Some Miscellaneous Realism Questions

If you're new to these arts, this is the place to ask "stupid" questions and get directions!
Post Reply
Benjaminmb
rupestrian
rupestrian
Posts: 10
Joined: 01 Jun 2019 12:49

Some Miscellaneous Realism Questions

Post by Benjaminmb » 01 Jun 2019 13:06

1. Would heavy allophony occur more in upper-caste or lower-caste dialects? What about liaison?
2. Are cartouches and similar structures rare in logographic languages?
3. Could goats conceivably be bred for pulling carts and riding?
4. What would classifiers come from?
5. Japanese classifiers look like simpler characters than Chinese classifiers. Am I right, and which one would be more common in a logographic language?
6. What else would it make sense to use classifiers for, besides with numerals? I’m definitely going to use them as one way to form the plural without a numeral.

User avatar
Zekoslav
sinic
sinic
Posts: 257
Joined: 07 Oct 2017 16:54

Re: Some Miscellaneous Realism Questions

Post by Zekoslav » 01 Jun 2019 13:33

I'll try to answer this the best I can:

1. upper-caste sociolects tend to be more conservative, but how that translates to allophony and liaison is up to you.

2. I don't know any example other than Egyptian hieroglyphics which uses cartouches.

3. I had a conworld once where there was a mass extinction and domestic goats became the ancestor of most future ruminants, but for short-term breeding I'm not sure. Goats are quite small, and if we haven't been able to breed rideable dogs, then it probably wouldn't work for goats either!

4. Normal nouns used generically. I think something like this has happened in Farsi, but I don't know the details. For "I've got 3 pencils" you could say "I've got 3 sticks of pencil", and there you go!

5. Don't know. We never got to kanji in my one-semestre Japanese course (and I've already forgotten most of the kana [:$]).

6. Some languages (mostly Austronesian) use classifiers in possessive constructions, but apparently these are not the same kind of classifiers as the one used for counting.
Languages:
:hrv: [:D], :bih: :srb: [;)], :eng: [:D], :fra: [:|], :lat: [:(], :deu: [:'(]

A linguistics enthusiast who would like to make a conlang, but can't decide what to call what.

- Tewanian languages
- Guide to Slavic accentuation

holbuzvala
sinic
sinic
Posts: 216
Joined: 01 Jan 2017 14:03

Re: Some Miscellaneous Realism Questions

Post by holbuzvala » 01 Jun 2019 15:57

On point 6, classifiers can often be a good starting point for creating genders/noun classes diachronically -> this can then lead to agreement structures for adjectives or verbs or whatever.

User avatar
eldin raigmore
korean
korean
Posts: 6387
Joined: 14 Aug 2010 19:38
Location: SouthEast Michigan

Re: Some Miscellaneous Realism Questions

Post by eldin raigmore » 01 Jun 2019 19:07

Benjaminmb wrote:
01 Jun 2019 13:06
6. What else would it make sense to use classifiers for, besides with numerals? I’m definitely going to use them as one way to form the plural without a numeral.
Zekoslav wrote:
01 Jun 2019 13:33
6. Some languages (mostly Austronesian) use classifiers in possessive constructions, but apparently these are not the same kind of classifiers as the one used for counting.
Read this abstract. There are many kinds of classifiers, not just numeral classifiers and possessive classifiers.
Aikhenvald wrote:.... Further noun categorization devices include noun classifiers, classifiers in possessive constructions, verbal classifiers, and two rare types: locative and deictic classifiers. Classifiers and noun classes provide a unique insight into how the world is categorized through language in terms of universal semantic parameters involving humanness, animacy, sex, shape, form, consistency, orientation in space, and the functional properties of referents.
According to https://wals.info/chapter/59, languages (in WALS.info’s sample database for which this feature was recorded) with possessive classifiers have only two of them. In contrast, languages with numeral classifiers might have as many as 300 or 400 of them. (OTOH languages with genders max out at about 30 or 40 genders.)

—————

One way to look at numeral classifiers, is this.
The (numeral) classifiers are the only count-nouns.
All other nouns are mass-or-measure nouns.
The numeral classifiers are the units-of-measure in which the other nouns are measured.

—————

As Zekoslav (holbuzvala also, maybe?) hinted (or outright said), in some languages the numeral classifiers is often (or usually or always) a common noun that is somehow more generic than the specific noun being enumerated.
“I have six sticks pencil.”
“I need four slices pumpernickel”.
“I have forty-four persons cousin.”
“I bought seven garments evening-gown.”
Etc.
Do you get the idea? It’s easier to think up illustrative examples than to think of exactly the right wording for the explanation.

Nachtuil
greek
greek
Posts: 520
Joined: 21 Jul 2016 00:16

Re: Some Miscellaneous Realism Questions

Post by Nachtuil » 02 Jun 2019 06:18

(Double post, a mod is invited to delete this at their own leisure)
Last edited by Nachtuil on 02 Jun 2019 06:20, edited 1 time in total.

Nachtuil
greek
greek
Posts: 520
Joined: 21 Jul 2016 00:16

Re: Some Miscellaneous Realism Questions

Post by Nachtuil » 02 Jun 2019 06:19

1. Speakers of any language can be highly sensitive to variation between speaker groups within their own language, for sure, but even then, but I would be very surprised that there would be an actual solid correspondence between the amount of allophony in a sociolect and social class. Even conservative doesn't imply more or less, just different. Most allophony is far beneath the awareness of a language's speakers. Consider that in English, the aspiration variation on voiceless stops, nasalisation of vowels before nasal stops, devoicing of liquids after voiceless obstruents, assimilation of nasals to following stop places of articulation etc, are all mostly invisible to speakers. You certainly could make a sociolect have more allophonic processes than another but as far as I know there is no strict relationship between social class and the number of allophonic processes.

You may want to look into sociolects: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociolect

2. No idea, unfortunately.

3. Certainly, given enough time, husbandry and incentive. It might be an awful lot of time mind you. Usually animals are bred to get accentuate desirable variants of existing traits, not necessarily explorationally (as in say, "maybe we could breed a cat to have a venomous bite in 300 years"). It may be that said goats start getting used to carry small packs and then after getting beefier over generations of breeding they start getting tasked with pulling sleds or carts and then bob's your uncle.

4. I really don't know. Perhaps sometimes semantically relevant nouns with relative phrase structures getting ground down over time till the residue is the classifier word.

5. No idea.

6. This is a question I've been meaning to look into myself. I believe classifiers may be able to be used in question formation but can offer no details.
A usage that I have heard of being used in an aboriginal language in North America (could be Navajo, not sure) is that different classifiers may be used with the same substance to describe it differently. Something along the lines of: A [long flexible classifier] water: a stream vs A [open container classifier] water: a glass or cup of water. See http://conlangery.com/2013/02/04/conlan ... ification/ for some ideas if you have not already.

clawgrip
MVP
MVP
Posts: 2386
Joined: 24 Jun 2012 07:33
Location: Tokyo

Re: Some Miscellaneous Realism Questions

Post by clawgrip » 13 Jun 2019 15:45

Benjaminmb wrote:
01 Jun 2019 13:06
4. What would classifiers come from?
They would come from regular words. Think of phrases like one sheet of paper, one stick of butter; it's not a major jump to get from there to phrases like one sheet of towel, one stick of pencil...and once you're there, it's only one more small jump to phrases like one animal of dog, one person of doctor. If you start using those words mostly or exclusively in those contexts, then you have classifiers.
5. Japanese classifiers look like simpler characters than Chinese classifiers. Am I right, and which one would be more common in a logographic language?
I don't really understand what this question means, but I will try to give you a helpful answer. Chinese Chinese characters exist in two forms: traditional and simplified. Even then, many characters are identical in both styles. Japanese characters are also simplified, but not to as extreme an extent as Chinese characters, and many are identical or nearly identical to the traditional style. Therefore, the visual complexity may simply be a result of orthographic simplification.

Also, it's worth noting that just because a word is basic does not mean that the character used to write it will also be simple. I would imagine there would be a mix of simple and complex characters.
6. What else would it make sense to use classifiers for, besides with numerals? I’m definitely going to use them as one way to form the plural without a numeral.
I'm mostly only familiar with classifiers used for amounts. They need not only be used with numerals though, as you can used them with quantifiers and interrogatives as well.

Post Reply