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

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

Post by Ælfwine » Sat 30 Dec 2017, 02:23

Davush wrote:
Fri 29 Dec 2017, 01:08
Ælfwine wrote:
Thu 28 Dec 2017, 21:33
Something like

ante facto > anti=facto (this stage a coverb) > antifacto or factanto make-past-1ps

Here ante transitions from a preposition to coverb to an auxiliary and finally a morphological feature.

Not sure if I will go this route but it is interesting to play with Hungarian coverbs and preverbs.
First I would expect 'ante' to be used in a more adverbial sense - adverbs becoming grammaticalised as tense/aspect markers is quite common. I think this is more plausible in this particular case if we imagine a lot of non-Latin speakers learning this as an L2 over a short period of time, leading to simplification of Latin's quite complex past-tense forms.

Using English as an analogy:
'I went before' meaning 'I went a little while ago', taking this further you could get 'I go before' > I go.before with 'before' eventually becoming a tense marker.

I usually only hear 'coverb' when referring to Chinese preposition-like verbs and related structures which confused me slightly to begin with, as it appears you're asking about adverbs becoming affixes.

Wikipedia does say "In relation to Hungarian, coverb is sometimes used to denote a verb prefix.[3] They are elements that express meanings such as direction or completion and so have a function corresponding to that of certain types of adverbs."
Okay.

After thinking about it, I don't think I'll derive any new complex morphology from it, but I do want a Hungarian style system of "coverbs."

These guys: http://www.hungarianreference.com/Verbs ... e-fel.aspx

I don't know if these guys are adverbs however, they seem to be derived from prepositions and carry additional meaning to the word. Perhaps I can derive a Hungarian co-verb using "quam" as in "equus currit celerius quam homo" (lit: A horse runs swifter than a man) actually no, that is a conjunction
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Frislander » Sat 30 Dec 2017, 16:42

LinguoFranco wrote:
Fri 29 Dec 2017, 05:20
How would you handle fixed stress in a polysynthetic language? Let's say that the penultimate syllable is always stressed. Would this only affect the root of the word, or would each affix have a stress pattern? Does the root become unstressed, with the stress occurring instead on the next-to-last syllable of the sentence-word?
The important point is that polysynthetic languages are not fundamentally different from non-polysynthetic languages on the phonological level, and therefore you're not constrained to follow a single pattern. So you can have stress appear on the last syllable of the word, on the first syllable of the root, have it move about between different words or inflectional paradigms, whatever, you shouldn't feel you can't do something just because you're making a polysynthetic language.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Omzinesý » Sat 30 Dec 2017, 19:14

Omzinesý wrote:
Wed 27 Dec 2017, 18:54
LinguoFranco wrote:
Wed 27 Dec 2017, 18:28
Would it make much sense for /i/ and /u/ to lower to /e/ and /o/ whenever they are next to /x/?
That's typically how uvulars affect high vowels. So I think I depends how back your /x/ really is. Of course a uvular fricative can cause the mentioned sound change and then become velar /x/.
I have actually a very similar question. Could retroflex consonants cause the same sound change?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Thrice Xandvii » Sun 31 Dec 2017, 08:39

I think I want to disallow /ɲi/ in one of my 'langs. What do you suppose is a better synchronic change to make the invalid syllable allowable:

/ɲi/ > [ni]
/ɲi/ > [ɲə]
Some other thing...

The other thing is that I have other sounds that I refer to as "palatal" like /ʃ/, its voiced counterpart and affricates thereof. I don't have any issue with /ʃi/... but should I? I mean, should those also follow whatever change is instituted for /ɲi/?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Inkcube-Revolver » Sun 31 Dec 2017, 17:45

Thrice Xandvii wrote:
Sun 31 Dec 2017, 08:39
I think I want to disallow /ɲi/ in one of my 'langs. What do you suppose is a better synchronic change to make the invalid syllable allowable:

/ɲi/ > [ni]
/ɲi/ > [ɲə]
Some other thing...

The other thing is that I have other sounds that I refer to as "palatal" like /ʃ/, its voiced counterpart and affricates thereof. I don't have any issue with /ʃi/... but should I? I mean, should those also follow whatever change is instituted for /ɲi/?
In regards to the change here with /ɲi/ > [ɲə], I'm doing something similar in my own conlang with influence from Modern Japanese, where the close vowels/high vowels weaken and become more backed and central, rendered as either [ɨ] or [ɯ] or simply [ə], by proxy coloring nearby consonants. But I also like certain sounds together, /ʃi/ in particular, as well, and sometimes I keep it in stress, and even when unstressed, I find a way to retain it, either by raising [e] or through some other method or simply leaving it be.
I like my languages how I like my women: grammatically complex with various moods and tenses, a thin line between nouns and verbs, and dozens upon dozens of possible conjugations for every single verb.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Davush » Tue 02 Jan 2018, 13:36

Is it at all reasonable to have words contract in place names, when they otherwise wouldn't? Mostly to avoid place names becoming too lengthy.

E.g.
taisat - new
phalas - river

Taiphlas - (name of a place - 'New River')


So there would be a closed set of abbreviated forms used only for compounding.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Pabappa » Tue 02 Jan 2018, 18:28

Davush wrote:
Tue 02 Jan 2018, 13:36
Is it at all reasonable to have words contract in place names, when they otherwise wouldn't? Mostly to avoid place names becoming too lengthy.

E.g.
taisat - new
phalas - river

Taiphlas - (name of a place - 'New River')


So there would be a closed set of abbreviated forms used only for compounding.
I would be cautious here. If you can create a process by which the speakers of the language would understand the new words upon hearing them for the first time I think your idea make sense. But on the other hand in English for example people wouldn't casually refer to a river with a long name such as Mississippi as "missiver " and expect to be understood.

I think that even irregulars have a diachronic process by which they can be explained, and don't happen all at once. Once it's over, because the speakers are not aware of the process, it will seem as if it had happened all at once with no intervening steps. And from this, it may be possible to extract combining forms that could be repurposed for other placenames. Placenames like Sussex, Wessex, Essex, and Middlesex may be an example of the same irregular sound change being generalized to 4 different placenames, rather than 4 independent developments.

With my own conlangs I avoid irregs entirely, and still manage to have short placenames even so, by 1) extending the meaning of inherited morphemes , and 2) preserving homophones that would otherwise have been long since discarded. E.g. tave "river with trout" where the everyday words for river and trout are much longer. But these are my own ideas, not based on anything I can point to in natlangs, and may be unrealistic.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Porphyrogenitos » Tue 02 Jan 2018, 19:38

Davush wrote:
Tue 02 Jan 2018, 13:36
Is it at all reasonable to have words contract in place names, when they otherwise wouldn't? Mostly to avoid place names becoming too lengthy.

E.g.
taisat - new
phalas - river

Taiphlas - (name of a place - 'New River')


So there would be a closed set of abbreviated forms used only for compounding.
This is definitely plausible, given that it's a real thing that happens in many languages, at least to an extent, but I don't think it would happen in quite the way you're thinking - with both elements being given equal weight, with the compound made up of clipped forms of the full, stressed forms of each word. I mean, I can't say that couldn't happen, and there definitely are portmanteau placenames like that (Texarkana, Texoma, Tanzania) but they seem more likely to be nonce coinages than a systematic process.

Anyways, probably what would likely happen is that the generic element of the name (town, river, mount, etc.) would have a special reduced form that's almost like a suffix, featuring vowel reductions and ellipsis and/or consonant loss resulting from being in an unstressed position. English has a lot of these - -ton /tən/, -bury /bri/, -borough /brə/, -cester /stər/, -ham /əm/ These could continue to exist along the unreduced, fully lexical form of the words (e.g. town vs. ton, borough vs. /brə/ and -bury).

And there certainly could be clipping involved in it, there are plenty of perfectly natural, productive morphological processes involving clipping in various languages - but, I just have a slight doubt that it would play out exactly as you described it there.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by eldin raigmore » Tue 02 Jan 2018, 23:58

Porphyrogenitos wrote:
Tue 02 Jan 2018, 19:38
... portmanteau placenames like that (Texarkana, Texoma, Tanzania) ...
You who were to the purple born; Have you ever resided near any of those places?

Porphyrogenitos wrote:
Tue 02 Jan 2018, 19:38
Anyways, probably what would likely happen is that the generic element of the name (town, river, mount, etc.) would have a special reduced form that's almost like a suffix, featuring vowel reductions and ellipsis and/or consonant loss resulting from being in an unstressed position. English has a lot of these - -ton /tən/, -bury /bri/, -borough /brə/, -cester /stər/, -ham /əm/ These could continue to exist along the unreduced, fully lexical form of the words (e.g. town vs. ton, borough vs. /brə/ and -bury).
I quite agree. You left out "-mond" and "-mont"; but a reader would probably be able to guess those for themself.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Davush » Wed 03 Jan 2018, 12:19

Thanks all. Perhaps I should have been a bit clearer in my question.

With reductions of the -ton/town type, must they follow regular sound change rules? I feel that simply applying the normal sound changes wouldn't result in much shorter words, but if there were some more sporadic reductions then I could apply those.

For example, using regular sound change rules:
*táːisataŋ pʰálas > táisat-ɸalas > táisaɸɸalas

The resulting word isn't much shorter than just joining taisat+phalas.

Also, with the 'abbreviated' forms - this was basically a closed set of words/roots reduced to one syllable for use in compounding, but can't appear stand-alone. A justification was that Qutrussans aim to make everything sound pleasing and 'balanced' - however I don't know how realistic such a system would be.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by ixals » Wed 03 Jan 2018, 14:49

Pabappa wrote:
Tue 02 Jan 2018, 18:28
But on the other hand in English for example people wouldn't casually refer to a river with a long name such as Mississippi as "missiver " and expect to be understood.
On the other hand I could see it shorten to just Missippi or 'Sippi, but then we would have to know if words with a similar structure would be reduced as well to know if that can happen regularly.
Davush wrote:
Wed 03 Jan 2018, 12:19
With reductions of the -ton/town type, must they follow regular sound change rules? I feel that simply applying the normal sound changes wouldn't result in much shorter words, but if there were some more sporadic reductions then I could apply those.
The problem with English is that it reduced it's words a lot, place names are no exception. I've been thinking about whether -ton counts as a regular or an irregular reduction because of English's pre-cluster vowel shortening (which shortens long vowels if three consonants follow OR two consonants and two more syllables apparently). I could see a lot of -tūn endings turn to -ton because most place names are longer than three syllables. For example, Brighton < Brighthelmeston(e)/Bristelmestune.

Other languages that I thought have shortened town names irregularly (German Essen < Astnide and Mainz < Mogontiacum; French Montpellier < Monspessulanus and Grenoble < Gratianopolis) were probably shortened regularly as the respective language are very stress-sensitive with just some minor differences to due dialectal speech etc. I don't like obvious etymologies in place names either, but it seems to be a matter of how much the language itself changes and reduces words. A lot of names of big cities in Europe seem to come from earlier civilisations and their languages which further obscures their etymologies. Compare London/Köln from Latin, Nice/Istanbul from Greek, Málaga/Córdoba from Semitic, Berlin/Dresden from Slavic etc.

I would personally use the trick Pabappa explained in his last paragraph and also use a lot of synonyms that later die out.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Davush » Thu 04 Jan 2018, 14:47

Thanks ixals. A few of those seem to be quite irregular shortening of words? Brighthelmeston > Brighton seems to have just deleted a few syllables. Most of the place names I am using are of old origin, having only vague etymologies or being borrowings from previous languages, but as the Qutrussans have more recently moved into newer areas, I wanted some places to have more transparent names without being overly long (hence the dilemma).
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by clawgrip » Fri 05 Jan 2018, 08:32

Japanese sometimes abbreviates place names, sometimes even swapping out morphemes (which use the same kanji). The two main ones I can think of in Tokyo are Futako-Tamagawa → Nikotama (二子玉川 → 二子玉) and Sangenjaya → Sancha (三軒茶屋 → 三茶) .
They don't typically abbreviate single morphemes, though.

This also happens very frequently in the names of highways, train lines, etc., by combining their end points:

東京 Tokyo
横浜 Yokohama
京浜 Keihin

大阪 Osaka
神戸 Kobe
阪神 Hanshin

埼玉 Saitama
東京 Tokyo
埼京 Saikyo

仙台 Sendai
山形 Yamagata
仙山 Senzan

青森 Aomori
函館 Hakodate
青函 Seikan

東京 Tokyo
名古屋 Nagoya
東名 Tomei

etc. etc.

Maybe this can give you some inspiration.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Frislander » Fri 05 Jan 2018, 13:31

clawgrip wrote:
Fri 05 Jan 2018, 08:32
Japanese sometimes abbreviates place names, sometimes even swapping out morphemes (which use the same kanji). The two main ones I can think of in Tokyo are Futako-Tamagawa → Nikotama (二子玉川 → 二子玉) and Sangenjaya → Sancha (三軒茶屋 → 三茶) .
They don't typically abbreviate single morphemes, though.

This also happens very frequently in the names of highways, train lines, etc., by combining their end points:

東京 Tokyo
横浜 Yokohama
京浜 Keihin

大阪 Osaka
神戸 Kobe
阪神 Hanshin

埼玉 Saitama
東京 Tokyo
埼京 Saikyo

仙台 Sendai
山形 Yamagata
仙山 Senzan

青森 Aomori
函館 Hakodate
青函 Seikan

東京 Tokyo
名古屋 Nagoya
東名 Tomei

etc. etc.

Maybe this can give you some inspiration.
It never fails to amaze me how deleting just one kanji, or taking two kanji from different names, can create a word which is pronounced completely differently from the original word(s). I understand how it works but it is still absolutely astounding.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by clawgrip » Fri 05 Jan 2018, 13:58

If it were English, it would be like, Rockford + Greensburg = Petraviridis, which is pretty weird. Too many place names in English can't be matched to Latin or Greek though.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Davush » Fri 05 Jan 2018, 14:26

It makes you wonder just how much Japanese speakers associate words/meaning with kanji rather than sound (to an extent anyway), in that Aomori + Hakodate (both presumably kun-yomi) becoming Seikan (on-yomi) is like an extreme example of reading pronunciation.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Frislander » Fri 05 Jan 2018, 16:26

Well in the case of Chinese varieties the main deciding factor seems to be etymology, such that if two different varieties have etymologically unrelated words for the same meaning are written with different characters, e.g. Mandarin tā, Cantonese kéuih, both 3rd person singular pronouns, are written 他 and 佢 respectively. In my view this is ample demonstration of the phonetic basis of Hànzì, and actually I would argue that Kanji are more semantically-motivated, because of the semantic motivation for the borrowing of the kun-yomi.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by clawgrip » Sat 06 Jan 2018, 00:58

Words of different etymology written with different characters does not really suggest a phonetic basis for hanzi. But Japanese doesn't really follow Chinese rules.

The existence of on-yomi and kun-yomi shows that words of different etymology can be written with the same character, as well as things like 後 ato, 後ろ ushiro, 後ほど nochihodo, but then the very same word cam be written with multiple characters, e.g. 見る, 観る, 診る, 看る, 視る all miru.

Pulling these all together are the meanings of the characters themselves. Character etymologies are plentiful, but etymologies of actual words, independent of the characters they are written with, are much more scarce.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

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

What would be a good way to get something that introduces a complement clause in a predominantly SOV language?

Qutrussan is SOV, but the colloquial language is shifting a bit by having longer 'objects' (complement clauses and relative clauses) move to after the head. The standard language is still more strictly head final.

Complements are usually introduced by subjunctive or nominalisation:

cussuh-da nim ṛqubbuh
go.3.PAST-SUBJ 1 know-NONPAST
'I know that he went'

or

shăn cúcŭr nim ṛqubbuh
3.GEN go.GER 1 know-NONPAST
I know that he went/goes (I know of his going)

Let's say there is now a shift:

Nim ṛqubbuh (???) cussuh - (???) is where I want the complementiser
1 know.NONPAST (???) go.3.PAST

The subjunctive can't appear as the last element in a sentence (usually), and I can't imagine that morpheme migrating to the matrix verb either. I could go the European way and have a pronoun/interrogative, but this also seems a bit diachronically strange for Qutrussan as such short objects would still be pre-verb. I know Turkish manages to have both strategies by using the native form and also 'ki' borrowed from Persian, but I would like to see if I can find a non-borrowed alternative first.

Edit: The following occurred to me as possible plausible. There is some type of cleft movement going on:

I know that he went > What I know, (is) that he went

which would use the relative enclitic -q(qV). If there is no obvious head, the affix -sh is added:

íthminqash - that which I said / what I said (what is this called btw? Is it some form of nominalisation?)

Similarly:

íthmiqsha cussur
say.3.PAST.REL.NOM go.2.PAST
He said that you went (What he said, (is that) you went)



Any ideas or examples appreciated!
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by ixals » Tue 09 Jan 2018, 15:04

In a language that does not have a word for "to have", is the following structure able/likely to turn into the general way to express "to have"?
(example language is also zero copula btw)

táħuc táħuc a ke
house house GEN 1PS
"The house is my house" > "I have a house"

And more difficult things shorten, so that it's basically just a reduplication of the possessed noun:

acá acá ri məŋ a ke
hand hand PL red GEN 1PS
"The hand is/are my red hands" > "I have red hands"



Also, is it likely for a language to have two words for the genitive with one being used only when there is another genitive that will follow?

pəħlí a rim
tree GEN1 fig
"fig tree"

pəħlí cə rim a ke
tree GEN2 fig GEN1 1PS
"my fig tree"
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