So, perhaps I should post something indeed.I wrote:OK, if no-one proposes a solution (or, better, an overview of possible solutions) in, like, a couple days, I'll post some hints.
To remind what the challenge was about:
From previous discussion it appears that a clarification is needed on "3": it does not mean that all possible syllables have meanings assigned to them; it does mean that every well-formed syllable can be *in principle* treated as a regular declinable noun (e. g. if it's a loan). In fact, it would be cool to apply the same principle to open classes of words other than nouns.I wrote:I am thinking of a natural-looking language with the following features:
1. It's monosyllabic, has at least three tones which are never subject to positional neutralizations, and has very few potential clitics (or, better, none); that is, even if there are "grammatical" words, they are also used independently or at least can carry full phrasal stress.
2. It is not isolating. Its nouns have at least three cases which, among other things, disambiguate between agent-like and patient-like arguments of transitive verbs, as well as at least two numbers; it may also have some morphology in verbs; bonus points for having three or more genders, preferably with at least partly non-semantic-based gender assignment.
3. There are no restrictions on the phonetic shape of the least marked form of noun, i. e. any phonotactically permitted syllable can be in principle the dictionary form of some noun.
(Sure, I am asking not for a detailed description, only for an outline of main traits, morphological techniques in the first place.)
A. None of my conditions says or implies that there are no syllable-internal alternations.
B. Reduplication, including such that alters the shape of one or both syllables in some ways, can be viewed as not violating "1" if treated properly (e. g. if the phonetic features of both syllables are needed to recover the full information of the original monosyllabic word and its grammatical form, i. e. there is a functional factor disfavoring any phonetic erosion that might lead to coalescence into one phonetic word.)
(This is, BTW, the main idea of my condition "1": the language must be as close as possible to your ideal prototypical monosyllabic language, with its structures offering little incentive to reinterpret any sequences of syllables as polysyllabic words.)
Also, a couple meta considerations about the game.
It seems to me that the idea of the game provokes touching upon exotic and/or theoretically difficult features. Therefore, it is very easy to misinterpret the challenge's author's vision of the challenge and possible solutions.
On the other hand, due to the same characteristic of the game, it may be very interesting to see solutions to related problems, slightly differing from the author's original vision.
So I propose that two things to be encouraged:
(1) Conscious modifications to challenges posted by others.
(2) Restating the challenge one is responding to, to make it clear how it was understood in designing a solution. (As an example: I did that instinctively in replying to Keenir's challenge above.)
Also, it would be cool to see multiple responses to each challenge. So, one more thing:
(3) Using more spoiler tags.