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

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

Post by Sumelic » Thu 30 Nov 2017, 06:18

Ahzoh wrote:
Thu 30 Nov 2017, 05:12
is /s/ > /a/ ever possible like "ism(a)" > "iam(a)"?
With enough sound changes, almost anything is possible. I can imagine something like /isma/ > /iʃma/ > /iʂma/ > /ixma/ > /iχma/ > /iʁma/ > /iɐma/ > /iama/.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ahzoh » Thu 30 Nov 2017, 06:46

Porphyrogenitos wrote:
Thu 30 Nov 2017, 06:08
Assimilation of a word-initial cluster:

ktama > ttama
mbama > bbama
rtomo > rromo
Any C1 could assimilate to C2? Or are there certain ones that are more resistant? And I only want /p t d k s z/ to geminate.

Any how might I prevent this from being leveled with other words that share the root since the conlang is a tricon language? Have *həsólyā > ssəlya but *māhəsólā > mahsəla and *həsuólē > hsuli/husli.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by DesEsseintes » Thu 30 Nov 2017, 07:11

Sumelic wrote:
Thu 30 Nov 2017, 06:18
Ahzoh wrote:
Thu 30 Nov 2017, 05:12
is /s/ > /a/ ever possible like "ism(a)" > "iam(a)"?
With enough sound changes, almost anything is possible. I can imagine something like /isma/ > /iʃma/ > /iʂma/ > /ixma/ > /iχma/ > /iʁma/ > /iɐma/ > /iama/.
Or just /isma/ → /ihma/ → /iama/
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Porphyrogenitos » Thu 30 Nov 2017, 07:17

Theoretically, yes, any consonant could undergo complete assimilation; essentially taking on all features of the consonant adjacent to it and retaining only its existence as a unit of length. E.g. amta > atta or abhu > ahhu.

But complete assimilation is more "forceful" or "extreme", so it occurs less often crosslinguistically (not that you couldn't have it occur - a lot, even!), and when it does occur it more often occurs between consonants that already share a lot of features - e.g. sz > zz only involves changing one feature, voiceless to voiced.

I could definitely see it getting blocked/reversed out of analogy if there are alternating forms of one word/root that put the two consonants in and out of the assimilation environment. Unless you mean you don't want these cases to be analogized out of existence? Like are you saying you want it to be ssəlya, mahsəla, hsuli/husli or do you want it to be hsəlya, mahsəla, hsuli/husli?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by DesEsseintes » Thu 30 Nov 2017, 08:18

I’m mulling over devoicing processes in Núta. Two voiceless fricatives /s h/ occur in Núta, and I’ve decided that all unstressed vowels devoice before /h/, regardless of the quality of the previous consonant. Devoicing is indicated with a dot above:

/neyáwahte/ neyá·wȧhte

Furthermore, the /w/ in onset of the devoiced syllable may also devoice to [ʍ]. Similarly for /n j r/ → [n̥ ɾ̥ j̥].

Now, I’m thinking /s/ can also cause devoicing, but I’m thinking this may only occur if the onset is one of /t k ʔ/ (i.e. any stop). I don’t think the asymmetry is unnaturalistic, but it does bother me a bit. Thoughts? Any suggestions on tweaking this?

The phonology and a brief outline can be found here.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Davush » Thu 30 Nov 2017, 08:43

DesEsseintes wrote:
Thu 30 Nov 2017, 08:18
I’m mulling over devoicing processes in Núta. Two voiceless fricatives /s h/ occur in Núta, and I’ve decided that all unstressed vowels devoice before /h/, regardless of the quality of the previous consonant. Devoicing is indicated with a dot above:

/neyáwahte/ neyá·wȧhte

Furthermore, the /w/ in onset of the devoiced syllable may also devoice to [ʍ]. Similarly for /n j r/ → [n̥ ɾ̥ j̥].

Now, I’m thinking /s/ can also cause devoicing, but I’m thinking this may only occur if the onset is one of /t k ʔ/ (i.e. any stop). I don’t think the asymmetry is unnaturalistic, but it does bother me a bit. Thoughts? Any suggestions on tweaking this?

The phonology and a brief outline can be found here.
I like the devoicing especially since it's not that common in conlangs. I have a hard time devoicing /a/ though for some reason. I like the asymmetry too - I think we over think these things sometimes, and then examples from natlangs can be even weider...maybe you could go the Japanese way and only have devoicing of high vowels with /s/? I suppose one way to think of it is that the -voice feature of /h/ has more 'spreading' influence (maybe because it is more 'vowel-ish?) than /s/ so devoices vowels more regularly? Perhaps /s/ is on its way to devoicing all vowels, but not there yet? (Or these explanations may be totally implausible... [:D] )

@Esoanem, thanks for the example from Latin > French/Spanish. Incomplete deletion of /p t k/ seems interesting. I wonder if that was a case of a sound change starting, but not reaching all parts of the lexicon? Or was it more random?

A problem I am also having is deriving the Classical Qutrussan stop series. The problem is, atm a single unvoiced consonant between vowels must have come from an ejective, and I think that amount of ejectives is probably unlikely.

E.g.
/puttuku/ < /p'ottuko/ but the reflex of this should be /'puttuggu/ because /k/ usually > /gg/ intervocalically.

For this type, I can always say voicing harmony comes into play, but words with mixed voicing are a bit more difficult:
/qaubu/ < /k'a:upo/ - why didn't /p/ remain as /p/ because of voicing harmony? Or would it be reasonable to just say 'voicing harmony *usually* works' but in some cases it randomly didn't?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ahzoh » Thu 30 Nov 2017, 09:08

Porphyrogenitos wrote:
Thu 30 Nov 2017, 07:17
Unless you mean you don't want these cases to be analogized out of existence? Like are you saying you want it to be ssəlya, mahsəla, hsuli/husli or do you want it to be hsəlya, mahsəla, hsuli/husli?
I am saying I want the former. Although maybe I should go for hsuli > ssuli.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Creyeditor » Thu 30 Nov 2017, 17:36

DesEsseintes wrote:
Thu 30 Nov 2017, 07:11
Sumelic wrote:
Thu 30 Nov 2017, 06:18
Ahzoh wrote:
Thu 30 Nov 2017, 05:12
is /s/ > /a/ ever possible like "ism(a)" > "iam(a)"?
With enough sound changes, almost anything is possible. I can imagine something like /isma/ > /iʃma/ > /iʂma/ > /ixma/ > /iχma/ > /iʁma/ > /iɐma/ > /iama/.
Or just /isma/ → /ihma/ → /iama/
/isma/ →/isəma/ → /isama/ → /ihama/ → /iama/ might be the least weird solution. Vowel epenthesis, fricative lention and /ə/→/a/ are unproblematic.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by DesEsseintes » Thu 30 Nov 2017, 17:40

Creyeditor wrote:
Thu 30 Nov 2017, 17:36
DesEsseintes wrote:
Thu 30 Nov 2017, 07:11
Sumelic wrote:
Thu 30 Nov 2017, 06:18
Ahzoh wrote:
Thu 30 Nov 2017, 05:12
is /s/ > /a/ ever possible like "ism(a)" > "iam(a)"?
With enough sound changes, almost anything is possible. I can imagine something like /isma/ > /iʃma/ > /iʂma/ > /ixma/ > /iχma/ > /iʁma/ > /iɐma/ > /iama/.
Or just /isma/ → /ihma/ → /iama/
/isma/ →/isəma/ → /isama/ → /ihama/ → /iama/ might be the least weird solution. Vowel epenthesis, fricative lention and /ə/→/a/ are unproblematic.
That’s only if you’re happy with schwa epenthesis occurring in virtually every cluster in the language. I’m not sure Ahzoh wants the ramifications of that.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Pabappa » Thu 30 Nov 2017, 17:56

In southern Spain vowels are centralized before a coda / s/.... I could see this developing into diphthongs. Finnish has nakra>naura, which i suspect is part of a long and polyconditional series of changes winnowing down various inherited clusters, such that every cluster would behave differently and also be affected by the vowels. But somewhere in between the unconditional shift of Spanish and the highly conditional shift of Finnish I'm sure you can find a way to get /a/ at least some of the time.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Porphyrogenitos » Thu 30 Nov 2017, 18:11

Debuccalization of coda /s/ to /h/ (or /x/) and vocalization of the coda /h/ to /a/ is the simplest option.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by DesEsseintes » Thu 30 Nov 2017, 18:12

Porphyrogenitos wrote:
Thu 30 Nov 2017, 18:11
Debuccalization of coda /s/ to /h/ (or /x/) and vocalization of the coda /h/ to /a/ is the simplest option.
That’s what I said. [:)]
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus » Thu 30 Nov 2017, 22:29

Porphyrogenitos wrote:
Thu 30 Nov 2017, 18:11
Debuccalization of coda /s/ to /h/ (or /x/) and vocalization of the coda /h/ to /a/ is the simplest option.
Clearly. Though I might say /h/ > /@/ > /a/.

An alternative is coda /s/ > lost with compensatory lengthening of the vowel > diphthong... but obviously that might interfere with more things.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Creyeditor » Fri 01 Dec 2017, 01:13

DesEsseintes wrote:
Thu 30 Nov 2017, 17:40
Creyeditor wrote:
Thu 30 Nov 2017, 17:36
DesEsseintes wrote:
Thu 30 Nov 2017, 07:11
Sumelic wrote:
Thu 30 Nov 2017, 06:18
Ahzoh wrote:
Thu 30 Nov 2017, 05:12
is /s/ > /a/ ever possible like "ism(a)" > "iam(a)"?
With enough sound changes, almost anything is possible. I can imagine something like /isma/ > /iʃma/ > /iʂma/ > /ixma/ > /iχma/ > /iʁma/ > /iɐma/ > /iama/.
Or just /isma/ → /ihma/ → /iama/
/isma/ →/isəma/ → /isama/ → /ihama/ → /iama/ might be the least weird solution. Vowel epenthesis, fricative lention and /ə/→/a/ are unproblematic.
That’s only if you’re happy with schwa epenthesis occurring in virtually every cluster in the language. I’m not sure Ahzoh wants the ramifications of that.
Maybe only in sC clusters? It just came to my mind, when I saw someone claim glottal stop to /e/ for hebrew where most people assume insertion of /e/ and deletion of the glottal stop.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Vlürch » Fri 01 Dec 2017, 13:30

Pabappa wrote:
Wed 29 Nov 2017, 15:32
You could use -ablative as the suffix instead of -elative , and therefore prevent vowel elision .... and this preserves nearly the same meaning as the original.
True, but I don't want to because there are literally no results on Google for postablative case except some kind of spam site. I know that's a stupid reason, but well...
Creyeditor wrote:
Wed 29 Nov 2017, 17:54
Grammar writers mostl come up with names for new cases on the spot, based on some (more or less) Pseudo-Latin. So no pressure for conlangers to do any better.
Oh, that's good to know. I guess calling it anteelative is good enough, then... [:P]
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by DesEsseintes » Sat 02 Dec 2017, 06:14

Suppose a language with extensive vowel sandhi has rules such as the following:

a + a → a, e + e → e, i + i → i, etc.
a + {e i} → ai
a + {o u} → au

The diphthongs ai au then simplify to e o. Now here’s the question: Would it be odd for the e o resulting from diphthongs to be long while the e o resulting from e + e and o + o are short?

e + e → e
a + {e i} → ai → ē
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Porphyrogenitos » Sat 02 Dec 2017, 06:33

I don't think so. Diphthongs often tend to be longer than single vowels.

Although, if you mean that there was an original /ee/ that stayed long but the new /e/ + /e/ just became /e/, that might be a little odd. I guess if you conceived of the rule not as /e/ + /e/ = /e/ but rather as "a vowel following a vowel of identical quality is deleted" it wouldn't be implausible.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by DesEsseintes » Sat 02 Dec 2017, 06:43

Porphyrogenitos wrote:
Sat 02 Dec 2017, 06:33
I don't think so. Diphthongs often tend to be longer than single vowels.

Although, if you mean that there was an original /ee/ that stayed long but the new /e/ + /e/ just became /e/, that might be a little odd. I guess if you conceived of the rule not as /e/ + /e/ = /e/ but rather as "a vowel following a vowel of identical quality is deleted" it wouldn't be implausible.
There was no original long ē. After I posted the question I actually thought of a solution: sequences of identical vowels simplified at an earlier stage than the evolution of diphthongs into long vowels. Then there’s no ‘clash’. Basically, it’s the same thing you suggested. [:)]

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

Post by Keenir » Sat 02 Dec 2017, 12:08

I was looking through Daniel Everett's latest book, and I was struck by what he said about recursion...

is the second example really not recursion?

example one: adding new information to the middle of a sentence - this is what he says recursion is. [/i]

[I am making soup with [ham and] shrimp]
I am making soup with [[thyme and [ham and] shrimp]

example two: adding new information to either end of a sentence - this and the first example are both what I always thought recursion was (once I understood what the word meant)...but Everett says this one is not recursion...

[I am hunting oaks [and turnips]]
[I am hunting oaks [and turnips [and cabbage]]]

(the examples are of my own making)
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Frislander » Sat 02 Dec 2017, 12:35

I've been thinking the same thing, and the conclusion I've drawn from this is that Everett mistook a lack of overt subordinating devices (which is actually fairly common in Amazonia afaict) for there being no equivalent structures on the mental level.

Now this doesn't mean to say I disagree with everything he says: I myself strongly appreciate his attacks on the Chomskyan universal grammar hegemony. However I think his use of Pirahã is misguided, 1. because he doesn't appear to have any actual proof that Pirahã speakers have no concept of recursion and 2. because I think Chomsky's argument that "recursion exists therefore UG exists" is complete bullshit logic and we should really be challenging that.
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