vowel harmony is a type of assimilation which takes place when vowels come to share certain features with contrastive vowels elsewhere in a word or phrase (Crystal 1992 168 ).
Features of vowel harmony
Vowel harmony often involves dimensions such as
Vowel height (i.e. high, mid, or low vowels)
Vowel backness (i.e. front, central, or back vowels)
Vowel roundedness (i.e. rounded or unrounded)
Tongue root position (i.e. advanced or retracted tongue root, abbrev.: ±ATR)
Nasalization (i.e. oral or nasal) (in this case, a nasal consonant is usually the trigger)
In many languages, vowels can be said to belong to particular sets or classes, such as back vowels or rounded vowels. Some languages have more than one system of harmony. For instance, Altaic languages are proposed to have a rounding harmony superimposed over a backness harmony.
Even amongst languages with vowel harmony, not all vowels need participate in the vowel conversions; these vowels are termed neutral. Neutral vowels may be opaque and block harmonic processes or they may be transparent and not affect them.[2] Intervening consonants are also often transparent.
Finally, languages that do have vowel harmony often allow for lexical disharmony, or words with mixed sets of vowels even when an opaque neutral vowel is not involved. van der Hulst & van de Weijer (1995) point to two such situations: polysyllabic trigger morphemes may contain non-neutral vowels from opposite harmonic sets and certain target morphemes simply fail to harmonize.[3] Many loanwords exhibit disharmony. For example, Turkish vakit, ('time' [from Arabic waqt]); *vakıt would have been expected.

Underspecification
See Neutralization, archiphoneme, underspecification for an explanation of archiphoneme and neutralization with an example of a Tuvan archiphoneme involved in vowel harmony.
(Please note the slight error in Wikipedia when talking about tongue-root position. The tongue root can have three positions; Advanced, Retracted, or Relaxed. Retracted Tongue Root (RTR) occurs only in consonants. For vowels the only contrast is Advanced Tongue Root (+ATR) vs relaxed tongue root (-ATR).)

The Rarity Cabinet has an example of a language that harmonizes "peripheral vowels" vs "interior vowels". "Peripheral vowels" are front unrounded vowels, back rounded vowels, and low or open vowels. Interior vowels are anything else; front rounded and back unrounded vowels (except open ones), and central or near-front or near-open vowels (except open ones), particularly including any close front rounded, or close back unrounded, or close central, or close near-front, or close near-back vowels. And the same if "near-close" or "close-mid" or "mid" or "open-mid" or "near-open" is substituted for "close". In this language, for each word, either all the vowels in the word are peripheral, or all the vowels in the word are interior. Most languages have more peripheral vowels than interior vowels; indeed it's common for a language to have no "interior" vowels at all.

About Vertical Vowel Systems, Wikipedia says:
Wikipedia wrote:Vertical vowel systems, invariably contrasting only in vowel height, have been noted for the following languages:
Northwest Caucasian family Abkhaz (two degrees)
Adyghe (three degrees)
Kabardian (two, perhaps three degrees)
Ubykh (two, perhaps three degrees)
Caddoan family Wichita (three degrees)
Chadic languages Margi (two degrees in native vocabulary)
Australian Aboriginal languages Arrernte (two degrees)
Austronesian languages Marshallese (four, now perhaps three degrees)
Sepik–Ramu languages
Goidelic languages Irish (three degrees for short vowels only)
Kazakh and Mongolian have vertical vowel systems in that backness is not phonemic; however, it is not one-dimensional. Backness has in both languages been reinterpreted as advanced tongue root; vowels are otherwise distinguished by height, diphthongization, and, in Kazakh, rounding.

I still don't know whether each two of the three requirements actually occur together in some natlang.
Last edited by eldin raigmore on Tue 16 Jul 2013, 22:20, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: "Make these work together" game.

Post by Creyeditor » Tue 16 Jul 2013, 22:18

eldin raigmore wrote:"Vowel harmony" would probably mean that every non-primarily-stressed syllable has an underspecified nuclear vowel, which copies its unspecified features from the primarily-stressed syllable's.
Suppose both frontness/backness and roundedness are harmonized. Then for non-primarily-stressed syllables, the only thing about the nuclear vowel that would be specified, would be its height or closeness. So there would be a "vertical vowel system" in non-primarily-stressed syllables.
Odds are the primarily-stressed syllable would be the first syllable of the root-morpheme; odds also are the primarily-stressed syllable would be the first syllable of the word. Odds are all affixes would be suffixes.
So in a suffix the only feature of a vowel-phoneme specified would be its height or closeness; suffixes would have a "vertical vowel system".
Clever trick [;)] I thought that the whole vowel quality inventory would have a vertical vowel system [:D]
eldin raigmore wrote:How would ablaut fit in?

Ablaut frequently affects only one syllable. If it affects only one syllable, that's frequently always the last syllable. Otherwise it's frequently always the first syllable.

If some root-morphemes had two or more syllables, it could be that the vowel in the last syllable (assuming it's unstressed) could change -- especially, could change height -- consistently in order to reflect some morphological meaning.

OTOH, suppose the first syllable of any root-morpheme is always the primarily stressed one. That syllable's vowel could consistently mutate in such a way as to convey some morphological information; it might mutate with some other feature than height/closeness, such as frontness-backness, or roundedness.

Also, there could be phonemic length for vowels, without disturbing the "verticality" of the vowel system. There might also or instead be phonemic nasalization for vowels provided the vowel was neither preceded nor followed by a nasal consonant. One or both of those features, and/or "Advanced Tongue Root" ("widening"), or some such thing, might be ablaut-food perhaps with or without being swallowed up by "harmony" in unstressed syllables.
So the ablaut never changes the vowel of the suffixes?
eldin raigmore wrote: And what about diphthongs? Could those be allowed?
Why not?

eldin raigmore wrote: What exactly are "concatenative formatives"?
I used this term to refer to affixes as they are used in languages, traditionally called agglutinating in contrast to affixes as they are used in traditionally inflecting languages. I might, again, be misinterpreting a term.
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Re: "Make these work together" game.

Post by eldin raigmore » Tue 16 Jul 2013, 22:37

Creyeditor wrote:So the ablaut never changes the vowel of the suffixes?
I don't think so; I think that would be interpreted as just a different suffix, rather than as ablaut. Ablaut is when a vowel of the stem -- usually the last, otherwise usually the first -- gets changed, to show something morphological. Technically, the stem consists of the root plus all the derivational (as opposed to inflectional) morphemes, so if the language did have some derivational suffixes, some of them might get changed and that might be called ablaut, but I don't think it would be.

It's still "vowel harmony" if the language has only prefixes, and the primarily-stressed syllable is always the last syllable (both the last in the word and the last in the root)*, and the vowels in the non-primarily-accented syllables all anticipate the last syllable's features except for its height. Or, at least, anticipate its frontness/backness and its roundedness.

Edit: *Possibly, I suppose, "both the last in the word and the last in the stem", or, "both the last in the root and the last in the stem". If your 'lang has some derivation distinct from inflection.


Maybe your language's inflectional morphemes are all suffixes, but some of its derivational morphemes are prefixes or infixes or "suprafixes" of one kind or another.
Or inflectional morphemes are all prefixes, but some of its derivational morphemes are suffixes or infixes or "suprafixes" of one kind or another.
And I don't know how much ablaut you want. If ablaut can and does affect more than just the first syllable, or more than just the last syllable, that might reasonably be considered a "transfix" -- something similar to binyanim in Hebrew. I just don't see how to combine that with vowel-harmony, especially with vowel-harmony and a vertical vowel system.

Unless ablaut for a non-primarily-accented vowel involves some feature other than height, backness, and rounding; such as length and/or nasalization and/or tongue-root-position.

BTW I assume "stressemes" -- varying which syllable gets primary stress in order to show something morphological, whether derivational or inflectional -- is ruled out by the "ablaut and concatenative formatives" restriction. Unless it's allowed for derivation but not for inflection.
But if it were allowed, I think it would work well with length and/or tongue-root position and/or "tense vs lax" or something else, other than backness and roundedness, that could be "ablauted".
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Re: "Make these work together" game.

Post by Click » Mon 22 Jul 2013, 15:07

Creyeditor wrote:1. The language has a vertical vowel system
2. The morphology of the language uses ablaut and concatenative formatives
3. There is some kind of vowel harmony
OK, lemme do this.

Móka has eighteen phonemic consonants and four phonemic vowels. The labialized-plain-palatalized distinction is neutralized in syllable coda. There is a light vowel harmony system that raises /ɐ/ to /ɘ/ if occuring in a word with /ɨ/. The approximants /w j/ have no independent phonemic realization, but vowels are fronted next to /j/ and backed and rounded next to /w/.

/mʷ mʲ nʷ nʲ pʷ pʲ tʷ tʲ kʷ kʲ sʷ sʲ xʷ xʲ rʷ rʲ w j/ m m◌́ n◌̀ n◌ n◌́ p p◌́ t t◌́ k k◌́ s s◌́ y y◌́ r r◌́ ◌ ◌́
/ɨ ɘ ɐ a aɨ̯/ i e o a ai

There is a small nominative-accusative-oblique case system. The nominative is the only unmarked case. The accusative is marked by raising the last vowel of the stem to /ɨ/. The oblique is used with prepositions. It is marked with -ti. Inanimate nouns don't make a distinction between the nominative and the accusative.
An example declension of two nouns follows below.

móre 'fire; life; person', an animate noun

móre - NOM
méri - ACC
méreti - OBL

kiron 'coral', an inanimate noun

kiron - NOM
kirin - ACC
kirenti - OBL

Verbal morphology is limited to tense marking. Four tenses are distinguished: past, immediate past, present and future. The past tense is unmarked. The immediate past and future are marked with suffixes: -kiri for the immediate past and -nin for the future.
The present is formed by infixing ◌́ before the last stem vowel that is not preceded by a palatalized consonant, in turn depalatalizing all other stem consonants. The present infix behaves the same as /ɨ/ wrt vowel harmony. If all consonants in a verb stem are palatalized, the present is unmarked.
An example conjugation of two verbs follows below.

káyo 'be large'

káyo - PST
káyekiri - IMM.PST
kayé - PRS
káyenin - FUT

'have' (alienable)

- PST
pékiri - IMM.PST
- PRS
pénin - FUT

I plan to develop this in a full-fledged conlang. [:)]
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Re: "Make these work together" game.

Post by Creyeditor » Mon 22 Jul 2013, 22:38

Click wrote:
Spoiler:
Creyeditor wrote:1. The language has a vertical vowel system
2. The morphology of the language uses ablaut and concatenative formatives
3. There is some kind of vowel harmony
OK, lemme do this.

Móka has eighteen phonemic consonants and four phonemic vowels. The labialized-plain-palatalized distinction is neutralized in syllable coda. There is a light vowel harmony system that raises /ɐ/ to /ɘ/ if occuring in a word with /ɨ/. The approximants /w j/ have no independent phonemic realization, but vowels are fronted next to /j/ and backed and rounded next to /w/.

/mʷ mʲ nʷ nʲ pʷ pʲ tʷ tʲ kʷ kʲ sʷ sʲ xʷ xʲ rʷ rʲ w j/ m m◌́ n◌̀ n◌ n◌́ p p◌́ t t◌́ k k◌́ s s◌́ y y◌́ r r◌́ ◌ ◌́
/ɨ ɘ ɐ a aɨ̯/ i e o a ai

There is a small nominative-accusative-oblique case system. The nominative is the only unmarked case. The accusative is marked by raising the last vowel of the stem to /ɨ/. The oblique is used with prepositions. It is marked with -ti. Inanimate nouns don't make a distinction between the nominative and the accusative.
An example declension of two nouns follows below.

móre 'fire; life; person', an animate noun

móre - NOM
méri - ACC
méreti - OBL

kiron 'coral', an inanimate noun

kiron - NOM
kirin - ACC
kirenti - OBL

Verbal morphology is limited to tense marking. Four tenses are distinguished: past, immediate past, present and future. The past tense is unmarked. The immediate past and future are marked with suffixes: -kiri for the immediate past and -nin for the future.
The present is formed by infixing ◌́ before the last stem vowel that is not preceded by a palatalized consonant, in turn depalatalizing all other stem consonants. The present infix behaves the same as /ɨ/ wrt vowel harmony. If all consonants in a verb stem are palatalized, the present is unmarked.
An example conjugation of two verbs follows below.

káyo 'be large'

káyo - PST
káyekiri - IMM.PST
kayé - PRS
káyenin - FUT

'have' (alienable)

- PST
pékiri - IMM.PST
- PRS
pénin - FUT

I plan to develop this in a full-fledged conlang. [:)]

I really like this solution, I guess it's your turn now. I am always happy to inspire [:)]
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Re: "Make these work together" game.

Post by eldin raigmore » Mon 22 Jul 2013, 23:12

Creyeditor wrote:I really like this solution, I guess it's your turn now. I am always happy to inspire [:)]
I like Click's solution too. [B)]
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Re: "Make these work together" game.

Post by Click » Tue 23 Jul 2013, 06:59

Creyeditor wrote:I really like this solution, I guess it's your turn now. I am always happy to inspire [:)]
eldin raigmore wrote:I like Click's solution too. [B)]
Thank you both!

Now I have to think a new challenge.
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Re: "Make these work together" game.

Post by basilius » Tue 23 Jul 2013, 15:10

Perhaps a bit offtopic...
eldin raigmore wrote:In other words, "concatenative formatives" are prefixes and suffixes. Or at least that's how I interpret it.
Based on this:
Balthasar Bickel and Johanna Nichols wrote:In our sample, we found two subtypes of nonlinear formatives: ablaut and tonal.
- also infixes and circumfixes, but not transfixes. (And in fact, tonal alternations, like alternations in segments, can be part of concatenative morphology - with appropriate sandhi; the definition is thus circular, since ablaut, too, is essentially vowel alternation(s) that cannot be interpreted as a combination of concatenative morphological techniques and sandhi.)
eldin raigmore wrote:Retracted Tongue Root (RTR) occurs only in consonants.
I've seen this claim before, but I cannot even imagine where it comes from. It's quite obviously incorrect.
For vowels the only contrast is Advanced Tongue Root (+ATR) vs relaxed tongue root (-ATR).
Same comment.

For example, this article quite explicitly analyzes several vowel harmony systems as based on ±RTR. (Besides, it mentions that some of the systems in question were first analyzed as tongue-root-position-based as early as in 1950's, based on X-ray filming and whatnot.)

(Unfortunately, the article itself is theory-loaded and does not adduce any arguments based on instrumental phonetics, but it quotes enough to make it clear that doubting the existence of +RTR vowels is far beyond common sense.)
The tongue root can have three positions; Advanced, Retracted, or Relaxed.
It should be stressed, however, that while a system contrasting all the three positions is theoretically possible, such systems don't seem to have been reliably attested so far. Typically, a ±ATR system has the +ATR series with markedly ATR phonation, and the -ATR series varying between (slightly) RTR and modal phonation. Similarly, a ±RTR system will normally articulate its +RTR series as markedly RTR, and its -RTR series as varying between (slightly) ATR and modal. And there seem to be systems whose ±ATR or ±RTR status is questionable, which seems to imply that on the articulatory level they have RTR and ATR (unless the phonation type involved has been simply misinterpreted in the available descriptions, which is also quite possible).
Kazakh and Mongolian have vertical vowel systems in that backness is not phonemic; however, it is not one-dimensional. Backness has in both languages been reinterpreted as advanced tongue root; vowels are otherwise distinguished by height, diphthongization, and, in Kazakh, rounding.
I don't see why these two systems should be analyzed as vertical. OK, they have ±RTR instead of front/back (more accurately, back/non-back as a feature secondary to ±RTR), so what? Also, I don't see why a reservation is made for roundedness in Mongolian; Khalkha, and in fact all the other Mongolic languages, do have rounded vowels, and I don't even think they allow for analyzing this roundedness as secondary to any other feature.
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Re: "Make these work together" game.

Post by Click » Wed 24 Jul 2013, 21:00

Ok, here's the challenge.
  1. The language is mostly head-final, especially with regards to adverbial and noun phrases.
  2. The language orders words in a VSO word-order.
  3. There is a quite plausible diachronic explanation how the language came to have these two rather conflicting features.
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Re: "Make these work together" game.

Post by MrKrov » Wed 24 Jul 2013, 22:37

Terribly sorry I'm late on this:
eldin raigmore wrote:
Creyeditor wrote:In fact I've never heard of a language that uses applicatives for the theme of a ditransitive clause, but I haven't heard much about applicatives anyway. Is there such a natlang?
Maybe so.

The answer to Creyeditor's question is yes, Ainu. Applicatives in Ainu (Ana Bugaeva, 2006, pg. 185-196 in the book the PDF was from) describes the e- applicative as marking Theme-Patient (among other things like Content) and lists ko-e-ikka "to steal sth/sb from sb".
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Re: "Make these work together" game.

Post by Creyeditor » Wed 24 Jul 2013, 22:54

Click wrote:Ok, here's the challenge.
  1. The language is mostly head-final, especially with regards to adverbial and noun phrases.
  2. The language orders words in a VSO word-order.
  3. There is a quite plausible diachronic explanation how the language came to have these two rather conflicting features.
Okay, how aboutthis (too short) solution:
The language was entirely head-final (SOV word order),had pro drop, but due to certain sound changes, polypersonal verbal agreement suffixes became homophonous to perosnal pronouns. They were reinterpreted as pronouns, and a while later full noun phrases were moved to this position to.

step 1:
Tayfeezee.
tay-fee-zee
see-1.SG.A-3.SG.P
I see him.

Weejay tayfeezee
weejay tay-fee-zee
sheriff see-1.SG.A-3.SG.P
I see the sheriff.

Weejay keefee tayfoozee.
weejay keefee tay-foo-zee
sherif towel see-3.SG.A-3.SG.P
The sheriff sees the towel.

Pronouns: vi (1.SG.NOM), hi (3.SG.ACC), vu (3.SG)

step 2:

Intervocalic voiced fricatives debuccalize, voiceless fricatives become voiced fricatves, /ee/ merges with /i/, /oo/ merges with /u/.

Tayvihi.
tay-vi-hi
see-1.SG.A-3.SG.P
I see him.

Wijay tayvihi
wijay tay-vi-hi
sheriff see-1.SG.A-3.SG.P
I see the sheriff.

Wijay kivi tayvuhi.
wijay kivi tay-foo-zee
sherif towel see-3.SG.A-3.SG.P
The sheriff sees the towel.

step 3:
Polypersonal agreement suffixes become reinterpreted as personal pronouns. If new personal pronouns and full noun phrases cooccur in a sentence, the pronoun is deleted.

Tay vi hi.
tay vi hi
see 1.SG.NOM 3.SG.ACC
I see him.

Wijay tay vi.
wijay tay vi
sheriff see 1.NOM
I see the sheriff.

Wijay kivi tay.
wijay kivi tay
sheriff towel see
The sheriff sees the towel.

step 4:
Subjects, which sonsist of full noun phrases, are moved where the subject pronoun is.

Tay vi hi.
tay vi hi
see 1.SG.NOM 3.SG.ACC
I see him.

Wijay tay vi.
wijay tay vi
sheriff see 1.NOM
I see the sheriff.

Kivi tay wijay.
kivi tay wijay
towel see sheriff
The sheriff sees the towel.

step 5:

Tay vi hi.
tay vi hi
see 1.SG.NOM 3.SG.ACC
I see him.

Tay vi wijay.
tay vi wijay
see 1.NOM sheriff
I see the sheriff.

Tay wijay kivi .
tay wijay kivi
see sheriff towel
The sheriff sees the towel.
Last edited by Creyeditor on Sat 27 Jul 2013, 19:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Make these work together" game.

Post by eldin raigmore » Wed 24 Jul 2013, 23:00

MrKrov wrote:
Creyeditor wrote:In fact I've never heard of a language that uses applicatives for the theme of a ditransitive clause, but I haven't heard much about applicatives anyway. Is there such a natlang?
The answer to Creyeditor's question is yes, Ainu. Applicatives in Ainu (Ana Bugaeva, 2006, pg. 185-196 in the book the PDF was from) describes the e- applicative as marking Theme-Patient (among other things like Content) and lists ko-e-ikka "to steal sth/sb from sb".
Thanks, MrKrov.
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Re: "Make these work together" game.

Post by Click » Thu 25 Jul 2013, 09:29

Creyeditor wrote:Okay, how aboutthis (too short) solution:
The language was entirely had final (SOV word order),had pro drop, but due to certain sound changes, polypersonal verbal agreement suffixes became homophonous to perosnal pronouns. They were reinterpreted as pronouns, and a while later full noun phrases were moved to this position to.
Good.

Anyone else taking this challenge?
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Re: "Make these work together" game.

Post by eldin raigmore » Fri 26 Jul 2013, 01:19

@Creyeditor, I like what you posted in response to Click's make-these-work-together challenge; in fact I like it a lot.
But am I missing something?
I don't see how (or where, or whether, whatever the right word is) you've shown that it satisfies all three requirements.
In particular, how does it satisfy the requirement:
"1.The language is mostly head-final, especially with regards to adverbial and noun phrases."
?

I find it interesting that your diachronic process, though Step 1 starts with APV ("SOV") "word"-order, seems to pass through a PVA (aka "OVS") word-order in step 4 in case the "Patient" is a full noun-phrase.
Wijay tay vi.
wijay tay vi
sheriff see 1.NOM
I see the sheriff.


Kivi tay wijay.
kivi tay wijay
towel see sheriff
The sheriff sees the towel.


(Step 4 appears to be VAP ("VSO") if both participants are pronouns):
Tay vi hi.
tay vi hi
see 1.SG.NOM 3.SG.ACC
I see him.




Thanks for playing!
@Click, I take it you are not yet satisfied that Creyeditor has completely met your challenge, though he has met requirements 2 and 3?
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Re: "Make these work together" game.

Post by Click » Fri 26 Jul 2013, 09:39

eldin raigmore wrote:@Click, I take it you are not yet satisfied that Creyeditor has completely met your challenge, though he has met requirements 2 and 3?
Yep.
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