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

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

Post by Nachtuil » Sat 04 Aug 2018, 20:43

k1234567890y wrote:
Sat 04 Aug 2018, 10:32
Nachtuil wrote:
Sat 04 Aug 2018, 02:36
In languages with a system of polypersonal agreement on the verb, is that marking ever lacking for possession verbs? Especially if the possession verb is irregular?
uncertain, maybe unlikely? I guess either they still exist on possession verbs or such verbs have become highly irregular...or maybe you can have this as the semantic development to have a "no-mark possessive verb"? demonstrative > "to be(copula)" > "to be(locational and existential), to have", but uncertain

btw I tend to use the existential verbs for possession verbs too, as it is not uncommon for natlangs not to have a specific verb for the meaning "to have"

Thanks Ky. I really want to try a language like that, where you don't have a verb for possession! Are there any good example languages to look at for that?

I guess in my case, I may just keep the marking on the verbs, irregular though they are. My possession verbs are QUITE irregular too. haha.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by k1234567890y » Sat 04 Aug 2018, 20:45

Nachtuil wrote:
Sat 04 Aug 2018, 20:43
k1234567890y wrote:
Sat 04 Aug 2018, 10:32
Nachtuil wrote:
Sat 04 Aug 2018, 02:36
In languages with a system of polypersonal agreement on the verb, is that marking ever lacking for possession verbs? Especially if the possession verb is irregular?
uncertain, maybe unlikely? I guess either they still exist on possession verbs or such verbs have become highly irregular...or maybe you can have this as the semantic development to have a "no-mark possessive verb"? demonstrative > "to be(copula)" > "to be(locational and existential), to have", but uncertain

btw I tend to use the existential verbs for possession verbs too, as it is not uncommon for natlangs not to have a specific verb for the meaning "to have"

Thanks Ky. I really want to try a language like that, where you don't have a verb for possession! Are there any good example languages to look at for that?

I guess in my case, I may just keep the marking on the verbs, irregular though they are. My possession verbs are QUITE irregular too. haha.
In languages like Japanese and Manchu, you traditionally say something like "there is a car at Nachtuil" instead of "Nachtuil has a car" to indicate the meaning "Nachtuil has a car"...although Japanese seems to be developing a verb for "to have".

You can look at this to draw inspirations: http://wals.info/chapter/117
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by brblues » Sat 04 Aug 2018, 21:37

Nachtuil wrote:
Sat 04 Aug 2018, 20:43

Thanks Ky. I really want to try a language like that, where you don't have a verb for possession! Are there any good example languages to look at for that?
Turkish has possessive suffixes, i.e. one suffix for each person of possessor (a suffix for "my", "yours" etc.). The concrete form of the suffix is determined by vowel harmony.

So for instance:

araba = car
araba-m
car-POSS1sg
"My car"

(You won't see vowel harmony in the suffix in action here as it ends in a vowel).

To express "to have", you just use the noun in the possessed form plus "var" (which expresses existence, but isn't a verb - at least it's not conjugated).

Arabam var => I have a car

EDITED TO ADD:

It gets more interesting once you have a third-person possessive, as you can add the possessor in genitive then, and you can stack posessions - well you do that in English too actually, but rather with genitives only:

"My teacher's car"
öğretmen-im-in araba-sı
teacher-POSS1sg-GEN car-poss3sg

And following on from that: "My teacher doesn't have a car"
öğretmen-im-in araba-sı yok
teacher-POSS1sg-GEN car-poss3sg non-existent
(teacher-my-'s car-his doesn't exist)

Full disclosure - I'm just an extremely amateurish learner of Turkish myself and since the lessons I taught myself online quite a lot of time has passed, so correct me if I'm spouting nonsense here!
Last edited by brblues on Sun 05 Aug 2018, 15:28, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus » Sat 04 Aug 2018, 23:03

Irish is a close-to-home example of the 'at me' strategy. Tá madra agam, "Stands a dog at me" ("I have a dog") (not literally 'stands' - its lost its original non-auxiliary meaning). Sometimes 'with' is used instead: tá madra liom, "Stands a dog with me" ("I own a dog"). The difference is apparently complicated, but in general 'with' is used meaning 'in my possession', whereas 'le' is used meaning 'belonging to me'. Also, 'on' can be used with abstract possession - tá brón orm, "Stands a sorrow on me" ("I'm sorry").

This used to be common throughout Europe - Latin used it too, though it used a dative rather than a locative.

In WALS' classification, have-possession is the most common strategy, but still only accounts for about a quarter of their language sample. Their other strategies are:
- locative/dative: "the dog is at me"
- genitive: "the dog is of me"
- topicalisation: "as for me, a dog exists"
- conjunction: "I exist and also a dog"
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by yangfiretiger121 » Sun 05 Aug 2018, 22:12

Can /c͡ç/ survive without phonemic /c ç/? What about /ɟ͡ʝ/ without a phonemic /ɟ/? There's been a /j→ʝ/ merger in Aʻatun and, possibly a /ç→ɕ/ merger as well.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by sangi39 » Sun 05 Aug 2018, 23:38

yangfiretiger121 wrote:
Sun 05 Aug 2018, 22:12
Can /c͡ç/ survive without phonemic /c ç/? What about /ɟ͡ʝ/ without a phonemic /ɟ/? There's been a /j→ʝ/ merger in Aʻatun and, possibly a /ç→ɕ/ merger as well.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ælfwine » Mon 06 Aug 2018, 00:00

Salmoneus wrote:
Sat 04 Aug 2018, 23:03
Irish is a close-to-home example of the 'at me' strategy. Tá madra agam, "Stands a dog at me" ("I have a dog") (not literally 'stands' - its lost its original non-auxiliary meaning). Sometimes 'with' is used instead: tá madra liom, "Stands a dog with me" ("I own a dog"). The difference is apparently complicated, but in general 'with' is used meaning 'in my possession', whereas 'le' is used meaning 'belonging to me'. Also, 'on' can be used with abstract possession - tá brón orm, "Stands a sorrow on me" ("I'm sorry").

This used to be common throughout Europe - Latin used it too, though it used a dative rather than a locative.

In WALS' classification, have-possession is the most common strategy, but still only accounts for about a quarter of their language sample. Their other strategies are:
- locative/dative: "the dog is at me"
- genitive: "the dog is of me"
- topicalisation: "as for me, a dog exists"
- conjunction: "I exist and also a dog"
I'm thinking of using this construction for my germaniclang. I imagine til would be the preposition of choice.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by yangfiretiger121 » Mon 06 Aug 2018, 01:57

Thanks. Could /ʈ͡ʂ~c͡ç ɖ͡ʐ~ɟ͡ʝ/, or does the difference in sibilance between, for example, /ʈ͡ʂ c͡ç/ preclude such a relationship?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by sangi39 » Mon 06 Aug 2018, 03:40

yangfiretiger121 wrote:
Mon 06 Aug 2018, 01:57
Thanks. Could /ʈ͡ʂ~c͡ç ɖ͡ʐ~ɟ͡ʝ/, or does the difference in sibilance between, for example, /ʈ͡ʂ c͡ç/ preclude such a relationship?
As least in Hungarian, it looks like the distinction would be between laminal palatal affricates and apical post-alveolar affricates, and, if I remember rightly, languages like Serbo-Croatian, Sanskrit, and Slovak, make similar contrasts. As always, though, if someone wants to correct me (annoyingly, my Russian friend's wife is Croatian but we can't agree on terminology enough to settle this [:P] )
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Nachtuil » Mon 06 Aug 2018, 05:27

Thank you guys for the information about non-verbal possession strategies! I'm going to look into them :)
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by brblues » Mon 06 Aug 2018, 10:06

Ælfwine wrote:
Mon 06 Aug 2018, 00:00
Salmoneus wrote:
Sat 04 Aug 2018, 23:03
Irish is a close-to-home example of the 'at me' strategy. Tá madra agam, "Stands a dog at me" ("I have a dog") (not literally 'stands' - its lost its original non-auxiliary meaning). Sometimes 'with' is used instead: tá madra liom, "Stands a dog with me" ("I own a dog"). The difference is apparently complicated, but in general 'with' is used meaning 'in my possession', whereas 'le' is used meaning 'belonging to me'. Also, 'on' can be used with abstract possession - tá brón orm, "Stands a sorrow on me" ("I'm sorry").

This used to be common throughout Europe - Latin used it too, though it used a dative rather than a locative.

In WALS' classification, have-possession is the most common strategy, but still only accounts for about a quarter of their language sample. Their other strategies are:
- locative/dative: "the dog is at me"
- genitive: "the dog is of me"
- topicalisation: "as for me, a dog exists"
- conjunction: "I exist and also a dog"
I'm thinking of using this construction for my germaniclang. I imagine til would be the preposition of choice.
If you're referring to the dative construction, I have heard "Mir [DATIVE PRONOUN] ist ..." for "I have ..." in German, although it sounded *very* weird to my native (Swabian) ears, probably being something more North German (and non-standard). Also, it is likely used rather in the context of "XXX gehört mir ..." (which is perfectly normally, literally "... belongs to me", though more idiomatically " ... is mine"),.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Creyeditor » Mon 06 Aug 2018, 15:13

brblues wrote:
Mon 06 Aug 2018, 10:06
If you're referring to the dative construction, I have heard "Mir [DATIVE PRONOUN] ist ..." for "I have ..." in German, although it sounded *very* weird to my native (Swabian) ears, probably being something more North German (and non-standard). Also, it is likely used rather in the context of "XXX gehört mir ..." (which is perfectly normally, literally "... belongs to me", though more idiomatically " ... is mine"),.
This is not Northern German, it some weird thing I heard people do in the very west, around the town of Siegen. People in Northern Germany generally use the haben 'to have' for predicative possession. In questions we usually use gehören 'to belong to someone', e.g. Wem gehört das? 'Whose is it? lit. Whom does that belong to?'. That's the context in which I have heard the dative construction in Siegen most often, i.e.Wem ist das? 'Whose is it? lit. Whom is that?'
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by brblues » Mon 06 Aug 2018, 19:42

Creyeditor wrote:
Mon 06 Aug 2018, 15:13
brblues wrote:
Mon 06 Aug 2018, 10:06
If you're referring to the dative construction, I have heard "Mir [DATIVE PRONOUN] ist ..." for "I have ..." in German, although it sounded *very* weird to my native (Swabian) ears, probably being something more North German (and non-standard). Also, it is likely used rather in the context of "XXX gehört mir ..." (which is perfectly normally, literally "... belongs to me", though more idiomatically " ... is mine"),.
This is not Northern German, it some weird thing I heard people do in the very west, around the town of Siegen. People in Northern Germany generally use the haben 'to have' for predicative possession. In questions we usually use gehören 'to belong to someone', e.g. Wem gehört das? 'Whose is it? lit. Whom does that belong to?'. That's the context in which I have heard the dative construction in Siegen most often, i.e.Wem ist das? 'Whose is it? lit. Whom is that?'
I know I should be more exact on a forum dealing with linguistic matters, but for me anything north of the Danube is "the North" :p But yeah it was in a very similar context I heard it, it was verbatim "Ist das gar nicht euch"? I remember so clearly cause I found the expression pretty darn hilarious at 11 years old. How to translate "gar" in its various contexts is a headache for another time!
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Creyeditor » Mon 06 Aug 2018, 19:58

brblues wrote:
Mon 06 Aug 2018, 19:42
Creyeditor wrote:
Mon 06 Aug 2018, 15:13
brblues wrote:
Mon 06 Aug 2018, 10:06
If you're referring to the dative construction, I have heard "Mir [DATIVE PRONOUN] ist ..." for "I have ..." in German, although it sounded *very* weird to my native (Swabian) ears, probably being something more North German (and non-standard). Also, it is likely used rather in the context of "XXX gehört mir ..." (which is perfectly normally, literally "... belongs to me", though more idiomatically " ... is mine"),.
This is not Northern German, it some weird thing I heard people do in the very west, around the town of Siegen. People in Northern Germany generally use the haben 'to have' for predicative possession. In questions we usually use gehören 'to belong to someone', e.g. Wem gehört das? 'Whose is it? lit. Whom does that belong to?'. That's the context in which I have heard the dative construction in Siegen most often, i.e.Wem ist das? 'Whose is it? lit. Whom is that?'
I know I should be more exact on a forum dealing with linguistic matters, but for me anything north of the Danube is "the North" :p But yeah it was in a very similar context I heard it, it was verbatim "Ist das gar nicht euch"? I remember so clearly cause I found the expression pretty darn hilarious at 11 years old. How to translate "gar" in its various contexts is a headache for another time!
I can relate to that. For me everything south of the Elbe also feels a bit Southern [:D]
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by clawgrip » Mon 06 Aug 2018, 23:42

k1234567890y wrote:
Sat 04 Aug 2018, 20:45
In languages like Japanese and Manchu, you traditionally say something like "there is a car at Nachtuil" instead of "Nachtuil has a car" to indicate the meaning "Nachtuil has a car"...although Japanese seems to be developing a verb for "to have".

You can look at this to draw inspirations: http://wals.info/chapter/117
This isn't really how Japanese does it. It's more like, "A car exists in the context of Nachtuil".

Japanese does sort of have a verb for have (motsu), but this is actually the verb for hold or carry, and is not always used for the type of permanent/longer-term possession that "have" frequently implies (though it can be...you could rephrase the sentence above using this verb). Is this the verb you are talking about when you say Japanese is developing a verb for have?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by k1234567890y » Tue 07 Aug 2018, 05:18

clawgrip wrote:
Mon 06 Aug 2018, 23:42
k1234567890y wrote:
Sat 04 Aug 2018, 20:45
In languages like Japanese and Manchu, you traditionally say something like "there is a car at Nachtuil" instead of "Nachtuil has a car" to indicate the meaning "Nachtuil has a car"...although Japanese seems to be developing a verb for "to have".

You can look at this to draw inspirations: http://wals.info/chapter/117
This isn't really how Japanese does it. It's more like, "A car exists in the context of Nachtuil".

Japanese does sort of have a verb for have (motsu), but this is actually the verb for hold or carry, and is not always used for the type of permanent/longer-term possession that "have" frequently implies (though it can be...you could rephrase the sentence above using this verb). Is this the verb you are talking about when you say Japanese is developing a verb for have?
yes...and thanks for saying
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by brblues » Tue 07 Aug 2018, 10:14

clawgrip wrote:
Mon 06 Aug 2018, 23:42
k1234567890y wrote:
Sat 04 Aug 2018, 20:45
In languages like Japanese and Manchu, you traditionally say something like "there is a car at Nachtuil" instead of "Nachtuil has a car" to indicate the meaning "Nachtuil has a car"...although Japanese seems to be developing a verb for "to have".

You can look at this to draw inspirations: http://wals.info/chapter/117
This isn't really how Japanese does it. It's more like, "A car exists in the context of Nachtuil".
If I understand correctly, that would then be the topicalization strategy mentioned by Salmoneus as being one of the four strategies differentiated in WALS. FWIW, Korean does the same.

Cheo-neun cha-ga isseoyo
I-TOP car-SUBJ exist

(I struggle with typing hangul, so haven't included them, and the romanization might not be perfect either - well even if it were perfect according to the Revised Romanization standard, it would basically still be somewhat sucky :D).

The same verb is also used for being located somewhere.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by clawgrip » Wed 08 Aug 2018, 02:10

Yes, exactly. The Japanese verb is also used for things being located somewhere.

私は、車があります。
Watashi wa, kuruma ga arimasu.

1-TOP car NOM exist

However, as k1234567890y mentioned, this can also be said using the hold verb:

私は、車を持っています。
Watashi wa, kuruma o motte imasu.

1-TOP car ACC hold-ADV be.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus » Thu 09 Aug 2018, 01:00

It occurred to me: does this mean there are no languages the primary possessive predicates of which take the form "I am rich in/to/with one dog" or "I am the owner of a dog"?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Creyeditor » Thu 09 Aug 2018, 11:19

I think it does not. Pre-defined comparative concepts like the categories in WALS cannot be used to proof the absence of structures that do not fit the categories.
On a a related note, the WALS chapter mentions adjectival possession coding:
WALS wrote:A second instance of grammaticalization of predicative possessive structures might be called Adjectivalization. In some linguistic areas, we find possessive constructions in which the possessed NP is construed as the predicate (or part of the predicate) and treated in the same way as predicative adjectives are treated. [...]
(11) Kanuri (Cyffer 1974: 122)
kam kura-te kugena-nze-wa (genyi)
man big-the money-his-ADJ (NEG.COP)
‘The big man has (no) money.’
[...]
Cases like these are probably best viewed as the result of a grammaticalization process by which the possessed noun phrase (together with its marker, if it has one) is gradually reanalyzed as the predicate of the construction. Depending on whether the possessed noun phrase bears a marker or not, the source of such products of adjectivalization can be traced back to a Conjunctional Possessive or a Topic Possessive. Therefore, cases of adjectivalization are not represented separately on the map, but are coded in accordance with their source type.
The Kanuri example is nice, because it adjectivized the possessed noun.

The second example you give is pretty much parallel to a Hausa construction I learned in my Hausa course, where instead of owner, you use something like 'master'. Interestingly this can also be used for things that we usually think of as adjectives, like character traits and stuff.
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