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

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

Post by Frislander » Thu 11 Jan 2018, 18:49

loglorn wrote:
Thu 11 Jan 2018, 15:20
I meant another as contrasted with the SE-Asian one.
But the Indian Subcontinent does not include SE-Asia; the subcontinent consists of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Nepal, Bhutan and Sikkim. Heck it doesn't even take in Burma/Myanmar.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus » Thu 11 Jan 2018, 23:21

Frislander wrote:
Thu 11 Jan 2018, 18:49
loglorn wrote:
Thu 11 Jan 2018, 15:20
I meant another as contrasted with the SE-Asian one.
But the Indian Subcontinent does not include SE-Asia; the subcontinent consists of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Nepal, Bhutan and Sikkim. Heck it doesn't even take in Burma/Myanmar.
So loglorn is right. In addition to the SEA sprachbund, there is another one in the subcontinent.

[Also, Sikkim is part of India. Geographically, the subcontinent includes only part of Pakistan, and also includes part of Burma; politically, it may include Afghanistan*. It may or may not include the Maldives and other Indian Ocean places, and may or may not include the Andamans.]


[*The logical thing would probably be to have a category "Persia", but we don't do that anymore. Which leaves Afghanistan as neither the Middle East, nor Central Asia, nor the Subcontinent. However, Afghanistan is widely considered part of South Asia, which is often in turn synonymous with the subcontinent; and given the long, shared political history and current political intertwining, between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the fact that half of Pakistan is geographically already tantamount to Afghanistan, it makes sense to me to include Afghanistan in South Asia / The Subcontinent. But that's not standard yet.]
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Vlürch » Fri 12 Jan 2018, 02:15

Salmoneus wrote:
Thu 11 Jan 2018, 23:21
The logical thing would probably be to have a category "Persia", but we don't do that anymore. Which leaves Afghanistan as neither the Middle East, nor Central Asia, nor the Subcontinent. However, Afghanistan is widely considered part of South Asia, which is often in turn synonymous with the subcontinent; and given the long, shared political history and current political intertwining, between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the fact that half of Pakistan is geographically already tantamount to Afghanistan, it makes sense to me to include Afghanistan in South Asia / The Subcontinent. But that's not standard yet.
I consider the northern half of Afghanistan to be part of Central Asia and the southern half part of South Asia. Then again, I also consider at least the western half of Mongolia part of Central Asia, so my opinion can be discarded right away. According to Wikipedia's definitions of Central Asia, the UNESCO definition is closest to what I instinctionally think of when I hear "Central Asia", although without any part of Pakistan except the extreme north.

The way I see it, the overlap between regions like Central Asia and South Asia or any others is actually better than there being no overlap at all. I'll never understand people having identity crises because they can't decide which of two or more geographical/political/whatever regions to identify with, since there's the option of identifying with both. That's what Finland has done with Northern and Eastern Europe, and even Western Europe (which is geographically absurd), and probably one of the reasons it's one of the most "stable" countries in the world: people having the ability to easily identify with both factual opposites (geographical regions) and "constructed opposites" (political stereotypes) is beneficial, since it allows everyone to choose between or even simultaneously embrace two or more identities that would normally not overlap.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by holbuzvala » Fri 12 Jan 2018, 18:41

Is it reasonable to have vowel harmony that is left branching? For instance, the internal harmony of a word affecting the vowel in a preposition?

Or, more illustratively, is the following reasonable? :

"To Rome"

zœ rɔmä -> zɔ rɔmä
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Creyeditor » Fri 12 Jan 2018, 19:36

It is attested in natlangs, if that is what you are asking. I think West Africa is the place again, IINM.
Another 'solution' is to call it an allative prefix instead of a preposition, so that the vowel harmony remains inside one phonological word.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by holbuzvala » Fri 12 Jan 2018, 19:38

Thanks, Creyeditor!
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Lambuzhao » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 12:22

Just found the Cosomological Epic (Odyssey of the Woodsman Brakhage) known as Dog Star Man.

Among other things, love the hand-tooled font used in the titles.
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... tarman.PNG
https://i.pinimg.com/236x/70/38/a3/7038 ... graphy.jpg
https://78.media.tumblr.com/f6c16d53cf9 ... o1_500.gif
http://www.jigsawlounge.co.uk/film/wp-c ... tarman.jpg

Thinking of ways to kitbash this (and [<3] [<3] Hebrew Calligraphy)
https://imaginarius13.files.wordpress.c ... lefbet.jpg
https://i0.wp.com/www.script-sign.com/b ... g_7247.jpg
https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4082/4779 ... 2119_b.jpg
https://i.pinimg.com/236x/d1/84/81/d184 ... graphy.jpg
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... chment.jpg
https://img00.deviantart.net/6db9/i/200 ... azzgin.jpg


to mine own nefarious, dastardly, and otherwise snidely conscriptorial purposes.

PS:
I also like the snam and snish of Arabic Calligraphic styles like this:
https://joshberer.files.wordpress.com/2 ... iale-2.jpg

Sanford callimarker-pens, don't fail me now!
[:P]
Last edited by Lambuzhao on Sat 13 Jan 2018, 12:32, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Lambuzhao » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 12:26

Creyeditor wrote:
Fri 12 Jan 2018, 19:36
It is attested in natlangs, if that is what you are asking. I think West Africa is the place again, IINM.
Another 'solution' is to call it an allative prefix instead of a preposition, so that the vowel harmony remains inside one phonological word.
Prefixing the PRP was the first thing that leapt to mind, before reading ur post Creyeditor. That would seal the vowel-harmonic convergence in my book, though I bet there are some other natlang examples of this kind of vowel harmony fallin back instead of leaping forward.

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

Post by Lambuzhao » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 12:45

I think I might've asked this before.

Not sure if this is the exact place to ask it (mebbe Conscript Thread?) .

Anyhow,


Are there any other examples of inked cuneiform from way back when, besides the temple of Ištar, mistress of the Kidmuru, @ Nimrud ?
http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/nimrud/im ... tail-2.jpg
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Pabappa » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 22:59

ixals wrote:
Tue 09 Jan 2018, 20:56
Pabappa wrote:
Tue 09 Jan 2018, 15:36
"My hands are red" could then be reanalyzed as "the hands i have are red", adding just 1 morpheme.in most cases the speaker will want to emphasize "red", not the possession, so putting the predicate wherever your language normally does will help with that.

I hope that this was helpful....If you decide to use this setup, please let me know if you have questions, or want to see natlang examples of this arrangement.
I'm not quite sure if I'm understanding that correctly. But I'd like to see some examples even if I decide to go with it or not! [:P]
Sorry I havent really had a chance so I cant post examples but i can give languages: e.g. Inuit and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bororo_language for having simple possession like "house-1ps" ---> "my house (is)". House is an inanimate noun, so I'd think listeners would understand the construction and not think of it as "I am a house" ,even if the language doesnt mark animacy. Its just like how in English "the cow's milking" and "the farmer's milking" refer to the same semantic concept even though from a strictly grammatical standpoint they are opposites.

Inuktitut possession is at http://www.tusaalanga.ca/node/1110 , but I cant figure out how to navigate around the page .

That just leaves my conlangs, where animacy is inherited by the possessed noun, since only an animate noun can own sometihing. Therefore e.g. "my hands are red" puts a 1st person marker on :"red", just like it were any other intransitive verb. i'll use a regular noun:
:con: Poswa:
tašapio "my legs"

tašapio apwo. "my legs are red" because "my legs" is a 1st person noun. Therefore the styntactic stress is on the word for "red", again just like it was any ordinary verb. Such is the case also in Inuktitut, as far as I know ... I cant find an example now where a posessedd noun is the subj of a sentence.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by vo1dwalk3r » Mon 15 Jan 2018, 09:44

Curious, what do you guys do to come up with interesting semantics? I often struggle to come up with unique, multifaceted and nuanced definitions for my words. I'm also considering them from a historical perspective. I use the conlanger's thesaurus and Wiktionary to help but it's still tricky.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by gestaltist » Mon 15 Jan 2018, 09:54

vo1dwalk3r wrote:
Mon 15 Jan 2018, 09:44
Curious, what do you guys do to come up with interesting semantics? I often struggle to come up with unique, multifaceted and nuanced definitions for my words. I'm also considering them from a historical perspective. I use the conlanger's thesaurus and Wiktionary to help but it's still tricky.
I also use the conlanger's thesaurus. I think it's a great resource. I also tap into the various languages I speak or peruse dictionaries of languages I don't speak for inspiration. But at the end of the day, it's a matter of experimentation. Since I usually work with a proto-language, I tend to choose simpler meanings for proto-words, then coin a bunch of cognates, and try to think how they would shift in meaning through the centuries.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Evynova » Mon 15 Jan 2018, 10:05

Hey all. I come to you with a conundrum regarding a new project I want to start working on.

I want to begin working on a personal conlang, for my own personal use and not as a part of my conworld. This relieves me of the constraints of naturalism to an extent, but I still want to do things right. I have decided to go for a Polynesian feel with a small phonemic inventory and a mostly isolating grammar with tons of particles. So far so good.

Another feature I've been thinking of, and the one that's causing me some problems, is to have verbs be a closed class. My idea is to only have a few verbs that only vaguely describe a concept; incorporating nouns is the solution for more precise meaning. Using a verb describing states, I would also get rid of adjectives. But here's the issue: how do I create verbs, using incorporation, that would not be awfully ambiguous? Using a single verb describing actions and incorporating mouth into it, as mouth-do could describe speaking. But who's to say it cannot translate as "to eat"? Or even "to kiss"? Admittedly, since this is a personal lang, it shouldn't really be a problem to me but I don't like so much ambiguity.

A solution I've thought of would be using reduplication, partial or complete, of the incorporated noun. As such, "mouthmouth-do" could be "to kiss", "momouth-do" could be "to speak (a lot)",... Maybe incorporating several nouns could work, "mouthteeth-do" meaning "to eat".

But that still bears the question: what about more complex or abstract verbs? How would I translate "to lie"? Or "to insult"? "To chew"?

My question is: should I roll with it and spend hours on the lexicon as a challenge? Or should I allow verbs to be a more open class, all the while keeping incorporation and reduplication as productive features?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Creyeditor » Mon 15 Jan 2018, 10:08

vo1dwalk3r wrote:
Mon 15 Jan 2018, 09:44
Curious, what do you guys do to come up with interesting semantics? I often struggle to come up with unique, multifaceted and nuanced definitions for my words. I'm also considering them from a historical perspective. I use the conlanger's thesaurus and Wiktionary to help but it's still tricky.
Also looking at the wiktionary definitions of words in different languages really inspires me.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by gestaltist » Mon 15 Jan 2018, 11:30

Evynova wrote:
Mon 15 Jan 2018, 10:05
Hey all. I come to you with a conundrum regarding a new project I want to start working on.

I want to begin working on a personal conlang, for my own personal use and not as a part of my conworld. This relieves me of the constraints of naturalism to an extent, but I still want to do things right. I have decided to go for a Polynesian feel with a small phonemic inventory and a mostly isolating grammar with tons of particles. So far so good.

Another feature I've been thinking of, and the one that's causing me some problems, is to have verbs be a closed class. My idea is to only have a few verbs that only vaguely describe a concept; incorporating nouns is the solution for more precise meaning. Using a verb describing states, I would also get rid of adjectives. But here's the issue: how do I create verbs, using incorporation, that would not be awfully ambiguous? Using a single verb describing actions and incorporating mouth into it, as mouth-do could describe speaking. But who's to say it cannot translate as "to eat"? Or even "to kiss"? Admittedly, since this is a personal lang, it shouldn't really be a problem to me but I don't like so much ambiguity.

A solution I've thought of would be using reduplication, partial or complete, of the incorporated noun. As such, "mouthmouth-do" could be "to kiss", "momouth-do" could be "to speak (a lot)",... Maybe incorporating several nouns could work, "mouthteeth-do" meaning "to eat".

But that still bears the question: what about more complex or abstract verbs? How would I translate "to lie"? Or "to insult"? "To chew"?

My question is: should I roll with it and spend hours on the lexicon as a challenge? Or should I allow verbs to be a more open class, all the while keeping incorporation and reduplication as productive features?
Sounds like you may have gone a bit overboard with the closed class. I feel like something like "to speak" would qualify in even a small inventory of verbs.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Evynova » Mon 15 Jan 2018, 12:19

gestaltist wrote:
Mon 15 Jan 2018, 11:30
Sounds like you may have gone a bit overboard with the closed class. I feel like something like "to speak" would qualify in even a small inventory of verbs.
Maybe. To be fair, there is apparently one natlang that has no more than three verbs, at least according to the Wikipedia article about parts of speech,
The open or closed status of word classes varies between languages, even assuming that corresponding word classes exist. Most conspicuously, in many languages verbs and adjectives form closed classes of content words. An extreme example is found in Jingulu, which has only three verbs[...]
The article on Jingulu doesn't say anything about the verbs however, and the article that makes the claim links no source, so I don't know how trustworthy this claim is, and I have no idea how such a system would work.

I guess I'll give up on the closed class idea for now.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by gestaltist » Mon 15 Jan 2018, 13:19

Evynova wrote:
Mon 15 Jan 2018, 12:19
gestaltist wrote:
Mon 15 Jan 2018, 11:30
Sounds like you may have gone a bit overboard with the closed class. I feel like something like "to speak" would qualify in even a small inventory of verbs.
Maybe. To be fair, there is apparently one natlang that has no more than three verbs, at least according to the Wikipedia article about parts of speech,
The open or closed status of word classes varies between languages, even assuming that corresponding word classes exist. Most conspicuously, in many languages verbs and adjectives form closed classes of content words. An extreme example is found in Jingulu, which has only three verbs[...]
The article on Jingulu doesn't say anything about the verbs however, and the article that makes the claim links no source, so I don't know how trustworthy this claim is, and I have no idea how such a system would work.

I guess I'll give up on the closed class idea for now.
I think a system with very few verbs would need nominals with a verb-like meaning. Words like "speech", or "speaking". In this case, I can imagine making do with "to be", "to do" and "to have".

"I do speaking" = I speak... etc.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus » Mon 15 Jan 2018, 15:22

Evynova wrote:
Mon 15 Jan 2018, 10:05
Hey all. I come to you with a conundrum regarding a new project I want to start working on.

I want to begin working on a personal conlang, for my own personal use and not as a part of my conworld. This relieves me of the constraints of naturalism to an extent, but I still want to do things right. I have decided to go for a Polynesian feel with a small phonemic inventory and a mostly isolating grammar with tons of particles. So far so good.

Another feature I've been thinking of, and the one that's causing me some problems, is to have verbs be a closed class. My idea is to only have a few verbs that only vaguely describe a concept; incorporating nouns is the solution for more precise meaning. Using a verb describing states, I would also get rid of adjectives. But here's the issue: how do I create verbs, using incorporation, that would not be awfully ambiguous? Using a single verb describing actions and incorporating mouth into it, as mouth-do could describe speaking. But who's to say it cannot translate as "to eat"? Or even "to kiss"? Admittedly, since this is a personal lang, it shouldn't really be a problem to me but I don't like so much ambiguity.
Who's to say that "speak" doesn't mean "to eat"? It's just a fact about the language. If your language has mouth-do mean 'speak', then it does, and speakers will know it doesn't mean 'eat' because... that's not the word for 'eat'.

Of course, the problem you're having has nothing to do with verbs being a closed class, but with oligosynthesis. Realistically, a language with a closed class of verbs would have something like "to give a kiss" instead of "to kiss", "to take in food" instead of "to eat", and "to use one's voice" or "to make a speech" or the like instead of "to speak". It wouldn't break it down into this sort of make-mouth-move-sound-comes-out pantomime-language.
How would I translate "to lie"? Or "to insult"? "To chew"?
"To give a lie". "To give an insult". "To use teeth (durative)" or "to make pulp".
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Evynova » Mon 15 Jan 2018, 16:43

Thank you for your replies. I understand better what the problem is. I will experiment with the solutions you have suggested, and I will see which one feels better.
Salmoneus wrote:
Mon 15 Jan 2018, 15:22
Of course, the problem you're having has nothing to do with verbs being a closed class, but with oligosynthesis. Realistically, a language with a closed class of verbs would have something like "to give a kiss" instead of "to kiss", "to take in food" instead of "to eat", and "to use one's voice" or "to make a speech" or the like instead of "to speak". It wouldn't break it down into this sort of make-mouth-move-sound-comes-out pantomime-language.
How would I translate "to lie"? Or "to insult"? "To chew"?
"To give a lie". "To give an insult". "To use teeth (durative)" or "to make pulp".
Well I didn't actually want to go for an oligosynthetic language; the issue is that I wanted to be too minimalist. I will keep what you said in mind and I'll most likely use such constructions, whatever I end up deciding for my verbs.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Lambuzhao » Mon 15 Jan 2018, 19:23

It wouldn't break it down into this sort of make-mouth-move-sound-comes-out pantomime-language.
Well, let's just see.
In Native American Sign Language, for example

To Eat/Food
https://i.pinimg.com/236x/91/aa/be/91aa ... ge-eat.jpg

To Speak
http://pislresearch.com/illustrations/l ... x8_043.jpg

Speaking
http://pislresearch.com/illustrations/l ... x8_041.jpg

If anything, the eating/food pantmimes inward motion of the food into the mouth.

Of course, this is just one style of gestural communication e pluribus.
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