Rí: My random ideas conlang

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Rí: My random ideas conlang

Post by Creyeditor » Sat 22 Jul 2017, 23:26

Why Rí?

So, recently I noticed that I posted quite a lot in the random ideas threads here and that I got some positive feedback on those ideas, but I never really developed them into a whole conlang. I also realized that most of them affect different parts of the grammar, so that they can be easily and nicely combined into one conlang. This is the result. It is still work in progress, so bear with me. Also I will postpone the phonology to some later point, so actual word forms might very well change. Let's just say there is prenasalization in stops, a uvular POA, labialization and ATR-harmony in vowels and two tones.

1. Basics
Rí has 5 parts of speech that are defined with regards to semantics, morphology and syntax. Three of them are functional: Particles never take any inflection and they never occur on their own. They usually occur in the second position of a sentence. Their meaning usually relates to pragmatics or information structure. Light verbs always take medial verb inflection and they occur in the left part of the sentence. They always need a lexical verb that corefers. Their meaning usually relates to the Aktionsart of the lexical verb but it can also select for the type of the lexical verb. Classifiers always take case marking. They occur in the left part of the sentence. They always need a lexical noun that corefers. Their meaning classfies nouns into noun classes. The functional parts of speech contrast with three lexical parts of speech: Lexical nouns take case and number marking. They occur in the right part of the sentence. They always need a classifier that corefers. Their meaning refers to more or less specific individuals, i.e. time-stable things with a location in space. Lexical verbs take final or medial verb inflection. They occur in the right part of the sentence. They always need a light verb that corefers. Their meanings refers to more or less specific properties or relations, i.e. space-stable things with a location in time. The boundary between lexical verbs and lexical nouns is not always clear cut. Event words only take clause-connecting inflection. They can occur at their own. Their meaning refers to events, i.e. a proposition that includes a property/relation and its individuals/arguments. Here are some examples for each of the POS.
  • Particle: dọng DP.ALT What I am going to say is not the only possibility, but it's the one I consider true:
  • Light verb: ki AUX.PROC to become, to change ones state
  • Classifier: bua C.DRINK a drink, something that is drinkable
  • Lexical noun: madẹq aunt the older sister of ones mother
  • Lexical verb: wala dream to dream, to speak to the ancestors, to make a prophecy
  • Event words: grọa tiger_attack a tiger attacking a village
So now you might ask: What about ...
  • Prepositions? There are certain locational nouns that modify nouns and act just as other nouns. Some verbs are also translated as verb plus prepositions in English.
  • Conjunctions? These are indicated as inflections on medial verbs. The word 'and' between nouns is indicated by juxtaposition.
  • Adjectives? There are certain nouns that roughly means something like e.g. 'a big one'. These can occur as predicates and as modifiers of a noun.
As you may have noticed there are several different inflections. The medial verb inflection is used for light verbs and for lexical verbs that are in a dependent clause preceding its matrix clause or in a conjoined clause before another conjoined clause. This inflection marks hierarchical agreement and different subject vs. same subject marking. This means that number and person, as well as It also includes clause connecting inflection. The latter is also marked on event words. Here are some examples:

(1)
... kíi waláa ...
ki-˥-ː wala-˥-ː
become-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS-PURP dream-1SG.3SG.DIR.SS-PURP
in order to start dreaming of it


(2)
grọaa ...
groaa-ː
tiger_attack-PURP
for a tiger attack ...

Final verb inflection is almost a superset of medial verb inflection. It occurs on lexical verbs in stand-alone matrix clauses and verbs in matrix clauses that are not followed by any conjoined clause. It marks distance, path of motion, evidentiality, mood and hierarchical subject agreement. Only same subject forms occur here.

(3)
Kí wələkəní.
ki-˥ wala-kan-i-˥
become-1SG.3SG.DIR.SS dream-DIST.TO-VIS.IND-1SG.3SG.DIR.SS
I saw him dreaming (himself) to that place.

Nominal inflection is different for classifiers and lexical nouns. Classifiers only take case marking, whereas lexical nouns take both number and case marking. There are three core cases that mostly code affectedness and control: ergative (controlling) accusative (affected) dative (non-controlling, unaffected) and genitive (used for noun modifications). Number marking is only for plural which is often interpreted as an associative plural with names and kinship terms.

(4)
reni medeq
ren-I2 madẹq-I1-I2
C.HUM-GEN aunt-PL-GEN
of my aunt and here friends

You may have also noticed that I was talking about the left part and the right part of the sentence. Rí syntax is weight-based. Weight is very loosely defined as the number of morphemes per consituent. A sentence starts with the topic followed by all other constituents in order of increasing weight. This means that nominal and verbal phrases are usually discontinious. The general order is the following: Topic > particle > light verb > pronoun > classifiers > medial verb > lexical noun > simple PP/adverb > final verb > complex noun phrases > complex prepositional phrase/adverbial phrase > complement clause. What is a topic? A topic can have a set of properties, but there is only one necessary property: the topic is not the answer to the current discourse question, i.e. it is not in focus. If there is more than one constituent that is not in focus, the constituent that is prementioned will be the topic. If no or all of the non-focus constituents are prementioned, the one that speaker and hearer know exists is the topic. You have not seen examples of full sentences with a topic yet, but you will, hopefully in the next post.

Pretty long for a first post. So what do you think? Does it look to kitchen-sinky? Is it okay? Do you have questions or comments? Is there anything you are particularly interested in?
Edit: I will collect the abbrevations I use in this thread:
Spoiler:
1 first person (I, we)
2 second person (you)
3 third person (he, she, it, they)
ACC accusative case (used for people/animals/things that are affected by an action and undergo a change because of the action)
ALT alternative
ANIM animate animacy (mostly for animals)
AUX auxiliary verb, light verb (a verb with less semantic content that occurs together with a full verb)
C classifier (a word that occurs with a noun but has almost no semantic content on its own)
CAU causal (because of)
COND conditional (if)
DAT dative case (used for people/animals/things that neither do something nor undergo a change).
DIR direct agreement (an agreement where the direction of an action is as expected, i.e. follows the animacy hierarchy)
DIST distal (that one, far away)
DP discourse particle (a particle that does not influence the meaning of a sentence, but how it is interpreted in the context)
DRINK drinkable
ERG ergative case (used for people/animals/things that do something)
GEN genitive case
HUM human animacy
IND indicative mood (a statement)
OBL oblique case
PL plural number (several X)
PROC process
PURP purposive (in order to X)
SEQ sequential (after)
SG singular number (one X)
SIM simultaneous (when X, while X)
SS same subject (the subject of this verb is the same as the subject of another verb)
TO to (a path of motion into the direction of something)
VIS visual evidentiality (X is true, because I saw it)
Last edited by Creyeditor on Sat 06 Jan 2018, 22:40, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Rí: My random ideas conlang

Post by gach » Sun 23 Jul 2017, 13:49

Interesting breakup of the word classes. How do you treat adverbs? These are easily a subclass or inflections of nouns but since you also say that nouns always need to occur with a classifier, do you mean that in sentences like

Swallows fly fast. or
The sun rises daily.

the words for fast and daily need a classifier as well? I guess the same question can go for adjectives, though I assume that each NP is classified as a unit whole.

Pronouns are surely also their own minor class but I'd be interested if they by any chance have any connection with the classifiers. Does Rí allow classifiers to be used anaphorically?

Separating the event words into their own word class could be justified better. In the light of your current examples it seems that they could always be translated using action nominals (or something similar) and could be understood as a subtype of nouns. So please expand their syntax a bit. How do they behave in full sentences, in both nominal and verbal functions? Can they also stand for a full clause on their own? Possibly at least as a full complement clause? And do they aver take classifiers or light verbs?

The weight based syntax needs a bit of getting used to. There are possible issues with separating the light words and the content words into different halves of the sentence. Separating the light verb from the lexical final verb is no problem since there's always only one of these, except if you also allow light verbs in dependent clauses. Classifiers are another issue. When you have more than one noun in a clause, does this mean that their classifiers get piled in a cluster separated from the nouns? If this is the case, you presumably have a way to resolve which classifiers connect to which nouns.

Have you decided yet how strict the weight based word order is? Is the order going to be absolutely strict or is it rather like a broadly Top ... V ... template where the non-topic constituents just group around the verb so that the heavier ones tend to get postponed? I'd guess that it would at least be difficult for the speakers to keep a strict weight ordering from evolving into something more free.

I'll definitely keep following and am especially waiting for in depth descriptions of the classifier system and information structure.
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Re: Rí: My random ideas conlang

Post by Creyeditor » Sun 23 Jul 2017, 15:17

Thank you for your comment, feedback and questions.
gach wrote:Interesting breakup of the word classes. How do you treat adverbs? These are easily a subclass or inflections of nouns but since you also say that nouns always need to occur with a classifier, do you mean that in sentences like

Swallows fly fast. or
The sun rises daily.

the words for fast and daily need a classifier as well? I guess the same question can go for adjectives, though I assume that each NP is classified as a unit whole.
There are two ways of translating adverbs into Rí. The first one is parallel to translating prepositional phrases. You use a noun phrase in an oblique case, possibly with a realtional noun. In the case of adverbs this is also in an oblique case. Both nouns take their own classifier. This strategy is more of a minor strategy, but it would be used to translate 'daily' in the second sentence you gave.
The second one is by a combination of medial and final verbs. The first sentence you gave could be translated like this. The medial verb would be something like 'to move fast' with a special clause connecting inflection that indicates that the medial verb specifies the manner and the final verb would be 'to fly'. Both verbs would take light verbs on their own.

gach wrote:Pronouns are surely also their own minor class but I'd be interested if they by any chance have any connection with the classifiers. Does Rí allow classifiers to be used anaphorically?

You are right. Pronouns are a subclass of nouns. They usually take the classfier for humans, except if you use a third person pronoun to refer to non-humans. I thought about having them be formally similar to classifiers, but Iam not sure yet. Maybe they will be derived from kinship terms?

gach wrote:Separating the event words into their own word class could be justified better. In the light of your current examples it seems that they could always be translated using action nominals (or something similar) and could be understood as a subtype of nouns. So please expand their syntax a bit. How do they behave in full sentences, in both nominal and verbal functions? Can they also stand for a full clause on their own? Possibly at least as a full complement clause? And do they aver take classifiers or light verbs?
The important thing is that they would usually be translated as an action nominal including the arguments of the verb. So 'attacking' is not an event word, but 'tigers attacking a village' would be. They are different from nouns because they do not take nominal inflections, instead they take part of the medial verb inflection. They can stand for a full clause on their own, which makes them different from all other parts of speech. They can also occur as any dependent clause. They never take classifiers or light verbs.
gach wrote:The weight based syntax needs a bit of getting used to. There are possible issues with separating the light words and the content words into different halves of the sentence. Separating the light verb from the lexical final verb is no problem since there's always only one of these, except if you also allow light verbs in dependent clauses. Classifiers are another issue. When you have more than one noun in a clause, does this mean that their classifiers get piled in a cluster separated from the nouns? If this is the case, you presumably have a way to resolve which classifiers connect to which nouns.
Classifiers and lexical nouns are supposed to be linked by the case they bear. In each clause there should be only one argument of each kind. This is because the idea is that classifiers get piled of in the left part of the sentence.
gach wrote:Have you decided yet how strict the weight based word order is? Is the order going to be absolutely strict or is it rather like a broadly Top ... V ... template where the non-topic constituents just group around the verb so that the heavier ones tend to get postponed? I'd guess that it would at least be difficult for the speakers to keep a strict weight ordering from evolving into something more free.
I was actually just thinking of this. The original idea is of course based on things like heavy NP shift in natlangs. Maybe I could do the opposite here? So the order is weight based as the default, but in special cases you might move them in a different position to show semantic coherence. Maybe? I'll work on that.
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Re: Rí: My random ideas conlang

Post by Creyeditor » Mon 24 Jul 2017, 22:49

The following post will be about the nominal inflection. I will also try to provide full sentences. Before that I will have to say something about vowel harmony.

Aside: Vowel harmony

Rí has a vowel harmony based on the ATR/RTR distinction. There are two sets of vowels, the ATR vowels {i u ɪ ʊ ə}<i u e o ə> and the RTR vowels {ɪ ʊ ɛ ɔ a}<e o ẹ ọ a>. All of them might occur long, short, nasalized and voiceless. You may notice that {ɪ ʊ} occur in both sets. This is because they count as the ATR counterpart of RTR {ɛ ɔ} and as the RTR counterpart of {i u}. The harmony is ATR dominant. This means that as soon as an affix or a root has an unambiguous ATR vowel {i u ə} all other RTR vowels in the word change to their ATR counterpart.

2. Nominal inflection

Five Cases are marked on both classifier and lexical nouns. Before explaining the use of the cases, have some terminology. Agent-like arguments are controlling an action and are not affected by it. Patient-like arguments are not controlling an action and are affected by it. Theme-like arguments are not controlling an action and are not affected by it. In the following I will explain the main uses and the marking of cases. There are three semantic core cases. Ergative case marks an agent-like subject of an intransitive verb and the agent-like subject of a transitive verb. Ditransitive donors also get ergative case. This is the unmarked form of nouns and classifiers.

(5)
Garo ren wá liskəní.
garo-∅ ren-∅ wa-˥ lis-kan-i-˥
man-ERG C.HUM-ERG move-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS slide-DIST.TO-VIS.IND-1SG.3SG.DIR.SS
'I saw the man sliding there.'

(6)
Garo ren wá riyəkəní.
garo-∅ ren-∅ wa-˥ riyə-kan-i-˥
man-ERG C.HUM-ERG move-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS dance-DIST.TO-VIS.IND-1SG.3SG.DIR.SS
'I saw the man dancing there.'

(7)
Garo ren tọ kór ọor pənkəní.
garo-∅ ren-∅ tẹ-U kor-˥ aor-U pan-kan-i-˥
man-ERG C.HUM-ERG C.ANIM-ACC achieve-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS lion-ACC shoot-DIST.TO-VIS.IND-1SG.3SG.DIR.SS
'I saw the man shooting a lion there.'

Accusative case marks an patient-like subject of an intransitive verb and the patient-like object of a transtive verb. Transitive subjects can also take this marking if they are patient-like. Ditransitive themes also get accusative case. These can cause rounding of an unrounded vowel or suffixation of an -u, if the vowel is already rounded.

(8)
Gọro ron wá liskəní.
garo-U ren-U wa-˥ lis-kan-i-˥
man-ACC C.HUM-ACC move-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS slide-DIST.TO-VIS.IND-1SG.3SG.DIR.SS
'I saw the man slipping and falling there.'

(9)
Ọor tọ ren kór garo pənkəní.
aor-U tẹ-U ren-∅ kor-˥-ː garo-∅ pan-kan-i-˥
lion-ACC C.ANIM-ACC C.HUM-ERG achieve-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS man-ERG shoot-DIST.TO-VIS.IND-1SG.3SG.DIR.SS
'I saw a man shooting the lion there.'

Dative case marks a theme-like subject of an intransitive verb and the theme-like object of a transitive verb. Transitive subjects can also take this marking if they are theme-like. Ditransitive recipients also get dative case. The affix blocks palatalization before front vowels, becomes [ə] after consonants and [ɣ] after a vowel.

(10)
Garogh renə gú rəkəkəní.
garo-Ҍ ren-Ҍ gu-˥ raka-kan-i-˥
man-DAT C.HUM-DAT be-1SG.3SG.DIR.SS sleep-DIST.TO-VIS.IND-1SG.3SG.DIR.SS
'I saw the man sleeping there.'

(11)
Əorə tẹgh ren kór garo pənkəní.
aor-Ҍ tẹ-Ҍ ren-∅ kor-˥-ː garo-∅ pan-kan-i-˥
lion-DAT C.ANIM-DAT C.HUM-ERG achieve-1SG.3SG.DIR.SS man-ERG shoot-DIST.TO-VIS.IND-1SG.3SG.DIR.SS
'I saw a man shooting at the lion there.'

There are also two structural non-core cases. Genitive case marks a noun phrase that modifies another noun phrase. This case can be stacked with other cases. -i is only attached if there are no back vowels in the stem (which would instead become fronted2) and the stem does not end in a dorsal (which becomes palatal unless you have a back vowel in the stem).

(12)
Əorə tẹgh kí ren reni wələkəní madẹq gere.
aor-Ҍ tẹ-Ҍ ki-˥ ren-∅ ren-I2-∅ wala-kan-i-˥ madẹq-∅ garo-I2-∅
lion-DAT C.ANIM-DAT become-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS C.HUM-ERG C.HUM-GEN-ERG dream-DIST.TO-VIS.IND-1SG.3SG.DIR.SS aunt-ERG man-GEN-ERG
'I saw an aunt of the man dreaming of the lion.'

Oblique case marks a noun phrase that modifies a verb or a clause. It is marked by nasalizing all vowels and sonorants in the stem.

(13)
Garogh renə ndẹ̃ gú ãõn rəkəkəní.
garo-Ҍ ren-Ҍ tẹ-N gu-˥ aor-N raka-kan-i-˥
man-DAT C.HUM-DAT C.ANIM-OBL be-1SG.3SG.DIR.SS lion-OBL sleep-DIST.TO-VIS.IND-1SG.3SG.DIR.SS
'I saw the man sleeping there like a lion.'

Plural is marked only on lexical nouns. If the stem vowel is a mid vowel it is raised. If the stem vowel is not a mid vowel, but the stem-final consonant is uvular, it becomes velar. Elsewhere a suffix -i is attached. Plural marking is more likely to occur on animate nouns.

(14)
Gəru ren wá riyəkəní.
garo-I1-∅ ren-∅ wa-˥ riyə-kan-i-˥
man-PL-ERG C.HUM-ERG move-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS dance-DIST.TO-VIS.IND-1SG.3SG.DIR.SS
'I saw the men dancing there.'

(15)
Garo ren tọ kór our pənkəní.
garo-∅ ren-∅ tẹ-U kor-˥ aor-I1-U pan-kan-i-˥
man-ERG C.HUM-ERG C.ANIM-ACC achieve-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS lion-PL-ACC shoot-DIST.TO-VIS.IND-1SG.3SG.DIR.SS
'I saw the man shooting lions there.'

(16)
Garugh renə gú rəkəkəní.
garo-I1-Ҍ ren-Ҍ gu-˥ raka-kan-i-˥
man-PL-DAT C.HUM-DAT be-1SG.3SG.DIR.SS sleep-DIST.TO-VIS.IND-1SG.3SG.DIR.SS
'I saw the men sleeping there.'

Now you've seen a lot of real sentences, so what do you think?
Last edited by Creyeditor on Sat 06 Jan 2018, 22:42, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rí: My random ideas conlang

Post by Creyeditor » Thu 17 Aug 2017, 20:18

Since, nobody answered to the last post, I am just going to catapult this thread into your unread posts section with a short post about clause connecting inflection.
3. Clause connecting inflection
I created six different clause connecting affixes. Recall that these can not only occur on medial verbs, but also on event words. This means that all of the following sentences are possible. Note that some of the sentences do not have a verb and only consist of event words.

(17) Medial verb with clause connecting inflection, followed by final verb.
Garo ren wá wáa riyə́ə liskəní.
garo-∅ ren-∅ wa-˥ wa-˥-ː riyə-˥-ː lis-kan-i-˥
man-ERG C.HUM-ERG move-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS move-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS-PURP dance-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS-PURP slide-DIST.TO-VIS.IND-1SG.3SG.DIR.SS
'I saw the man sliding there in order to dance.'

(18) Medial verb with clause connecting inflection, followed by event word. Same subject here does not mean that the event word has the same subject as the medial verb, it just serves as the default agreement, since event words have no over subject.
Garo ren wá wáa riyə́ə grọa.
garo-∅ ren-∅ wa-˥ wa-˥-ː riyə-˥-ː groa
man-ERG C.HUM-ERG move-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS move-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS-PURP dance-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS-PURP tiger_attack-PURP
'The was a tiger attack on the village so that the man could/would dance.'

(19) Event word with clause connecting inflection, preceded by final verb.
Garo ren wá liskəní grọaa.
garo-∅ ren-∅ wa-˥ lis-kan-i-˥ groa-ː
man-ERG C.HUM-ERG move-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS slide-DIST.TO-VIS.IND-1SG.3SG.DIR.SS tiger_attack-PURP
'I saw the man sliding there for a tiger attack on the village.'

(20) Event word with clause connecting inflection, followed by final verb.
Grọaa, garo ren wá liskəní .
groa-ː garo-∅ ren-∅ wa-˥ lis-kan-i-˥
tiger_attack-PURP man-ERG C.HUM-ERG move-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS slide-DIST.TO-VIS.IND-1SG.3SG.DIR.SS
'I saw the man sliding there for a tiger attack on the village.'

You can also note that medial verbs and event words differ in their syntactic ditribution. Whereas medial verbs occur before final verbs, event words take the position of complement clauses and occur in their own clause at the end of a sentence or before the topic of the sentence. This is not true if they coocur with a medial verb, where thy can only occur at the end of the sentence. In the following I will describe each affix with its main function and figurative uses.

We have already seen purposive inflection in the above examples. This means 'in order to' with same subjects and 'for' with different subjects, i.e. it indicates the purpose of an action. In a figurative sense it can also be used to indicate the motive, the reason or the cause of something. The affix consists solely of lengthening of the last vowel.

(21)
Grọaa, garo ren wá liskəní .
groa-ː garo-∅ ren-∅ wa-˥ lis-kan-i-˥
tiger_attack-PURP man-ERG C.HUM-ERG move-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS slide-DIST.TO-VIS.IND-1SG.3SG.DIR.SS
'fig: I saw the man sliding there because of the tiger attack.'

Simultaneous inflection is used to indicate that the time frame of two actions overlaps. This can either mean that both actions start and end at the same time, one of them starts earlier and the other one ends earlier, that one action starts earlier and also ends earlier and so on. The important point is that there is one point in time, when both actions take place. The affix depalatalizes a consonant that comes before it, blocks palatalization before front vowels and otherwise becomes [ʊ] between/after vowels and [w] between consonants.

(22)
Garo ren wá wáw riyə́w liskəní.
garo-∅ ren-∅ wa-˥ wa-˥-Ъ riyə-˥-Ъ lis-kan-i-˥
man-ERG C.HUM-ERG move-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS move-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS-SIM dance-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS-SIM slide-DIST.TO-VIS.IND-1SG.3SG.DIR.SS
'I saw the man sliding there while dancing at the same time.'

This inflection can also be used with non-agentive verbs, indicating that two properties hold at the same time.

(23)
Garogh renə gú wáw líso rəkəkəní.
garo-Ҍ ren-Ҍ gu-˥ wa-˥-Ъ lis-˥-Ъ raka-kan-i-˥
man-DAT C.HUM-DAT be-1SG.3SG.DIR.SS move-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS-SIM move-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS-SIM sleep-DIST.TO-VIS.IND-1SG.3SG.DIR.SS
'I saw the man slipping/falling while sleeping there.'

In a figurative sense, this affix can also be used to indicate addition or constrast.

(24)
Garo ren wá wáw riyə́w liskəní.
garo-∅ ren-∅ wa-˥ wa-˥-Ъ riyə-˥-Ъ lis-kan-i-˥
man-ERG C.HUM-ERG move-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS move-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS-SIM dance-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS-SIM slide-DIST.TO-VIS.IND-1SG.3SG.DIR.SS
'fig: I saw the man sliding and dancing there.'
'fig: I saw the man dancing there even though he was sliding.'

The sequential is used when one action takes place after another action without any overlap in time. In a figurative sense it can also be used to indicate the consequence of something. It is marked by the suffix [in], which causes vowel raising and blocks nasalization.

(25)
Garo ren wá wéin riyə́in liskəní.
garo-∅ ren-∅ wa-˥ wa-˥-in riyə-˥-Ъ lis-kan-i-˥
man-ERG C.HUM-ERG move-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS move-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS-SEQ dance-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS-SEQ slide-DIST.TO-VIS.IND-1SG.3SG.DIR.SS
'I saw the man sliding and then dancing.'
'fig: I saw the man sliding so much that he was dancing.'

The causal inflection is used only very infrequently. It indicates the cause of something and in a figurative sense also the reason, motive and purpose. The reason for the low frequence is quite clear, most of its uses can also be expressed by other inflections. This is expressed by a suffix [jʊk] causing stop lenition and blocking vowel raising.

(26)
Garo ren wá wáyok riyə́yok liskəní.
garo-∅ ren-∅ wa-˥ wa-˥-jok riyə-˥-jok lis-kan-i-˥
man-ERG C.HUM-ERG move-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS move-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS-CAU dance-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS-CAU slide-DIST.TO-VIS.IND-1SG.3SG.DIR.SS
'I saw the man sliding because he was dancing.'

Contrast is expressed by the contrastive inflection. This marks unexpected combinations of actions or restricting readings of actions. It is marked by the morphpophoneme //Ь//, i.e. /Ь/ palatalizes a preceding consonant, becomes [ɪ] between consonants and [j] between vowels.

(27)
Garo ren wá wáy riyə́y liskəní.
garo-∅ ren-∅ wa-˥ wa-˥-Ь riyə-˥-Ь lis-kan-i-˥
man-ERG C.HUM-ERG move-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS move-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS-CONTR dance-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS-CONTR slide-DIST.TO-VIS.IND-1SG.3SG.DIR.SS
'I saw the man sliding even though he was dancing.'

The conditional inflection is used for conditions, i.e. what is often translated as an if clause. The suffix [agɛ] causes nasalization and blocks stop lenition. In a figurative sense it is often used as a synonym to the simultaneous and sequential inflection, thus roughly translating as when.

(28)
Garo ren wá wã́ãgẹ̃ nĩyə̃́gẽ liskəní.
garo-∅ ren-∅ wa-˥ wa-˥-agẹ riyə-˥-agẹ lis-kan-i-˥
man-ERG C.HUM-ERG move-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS move-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS-COND dance-3SG.3SG.DIR.SS-COND slide-DIST.TO-VIS.IND-1SG.3SG.DIR.SS
'I saw the man was sliding if he was dancing.'
'fig: I saw the man was sliding when he was dancing.'

Wow, this post is longer than expected.
Last edited by Creyeditor on Sat 06 Jan 2018, 22:44, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rí: My random ideas conlang

Post by Creyeditor » Fri 05 Jan 2018, 23:13

I still can't find the nerve to talk about 'real' verb inflection, so this post will be about disourse particles. It will probably grow with time.
4. Discourse Particles

Discourse particles relate the sentence they occur in to the common ground, the knowledge the speaker assumes that both speaker and hearer have. The main division is between new and old information. New information is what the speaker assumes is not part of the common ground. Old information is what the speaker assumes is already part of the common ground. There are three particles used to mark new information, dọng, lah and ya. Dọng is used when the speaker indicates which one of several possible facts is the one s/he considers true. This means the common ground of the hearer is updated only to include the belief of the speaker that this alternative is true.

[I will add an example here.]

Lah and ya distinguish the reason for uttering a sentce. While lah answer the question under discussion, i.e. the thing that you are talking about, ya indicates that the new information might be generally important to the speaker, e.g. you tell a train enthusiast about a certain train. Ya is more likely to occur at the beginning of a discourse than lah. Lah is often used in answers, but also in corrections or as the answer to speculations.

[I will add examples here.]

Ya is, as already mentioned, often used in the first sentence of a text or a conversation. It is also often used to change the topic of a conversation or to continue a topic with a slightly different subtopic. In this case it is similar in use to English 'apropos ...' or 'speaking of ...'.

[I will add examples here.]
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Re: Rí: My random ideas conlang

Post by gestaltist » Sat 06 Jan 2018, 21:10

I like this project a lot, although it is also frustrating to read. You use dense technical lingo, and not being a trained linguist, I feel like I only understand about half of what you write.

I also find your glosses hard to follow. A lot of these abbreviations I'm not familiar with.

It's not necessarily a criticism but rather admission of my own ignorance. It's also the reason why I don’t comment although I try to follow your thread.
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Re: Rí: My random ideas conlang

Post by Creyeditor » Sat 06 Jan 2018, 22:06

Wow, thanks a lot, really a lot for your feedback [:)]
I'll try to include an overview of the abbreviations in the first post and maybe mention some relevant ones in their posts. Also, I'll try to explain things a little bit more and hopefully make it easier to understand. Without feedback it is sometimes a bit difficult to know what you are doing right or wrong. Also, the more I get involved in linguistics, the more I tend to forget about the audience I am talking to :mrgreen:
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Re: Rí: My random ideas conlang

Post by gestaltist » Sun 07 Jan 2018, 15:49

No worries. The list of abbreviations in the OP already makes things easier. I think the issue you're facing comes from the fact that you already had a bunch of ideas which you wanted to combine in this project. As a result, the OP was very terse on one hand, but all over the place on the other. Typical conlang threads have more of a buildup so are easier to follow.

BTW, the reason why I got interested in this project is that my current conlang - Nakarian - has quite a few things in common with Ri: from prenasalization and uvulars to vowel harmony and tone to light verbs. I was even debating having classifiers for a while. And you use underdots in the romanization, as do I. Obviously, the end result is very different, but it did pique my interest.
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Re: Rí: My random ideas conlang

Post by Creyeditor » Sun 07 Jan 2018, 16:46

The phonology is not yet set in stone, right now it is a bit West African + X. Was your conlang also inpred by this linguistic area?
The phonology will actually be the toughest part for me, because half of my random ideas are phonological. So, it will probably come at the end of this thread and I will have to rework most of the thread. So, it is impossible to start with the usual phonology thing.
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Re: Rí: My random ideas conlang

Post by gestaltist » Sun 07 Jan 2018, 17:47

Yeah, my project is supposed to be Bantu+Chinese with a dash of Semitic, phonology-wise.
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