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

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

Post by felipesnark » Sun 14 Oct 2018, 13:37

Ahzoh wrote:
Fri 12 Oct 2018, 21:57
Is it possible for words for gendered children types be derived from a generic, gender neutral term + a gendered plural ending, like:

wasa "child" > wasan "girls" / wasin "boys" > lexicalization, loss of singular form, and reanalysis > w(a)sana "girl" / w(a)sini "boy"
yana "sibling" > yanan "sisters" / yanin "brothers" > lexicalization, loss of singular form, and reanalysis > y(a)nana "sister" / y(a)nini "brother"

possibly wsana/wsini and ynana/ynini become collective nouns and as such would be plural by default but take endings to indicate the singulative.
Seems reasonable to me, but I'm not expert.

My own question:
I am planning on using -th /θ/ as the nominative plural suffix for Denkurian. However, this would occasionally lead to the sequence that I would rather avoid of /θ/V/θ/, where V is any vowel or diphthong. How naturalistic is it for one of the /θ/ to dissimilate? Since Denkurian has other voiceless fricatives, /f s ʃ x/, does that mean that similar sequences of identical fricatives would need to dissimilate as well for consistency?

​What are reasonable candidates for a sound it dissimilates to? /s/, /ʃ/, /x/, /t/, something else? Would it matter if the first or second /θ/ dissimilated?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by sangi39 » Sun 14 Oct 2018, 15:51

felipesnark wrote:
Sun 14 Oct 2018, 13:37
Ahzoh wrote:
Fri 12 Oct 2018, 21:57
Is it possible for words for gendered children types be derived from a generic, gender neutral term + a gendered plural ending, like:

wasa "child" > wasan "girls" / wasin "boys" > lexicalization, loss of singular form, and reanalysis > w(a)sana "girl" / w(a)sini "boy"
yana "sibling" > yanan "sisters" / yanin "brothers" > lexicalization, loss of singular form, and reanalysis > y(a)nana "sister" / y(a)nini "brother"

possibly wsana/wsini and ynana/ynini become collective nouns and as such would be plural by default but take endings to indicate the singulative.
Seems reasonable to me, but I'm not expert.

My own question:
I am planning on using -th /θ/ as the nominative plural suffix for Denkurian. However, this would occasionally lead to the sequence that I would rather avoid of /θ/V/θ/, where V is any vowel or diphthong. How naturalistic is it for one of the /θ/ to dissimilate? Since Denkurian has other voiceless fricatives, /f s ʃ x/, does that mean that similar sequences of identical fricatives would need to dissimilate as well for consistency?

​What are reasonable candidates for a sound it dissimilates to? /s/, /ʃ/, /x/, /t/, something else? Would it matter if the first or second /θ/ dissimilated?
I think someone mentioned this over on Facebook, but something like Grassman's Law affecting an older stage of the language might help, say, deriving /θ/ from an older aspirated /tʰ/, then having aspiration drop in a regressive dissimilatory process, e.g. /-tʰatʰ/ > [-tatʰ] and then have aspirates become fricatives, [-tatʰ] > [-taθ].

One consequence of this is, where do the other fricatives come from? If, for example, /x/ comes from an older /kʰ/, the a sequence like /-kʰatʰ/ will result at first in [-katʰ] and then in [-kaθ], i.e. the nominative plural of words ending in /-x(V)/ will be [-kVθ], with a similar change for /f/ (/-f(V)/ > [-pVθ]).
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by felipesnark » Sun 14 Oct 2018, 16:09

sangi39 wrote:
Sun 14 Oct 2018, 15:51
felipesnark wrote:
Sun 14 Oct 2018, 13:37
My own question:
I am planning on using -th /θ/ as the nominative plural suffix for Denkurian. However, this would occasionally lead to the sequence that I would rather avoid of /θ/V/θ/, where V is any vowel or diphthong. How naturalistic is it for one of the /θ/ to dissimilate? Since Denkurian has other voiceless fricatives, /f s ʃ x/, does that mean that similar sequences of identical fricatives would need to dissimilate as well for consistency?

​What are reasonable candidates for a sound it dissimilates to? /s/, /ʃ/, /x/, /t/, something else? Would it matter if the first or second /θ/ dissimilated?
I think someone mentioned this over on Facebook, but something like Grassman's Law affecting an older stage of the language might help, say, deriving /θ/ from an older aspirated /tʰ/, then having aspiration drop in a regressive dissimilatory process, e.g. /-tʰatʰ/ > [-tatʰ] and then have aspirates become fricatives, [-tatʰ] > [-taθ].

One consequence of this is, where do the other fricatives come from? If, for example, /x/ comes from an older /kʰ/, the a sequence like /-kʰatʰ/ will result at first in [-katʰ] and then in [-kaθ], i.e. the nominative plural of words ending in /-x(V)/ will be [-kVθ], with a similar change for /f/ (/-f(V)/ > [-pVθ]).
I thought about what would happen to other fricatives, which is something I think I'd rather not have, so maybe I will just suck it up and have sequences of [θ(V)θ], which probably wouldn't be super frequent to begin with.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Dormouse559 » Sun 14 Oct 2018, 18:33

You implied that you've made a decision, but I'll just throw in my two cents.

felipesnark wrote:
Sun 14 Oct 2018, 13:37
My own question:
I am planning on using -th /θ/ as the nominative plural suffix for Denkurian. However, this would occasionally lead to the sequence that I would rather avoid of /θ/V/θ/, where V is any vowel or diphthong. How naturalistic is it for one of the /θ/ to dissimilate?
Seems as naturalistic as anything. Dissimilation is a normal process, and [θ] is an unstable sound, so that sounds fine.

felipesnark wrote:Since Denkurian has other voiceless fricatives, /f s ʃ x/, does that mean that similar sequences of identical fricatives would need to dissimilate as well for consistency?
No, those other fricatives are more stable cross-linguistically than [θ], so they don't always behave like it.

felipesnark wrote:​What are reasonable candidates for a sound it dissimilates to? /s/, /ʃ/, /x/, /t/, something else? Would it matter if the first or second /θ/ dissimilated?
I think most of the sounds you list would work. But θ > ʃ seems a little funny to me. Another option is [f].

The frequency of the [θ(V)θ] sequences will be less important if the dissimilation is recent. It'll still be a transparent alternation, and it won't have been worn down by analogy. The frequency will also matter less if the shift is allophonic.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by felipesnark » Sun 14 Oct 2018, 19:09

Dormouse559 wrote:
Sun 14 Oct 2018, 18:33
You implied that you've made a decision, but I'll just throw in my two cents.

felipesnark wrote:
Sun 14 Oct 2018, 13:37
My own question:
I am planning on using -th /θ/ as the nominative plural suffix for Denkurian. However, this would occasionally lead to the sequence that I would rather avoid of /θ/V/θ/, where V is any vowel or diphthong. How naturalistic is it for one of the /θ/ to dissimilate?
Seems as naturalistic as anything. Dissimilation is a normal process, and [θ] is an unstable sound, so that sounds fine.

felipesnark wrote:Since Denkurian has other voiceless fricatives, /f s ʃ x/, does that mean that similar sequences of identical fricatives would need to dissimilate as well for consistency?
No, those other fricatives are more stable cross-linguistically than [θ], so they don't always behave like it.

felipesnark wrote:​What are reasonable candidates for a sound it dissimilates to? /s/, /ʃ/, /x/, /t/, something else? Would it matter if the first or second /θ/ dissimilated?
I think most of the sounds you list would work. But θ > ʃ seems a little funny to me. Another option is [f].

The frequency of the [θ(V)θ] sequences will be less important if the dissimilation is recent. It'll still be a transparent alternation, and it won't have been worn down by analogy. The frequency will also matter less if the shift is allophonic.
Thanks. What about θ > ts ?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Dormouse559 » Sun 14 Oct 2018, 22:37

felipesnark wrote:
Sun 14 Oct 2018, 19:09
Thanks. What about θ > ts ?
I got around to checking out the Index Diachronica, and it looks like θ > ʃ has happened a handful of times. Likewise with θ > ts.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by felipesnark » Sun 14 Oct 2018, 22:41

Dormouse559 wrote:
Sun 14 Oct 2018, 22:37
felipesnark wrote:
Sun 14 Oct 2018, 19:09
Thanks. What about θ > ts ?
I got around to checking out the Index Diachronica, and it looks like θ > ʃ has happened a handful of times. Likewise with θ > ts.
Thanks! I completely forgot about checking Index Diachronica.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by TwistedOne151 » Sun 14 Oct 2018, 23:49

So, I'm looking at valency-increasing operations, and the general example is the causative (which seems to cover well most intransitive-transitive pairs). Applied to an intransitive verb, it adds an agent and turns the former subject into the patient: "the chair broke" > "I broke the chair," "the ball dropped" > "I dropped the ball," "the book lay on the shelf" > "I laid the book on the shelf," and so on.

The question is, what would be the term for the operation that turns an intransitive verb transitive by adding a patient, such as turning intransitive "I ran" into transitive "I ran a marathon," or "the team won" into "the team won the tournament," and so on?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ahzoh » Mon 15 Oct 2018, 00:25

That could be an applicative construction, whereby an oblique argument is promoted to direct object, or circumstantial, where an oblique argument is promoted to subject.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Lambuzhao » Mon 15 Oct 2018, 08:10

Looked up primavera, invernal, veranal, etc.

Found out Old French had primevoire (!?)

Toying with idea of a Lat/Romcon seasonal cycle based entirely on *vera. Something like:

primavera || vera || vertomb || nanvern
"first summer" || "summer" || "Fallen Summer" || "Non-summer"; "Opposite of Summer"

Where a *Vertumnus somehow replaces Autumnus and is reanalyzed as 'ver tumbus', and the particle /in/ in 'invernalis' gets folk-etymologized into a negative.

I am attracted to the Fortunæ rota volvitur feel of it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IA2ilVsfWg

Hmm… mebbe even *vortomb with vowel harmony and/or from an even rarer Vortumnus. Shush, ye Vulgar Latinists, just shush ye for one moment!

I am SOOOO elated Autumn chill has arrived! :mrgreen: [<3] :mrgreen:
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Lambuzhao » Mon 15 Oct 2018, 08:17

felipesnark wrote:
Sun 14 Oct 2018, 13:37
Ahzoh wrote:
Fri 12 Oct 2018, 21:57
Is it possible for words for gendered children types be derived from a generic, gender neutral term + a gendered plural ending, like:

wasa "child" > wasan "girls" / wasin "boys" > lexicalization, loss of singular form, and reanalysis > w(a)sana "girl" / w(a)sini "boy"
yana "sibling" > yanan "sisters" / yanin "brothers" > lexicalization, loss of singular form, and reanalysis > y(a)nana "sister" / y(a)nini "brother"

possibly wsana/wsini and ynana/ynini become collective nouns and as such would be plural by default but take endings to indicate the singulative.
Seems reasonable to me, but I'm not expert.
:wat:
I think I do something like that in Rozwi, but I think in Rozwi's case (masc) {boy}, (fem) {girl}, (neut) {child}, were remnants of an older declension for an adjective that meant 'young' or 'second'. I'll have to get back to you on that one.
[;)]
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by CarsonDaConlanger » Mon 15 Oct 2018, 15:08

What's the boundary between polysynthetic and highly agglutinative? Like, when does a language start being polysynthetic?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by akamchinjir » Mon 15 Oct 2018, 15:58

TwistedOne151 wrote:
Sun 14 Oct 2018, 23:49
The question is, what would be the term for the operation that turns an intransitive verb transitive by adding a patient, such as turning intransitive "I ran" into transitive "I ran a marathon," or "the team won" into "the team won the tournament," and so on?
In English, there's no morphological marking, so maybe the most you can say is that the verbs are ambitransitive, or that you've got an ambitransitive alternation. You can distinguish two main kinds depending on whether S=A or S=P. Your examples are both of the S=A kind (the subject of the intransitive corresponds to the subject of the transitive). "Open" ("I opened the door" vs "The door opened") is of the S=P type. (S=P ambitransitive verbs are sometimes called ergative, but not everybody likes that usage.)

If you have an auffix or construction that adds a theme or patient to an otherwise intransitive verb, I guess it might be an applicative, as Ahzoh suggests. But that'll be weird terminology if (like English) there's no natural way to give the theme or patient as an oblique argument with the intransitive verb (you can't really say "I ran on the marathon," for example)---in that case, you're not really promoting an oblique argument. Maybe you're best off just calling such an affix or construction transitivising.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by shimobaatar » Mon 15 Oct 2018, 16:24

CarsonDaConlanger wrote:
Mon 15 Oct 2018, 15:08
What's the boundary between polysynthetic and highly agglutinative? Like, when does a language start being polysynthetic?
There is no clear-cut distinction between the two, nor is there a generally accepted definition of "polysynthetic".
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by DesEsseintes » Tue 16 Oct 2018, 03:58

CarsonDaConlanger wrote:
Mon 15 Oct 2018, 15:08
What's the boundary between polysynthetic and highly agglutinative? Like, when does a language start being polysynthetic?
Agglutination is a characteristic of languages that stack affixes with relatively clear-cut functions. In a prototypical agglutinative language, each affix codes for one grammatical category. This contrasts with a fusional language, which can encode numerous grammatical categories with one affix.

Polysynthesis is a characteristic of languages that have a high morpheme-to-word ratio. There are numerous more controversial definitions around (some of which I subscribe to), but I won’t go into that. A polysynthetic language can be agglutinative (Kalaallisut) or fusional (Navajo).

Personally, I would not call a language polysynthetic unless two conditions were met:
a) There is polypersonal agreement.
b) There is a definite preference for most of the information in a sentence to be encoded within the verb.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by CarsonDaConlanger » Tue 16 Oct 2018, 12:50

DesEsseintes wrote:
Tue 16 Oct 2018, 03:58
CarsonDaConlanger wrote:
Mon 15 Oct 2018, 15:08
What's the boundary between polysynthetic and highly agglutinative? Like, when does a language start being polysynthetic?
Agglutination is a characteristic of languages that stack affixes with relatively clear-cut functions. In a prototypical agglutinative language, each affix codes for one grammatical category. This contrasts with a fusional language, which can encode numerous grammatical categories with one affix.

Polysynthesis is a characteristic of languages that have a high morpheme-to-word ratio. There are numerous more controversial definitions around (some of which I subscribe to), but I won’t go into that. A polysynthetic language can be agglutinative (Kalaallisut) or fusional (Navajo).

Personally, I would not call a language polysynthetic unless two conditions were met:
a) There is polypersonal agreement.
b) There is a definite preference for most of the information in a sentence to be encoded within the verb.
Oh, ok. I think mine counts, as it shows polypersonal agreement, mood, tense, and aspect on the verb itself. Or would I need more(like noun incorporation)?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Frislander » Tue 16 Oct 2018, 15:06

I personally would not have polypersonal marking as a strict criterion, because there are languages like Nuu-Chah-Nutlh, which common sense would say are absolutely polysynthetic, but only mark one argument on the verb. In my case I would be tempted to say that polysynthesis is most evident in discourse structure - polysynthetic languages are very happy to leave out anything that isn't the verb, and not just in the sense of being pro-drop (there is a word for this kind of super-pro-drop structure and I cant remember it off the top of my head). However again this is not a rigid criterion (like all the other proposed criteria for polysynthesis), since some non-polysynthetic languages such as Japanese and Salishan could be argued to be like this (yes I know there are polylangs in Salishan, but the family as a whole from what I've seen doesn't look like it).

Anyhow the problem with the term "polysynthesis" as it stands is that it has been applied to many different languages over the years, some differing quite wildly from each other, with the result that the definition of what counts as polysynthetic can be best described as "how similar is this language to these other languages we've called 'polysynthetic'".

However in the absence of more information I would not say your conlang is polysynthetic as it stands, since Bantu verbs show all of polypersonal marking, tense, aspect and mood on their verbs as well, but nobody has ever called them polysynthetic.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by yangfiretiger121 » Tue 16 Oct 2018, 16:20

Is [l̥ː] or [ʎ̥] the more natural outcome of jarxvalma's [m̥>l̥] assimilation when it should be analogous to the [s>z] assimilation in Szor [zːœ̠r]?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by shimobaatar » Tue 16 Oct 2018, 16:42

[+1] to what others have said.

The mention of Bantu languages has reminded me that, in my experience, I've found that the label "polysynthetic" seems almost exclusively reserved for the native languages of the Americas, Australia, and Siberia/North(east) Asia, and is almost never applied to languages native to other areas of the world, no matter how many features they may have in common with conventionally "polysynthetic" languages.

I'm not a fan of the term academically, but I want to clarify that I'm not trying to discourage anyone from calling their conlang "polysynthetic" if they'd like to.

In an attempt to hopefully be more helpful, some features/qualities I tend to associate with "polysynthetic" languages are:
  • highly synthetic, high morpheme-per-word ratio (whether more agglutinating or fusional)
  • highly head-marking, with the majority of grammatical information coded on the verb
  • so-called "sentence words", the "super-pro-drop structure" that Frislander mentioned (the term for which eludes me as well)
  • polypersonal agreement
  • evidentiality as a grammatical category
  • some form of noun incorporation
In other words, I generally agree with DesEsseintes' and Frislander's assessments.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Dormouse559 » Tue 16 Oct 2018, 17:14

yangfiretiger121 wrote:
Tue 16 Oct 2018, 16:20
Is [l̥ː] or [ʎ̥] the more natural outcome of jarxvalma's [m̥>l̥] assimilation when it should be analogous to the [s>z] assimilation in Szor [zːœ̠r]?
I don't understand the question. Are jarxvalma and Szor languages? If so, I don't immediately see how sound changes in separate languages involving very different phones, and very different changes to those phones, can be analogous. The sound shifts might both be assimilatory, but the former involves a change in place and manner of articulation with no change in voicing; the latter changes neither POA nor MOA but does change voicing.
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