(Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Dormouse559 » Fri 15 Sep 2017, 17:36

With French anyway, /ə/ is merging with /œ/ or /ø/ (or both; depends on your dialect/analysis). The point being, the language already had front rounded vowels, so the rounding/fronting of schwa isn't entirely spontaneous.

The process calylac has described, I could imagine as a kind of dissimilation. That's what I'd chalk up the reduction in unstressed syllables to.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by calylac » Fri 15 Sep 2017, 19:05

Dormouse559 wrote:The process calylac has described, I could imagine as a kind of dissimilation. That's what I'd chalk up the reduction in unstressed syllables to.
Wiki wrote:...a phenomenon whereby similar consonants or vowels in a word become less similar.
That actually makes sense! May have to rethink the rounding of the front vowels though, or just forget it and make /y/ and /œ/ distinct phonemes*. Thanks a lot for the help!

*actually on that note, any interesting ideas for how to represent /y/ and /œ/? I'm already using y for /j/ (since j is /ç/); I feel like ü and ö are the most obvious options but also kind of overused, plus I'm already using ä (albeit for /a/) so I don't want to start looking too German or anything :P
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by eldin raigmore » Fri 15 Sep 2017, 19:49

Creyeditor wrote:
eldin raigmore wrote:How are your conlangs' root-morphemes or word-roots distributed among various word-classes?
According to the OED,
a bit more than half of English's almost-180,000 word-roots are noun-roots;
about a third are adjective-roots;
about a seventh are verb-roots;
and the remaining forty-second are other kinds of roots.

If your conlang is very different from that, how and why?
I can imagine several reasons:
(1) the question isn't relevant to your conlang because the distinctions between parts-of-speech don't apply at the word-root level; it applies only at the finite-word level.
(2) there's no difference between adjectives and nouns in your conlang, so that part of the question is either irrelevant or trivial.
(3) there's no difference between adjectives and verbs in your conlang, so that part of the question is either irrelevant or trivial.
(4) your conlang has very few lexical verbs (e.g. twelve or fewer?), and almost all (e.g. two-thirds or more) of its verbs are phrases consisting of a light-verb plus a content-word.
(5) it's easy for me to believe there are other obvious possibilities that just aren't all that obvious to me, at the moment.
For Kobardon the answer is (1). Roots are category neutral and inflection/derivation makes them become verbs (transitive and intransitive), nouns, adjectives and adverbs.
Omlueuet is similar to English I guess. Most conlangs of mine do not yet have enough root to make any statistically significant statements about the categories of roots.
Thank you, Creyeditor.
-------
Do you think I should ask this question on its own thread?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Creyeditor » Fri 15 Sep 2017, 19:56

calylac wrote:
Dormouse559 wrote:The process calylac has described, I could imagine as a kind of dissimilation. That's what I'd chalk up the reduction in unstressed syllables to.
Wiki wrote:...a phenomenon whereby similar consonants or vowels in a word become less similar.
That actually makes sense! May have to rethink the rounding of the front vowels though, or just forget it and make /y/ and /œ/ distinct phonemes*. Thanks a lot for the help!

*actually on that note, any interesting ideas for how to represent /y/ and /œ/? I'm already using y for /j/ (since j is /ç/); I feel like ü and ö are the most obvious options but also kind of overused, plus I'm already using ä (albeit for /a/) so I don't want to start looking too German or anything :P
/œ/ <œ, ø, eu, oe, oi>
/y/ <ᵫ, û, uu, ue, ui>
eldin raigmore wrote:
Spoiler:
Creyeditor wrote:
eldin raigmore wrote:How are your conlangs' root-morphemes or word-roots distributed among various word-classes?
According to the OED,
a bit more than half of English's almost-180,000 word-roots are noun-roots;
about a third are adjective-roots;
about a seventh are verb-roots;
and the remaining forty-second are other kinds of roots.

If your conlang is very different from that, how and why?
I can imagine several reasons:
(1) the question isn't relevant to your conlang because the distinctions between parts-of-speech don't apply at the word-root level; it applies only at the finite-word level.
(2) there's no difference between adjectives and nouns in your conlang, so that part of the question is either irrelevant or trivial.
(3) there's no difference between adjectives and verbs in your conlang, so that part of the question is either irrelevant or trivial.
(4) your conlang has very few lexical verbs (e.g. twelve or fewer?), and almost all (e.g. two-thirds or more) of its verbs are phrases consisting of a light-verb plus a content-word.
(5) it's easy for me to believe there are other obvious possibilities that just aren't all that obvious to me, at the moment.
For Kobardon the answer is (1). Roots are category neutral and inflection/derivation makes them become verbs (transitive and intransitive), nouns, adjectives and adverbs.
Omlueuet is similar to English I guess. Most conlangs of mine do not yet have enough root to make any statistically significant statements about the categories of roots.
Thank you, Creyeditor.
-------
Do you think I should ask this question on its own thread?
Yes, especially because there are also interesting natlangs precedents.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Osia » Sat 16 Sep 2017, 19:02

Sorry if this question is too complicated to ask, but are there any good ways to get a good phoneme frequency for a conlang inventory. I've been playing around with awkwords for my conlang Lyran, and I can't figure out what order all the phonemes should be in. Help would be much appreciated.

Here's what I've worked out so far, but I still need to add more phonemes.
Spoiler:
Onset:ʔ*100/k*50/n*33/h*25/kʰ*20/p*16/l*14/t*12/t'*10/r*9/j*8/s*8/s’*7/x*7/w*6/q*6/tʰ*6/č/x’*5/k'*5/š*5/ts*5/č'*4/tɬ*4/š’*4/m*4/tɬʰ*4/čʰ*4/tsʰ*3/ts'*3/kʷ*3/qʷ*3/xʷ*3/

Nucleus:a*100/i*50/u*33/á*25/í*20/ú*16/á*14/í*12/ú*11/aa*10/ii*9/uu*8/ą*8/į*7/ų*7/áá*6/íí*6/úú*6/ąą*5/įį*5/ųų*5/ą́*5/į́*4/ų́*4/ą́ą́*4/į́į́*4/ų́ų́*4

Coda:k*50/kʰ*20/p*16/t*12/t'*10/s*8/s’*7/x*7/q*6/tʰ*6/č/x’*5/k'*5/š*5/ts*5/č'*4/tɬ*4/š’*4/tɬʰ*4/čʰ*4/tsʰ*3/ts'*3/kʷ*3/qʷ*3/xʷ*3/
I've been using a formula called Zipf's law for the frequencies, but the order is the thing I'm struggling with the most.

For reference, here's the inventory of my conlang.
Spoiler:
/p (pʷ) t tθ (tʷ) ts tʃ tɬ c cʷ k kʷ q qʷ/ <p pʷ t tz tʷ ts č λ c cʷ k kʷ q qʷ>
/tʰ tθʰ (tʷʰ) tsʰ tʃʰ tɬʰ cʰ cʷʰ kʰ kʷʰ qʰ qʷʰ h/ <tʰ tzʰ tʷʰ tsʰ čʰ λʰ cʰ cʷʰ kʰ kʷʰ qʰ qʷʰ h>
/t' tθ' (tʷ') ts' tʃ' tɬ' c' cʷ' k' kʷ' q' qʷ' ʔ/ <t' tz’ tʷ’ ts’ č’ λ’ c’ cʷ’ k’ kʷ’ q’ qʷ’ ʔ>
/ɸ θ s ʃ ɬ ç çʷ x xʷ χ χʷ/ <f z s š ł ç çʷ x xʷ x̌ x̌ʷ>
/ɸ' θ' s' ʃ' ɬ' ç' çʷ' x' xʷ' χ' χʷ'/ <f’ z’ s’ š’ ł’ ç’ çʷ’ x’ xʷ’ x̌’ x̌ʷ’>
/m n r l j w ʁ~ʕ ʁʷ~ʕʷ/ <m n r l j w ʕ ʕʷ>
/m̥ n̥ r̥/ <mʰ nʰ rʰ>
/m' n' r' l' j' w' ʁ~ʕ' ʁʷ~ʕʷ'/ <m’ n’ r’ l’ j’ w’ ʕ’ ʕʷ’>

/a i u/ <a i u>
/ː ́ ̃/* <VV V́ V̨>
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Micamo » Sat 16 Sep 2017, 19:49

This is one of those "art, not science" deals. Just mess with the numbers until the output is something you like.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Osia » Sat 16 Sep 2017, 20:49

Micamo wrote:This is one of those "art, not science" deals. Just mess with the numbers until the output is something you like.
Ok, thanks!
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Osia » Sat 16 Sep 2017, 23:59

Ok, so I understand the basics of how tone systems form, but how could a language lose a tone system, aside from simply merging the tones?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by qwed117 » Sun 17 Sep 2017, 00:03

Osia wrote:Ok, so I understand the basics of how tone systems form, but how could a language lose a tone system, aside from simply merging the tones?
Tones may eventually become a prosodic element.
I think Burmese does this where the low tone becomes creaky voicing (of course, it does seem more likely the other way around).
In addition tone may slowly gather additional elements associated with it if it becomes less clear which word has what tone. These elements may become more prominent, until they become the main descriptor of the element, and tone slowly fades out.
And then, tone may just merge.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by shimobaatar » Sun 17 Sep 2017, 00:28

qwed117 wrote: In addition tone may slowly gather additional elements associated with it if it becomes less clear which word has what tone. These elements may become more prominent, until they become the main descriptor of the element, and tone slowly fades out.
I've also wondered about this. Could you possibly give an example, either hypothetical or from a natlang, of this kind of scenario?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by sangi39 » Sun 17 Sep 2017, 01:13

Tone sandhi could be taken to an extreme degree as well, such that one syllable in each word comes to dominate the shape of all other tones in the word as a whole. IIRC, this is roughly what's happened in Shanghainese. This could then become a simple case of pitch accent which we can see from various Indo-European languages can be lost in favour of some other marker of stress.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by qwed117 » Sun 17 Sep 2017, 03:44

shimobaatar wrote:
qwed117 wrote: In addition tone may slowly gather additional elements associated with it if it becomes less clear which word has what tone. These elements may become more prominent, until they become the main descriptor of the element, and tone slowly fades out.
I've also wondered about this. Could you possibly give an example, either hypothetical or from a natlang, of this kind of scenario?
This is all hypothetical there.
The change is essentially regularization
Spoiler:
Imagine the sets below
Set 1 / Set 2 / Set 3
tog / togi / tok
sag / sagi / sak
keg / kegi / kek
tig / tigi / tik



Let's imagine that the voiced final produces falling tone. All other syllables are marked with mid tones
1 / 2 / 3
to˥˩g / to˧gi˧ / to˧k
sa˥˩g / sa˧gi˧ / sa˧k
ke˥˩g / ke˧gi˧ / ke˧k
ti˥˩g / ti˧gi˧ / ti˧k

Now imagine that the final consonants devoice, and final i becomes palatization (afterwards)
1 / 2 / 3
to˥˩k / to˧gʲ / to˧k
sa˥˩k / sa˧gʲ / sa˧k
ke˥˩k / ke˧gʲ / ke˧k
ti˥˩k / ti˧gʲ / ti˧k

We clearly have phonemic tone right now right? Now look, Set 2 and Set 3 have the same tone, but different pronunciations, while Set 1 and 3 have separate tones, but the same pronunciation.
Now the tone in Set 3 can be regularized to the system of 2, whereby it gains palatization, but ultimately the system loses the phonemic distinction between the tones

1 / 2 / 3
to˥˩k / to˧gʲ / to˧kʲ
sa˥˩k / sa˧gʲ / sa˧kʲ
ke˥˩k / ke˧gʲ / ke˧kʲ
ti˥˩k / ti˧gʲ / ti˧kʲ

If there are semi-regular patterns as to what happens when a word gathers one tone or another, then they can become primary
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Click » Tue 19 Sep 2017, 17:11

How does direction marking develop on verbs?

At the moment I'm working on a head-initial language that I want to feature directional prefixes, so I'm especially confounded by the way such prefixes can develop in a language where adverbial prepositional phrases generally follow the verb.

Solutions & explanations highly appreciated. [:)]
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Creyeditor » Tue 19 Sep 2017, 20:18

So this is just speculation based on German and Mee.

Directional adverbs can become obligatory and positionally fixed wrt the verb. This is similar to what happened with 'hin' (thither) 'her' (hither). They are now considered prefixes on some verbs. This would not work in your language because adverbs follow the verb.
Mee (head final) has directional suffixes that are homophonous to the verbs 'come' and 'go'. I assume that they developed from serial verb construction like 'give-come'. If you language allows serial verbs and they are head-initial, you might chose the second solution, so that 'come-take' is reanalyzed as verb with a directional prefix.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus » Tue 19 Sep 2017, 20:31

AIUI, prefixes in many IE languages (including Latin and Germanic) are reanalysed postpositions, due to changes in word order:
S[Ob-Pstp]V > S[PrpV]O [creating applicative verbs with prefixes simply by reanalysing what the old postposition attached to, and then moving it along with the verb].

This could in some cases create directional prefixes.


Or, you know, maybe the adverbs were just before the verb in the past and have moved.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Omzinesý » Sat 23 Sep 2017, 12:17

If a language has a basic 5 system of long vowels a:, e:, i:, o:, u: and they diphthongize, what diphthong could each of them become? I'm rather asking for suggestions than scientific answers.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ælfwine » Sat 23 Sep 2017, 17:14

a: > au, oa
e: > ai, ei
i: > ai, ei, oi, iu
o: > au, eu, ou
u: > au, eu, ou, iu

All of these diphthongs can also be flipped, so e: can yield ia as well as ai
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by sangi39 » Sat 23 Sep 2017, 17:22

Ælfwine wrote:a: > au, oa
e: > ai, ei
i: > ai, ei, oi, iu
o: > au, eu, ou
u: > au, eu, ou, iu

All of these diphthongs can also be flipped, so e: can yield ia as well as ai
Also:

a: > ea, ae, ao
e: > ie, ia, ea, ae
i: > ie, io
o: > uo, ua, oa, ao
u: > uo, ue

You can also have them shift conditionally, depending on stress, syllable openness or umlaut
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ælfwine » Sat 23 Sep 2017, 18:01

sangi39 wrote:
Ælfwine wrote:a: > au, oa
e: > ai, ei
i: > ai, ei, oi, iu
o: > au, eu, ou
u: > au, eu, ou, iu

All of these diphthongs can also be flipped, so e: can yield ia as well as ai
Also:

a: > ea, ae, ao
e: > ie, ia, ea, ae
i: > ie, io
o: > uo, ua, oa, ao
u: > uo, ue

You can also have them shift conditionally, depending on stress, syllable openness or umlaut
Don't forget one can also have centering diphthongs - aə oə iə etc.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by sangi39 » Sat 23 Sep 2017, 18:16

Ælfwine wrote:
sangi39 wrote:
Ælfwine wrote:a: > au, oa
e: > ai, ei
i: > ai, ei, oi, iu
o: > au, eu, ou
u: > au, eu, ou, iu

All of these diphthongs can also be flipped, so e: can yield ia as well as ai
Also:

a: > ea, ae, ao
e: > ie, ia, ea, ae
i: > ie, io
o: > uo, ua, oa, ao
u: > uo, ue

You can also have them shift conditionally, depending on stress, syllable openness or umlaut
Don't forget one can also have centering diphthongs - aə oə iə etc.
Or the other way around /əi/ and /əu/ (Great Vowel Shift in English) and in the history of French Vulgar Latin /e/ and /o/ in open syllable had shifted to /oi/ and /eu/ by the time of (Late) Old French (which I guess could be an example of dissimilation since the older diphthongs were /ei/ and /ou/).
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But it never gets any more true,
So close your eyes once more and once more believe
That they all still believe in you.
Just one time.
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