How conversation works in your conlang

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Khemehekis
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How conversation works in your conlang

Post by Khemehekis » 12 Oct 2014 06:52

Kankonian:

To get a person's attention in Kankonian, you may say, "Hai" or another greeting, or you may address them by name, with the vocative preposition zha before her/his/their name(s): "Zha Danny!" This can also be accomplished non-verbally with a tap on the shoulder. If you do not know a person's name but need to call her/him from afar, say, "Zha mopiga!" (to a woman), "Zha wiri!" (to a man), "Zha piva!" (to a girl in her teens, twenties or thirties), "Zha bein!" (to a boy in his teens, twenties or thirties), "Zha malazi!" (to a little girl), or "Zha makeke!" (to a little boy). A "Zha malazi!", "Zha bein!", etc. greeting may be accompanied by tapping the person on the shoulder if you are near her or him. The sentence you ask the person will then be started with adzha (excuse me), e.g. "Adzha, mahan ar filess rave?" (Excuse me, do you know the way to the park?)

A conversation may be started by asking someone for the time, a lighter, etc. or perhaps by one person taking interest in another person's clothes, hair, purse, pet, accent, etc.: "Ab iri ham shpur as?" (Where's that accent from? -- which will probably lead to a conversation about Povoi or Bodus or wherever the person comes from). It is possible for two strangers to converse only in small talk before going their separate ways and perhaps never crossing paths again. If the two interlocutors are new to each other, they will probably introduce themselves with "Hai, is as Alhe Zaya Danny" or "Hau, esit na is as Kora Akhlis Sandy" (native Kankonians usually use full names when introducing themselves). To ask how a person is doing, someone will ask, "Ans ar gesas?" Kankonians never say this just to be polite; they actually expect the other person to answer. Should a Kankonian ask how someone is, s/he will be prepared for a long story from her/his interlocutor (My pet sea dragon died yesterday, then my bicycle got a flat, and I've lost the code to my arcome . . . )

The traditional greeting in Kankonian is Tohayes isim (greetings today) or simply Tohayes (greetings), although Hau and Hai are very common today. Saying Tohayes isim is similar to saying, "Salutations!" Hau! is usually glossed as "Hello!", while Hai! is usually glossed as its homonym "Hi!" There are also greetings for times of day: Guzhiet galir is good morning; Guzhiet armar is good evening; Guzhiet huwos is good night. These are less commonly used than their equivalents in Germanic or Romance languages, however. Over the telephone, someone greets her/his interlocutor with the word Zaniken!, meaning "connected!", as both speakers want to make sure the phone line is connected before they begin their conversation.

Kankonians do not like to interrupt with an idle comment, and will often stare at a person as said person chats on the phone or ansible to avoid interrupting her/his conversation, hoping that s/he will notice them. When two or more Kankonians are talking, however, they are quick to notice a newcomer to the conversation who "wants in", and will make her/him feel welcome. If someone has an important thing to say when others are talking, s/he will usually say, "Ham as salishas!" (This is important!) The conversation is then handed over to her or him. Even if someone does interrupt a conversation, be it by ansible, by landline phone, by cellphone or in person, with something idle, the interruptee will try not to seem offended, to avoid seeming too strict about etiquette.

The most common way of saying good-bye on Kankonia is Autran. Dui, meaning "later", equivalent to "See you later", is also very common. The traditional way of saying good-bye was "Melse wit yeizas enkut etza rei", which meant, "Unless one of us should die by then". Some like to shorten this to the less morbid "Melse wit!" instead. These greetings are also used over the phone. A Kankonian may also say "Is betzithas ar" (I love you) as a way of saying good-bye.

A conversation in Kankonian involves turn-taking, with each participant speaking a few sentences (or a handful of words) at a time. Reciprocity keeps a conversation going. Extended silence by the person whose turn it is may indicate that s/he does not know what to say, or is afraid to say something. Judging by the person's facial expression, it may be possible to tell that s/he is completely confused by what has been said, or has not picked up on an unstated (false) assumption another person made. A person telling a long story may still have her/his story punctuated by comments from the listeners. Even during an academic lecture, the lecturer can expect to hear questions and comments from the attendees instead of giving an unbroken speech. To indicate you are still listening when someone else is taking a long turn, you may say "Youm" (equivalent to "mhm") or "Haum" ("Oh" or "I see") or "Ha" ("Mmmmm" or "OK") or even "Haum, ha" ("Oh, OK"). The average time between one speaker's statement and the next speaker's follow-up is 0.42 seconds in Hegheos, 0.44 seconds in Povoi, 0.47 seconds in Dumang, 0.49 seconds in Durben, 0.53 seconds in Kupulshas and 0.55 seconds in the Tzelshas Islands. The equivalent of "Ummmmmm . . .", indicating that the person is thinking of her/his answer, is "Shwe . . ."

Fillers punctuate the conversations of Kankonians; the more uncertain they are or the more impromptu the conversation, the more frequent the fillers. "Se", equivalent to "like", is the most common filler. Sentences may be started with "Rauess" (You know,) or "Mei" (So . . .). "Mahan ar edeskas is?" (Do you grasp me?) is analogous to "You know what I'm saying?" Sentences may also be ended with stad (equivalent to "man" or "dude"), or with zha mopiga, zha wiri, zha piva, zha bein, zha malazi or zha makeke. Zha piva and zha bein are particularly common in song lyrics. Et is a common speech disfluency (think "er" or "um"). Haum or ha, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, may also be used.

To ask someone to repeat what s/he has just said, Kankonians ask "Mahan hiel"? "Hiel" means "what", while "mahan" normally marks a yes/no question, but in this case is simply used to signal that a question is coming up, so the interlocutor can be prepared to expect a question and the speakers will avoid both parties failing to hear each other. A helpful gesture in Kankonian conversation is the waudarzarami, in which one speaker will repeat a second speaker's sentence for a third party who did not hear what the second speaker said. For instance, suppose Danny, Tara and Zhizhi are in the room together. Danny says, "Is emen ili hous ezgrin er Sodar" (I saw a TV show about the war in Sodar) and Tara asks, "Mahan hiel?" (What did you say?) Zhizhi will then say, "Wan oyezen, 'Is emen ili hous ezgrin er Sodar'" (He said, "I saw a TV show about the war in Sodar").

When recounting a conversation, Kankonians try to get the exact words and intonation right, often trying to replicate the speaker's deep/high/nasal/hyponasal/monotonous/animated voice. The word sen, clipped from parisen (conveyed), is used as a past tense verb with no present, future tense or infinitive, to informally tag a speaker in a conversation: Yau wan sen, "Rekh, stad!" (Then he was all, "Sure, dude!")

The standard apology in Kankonian is "Is as weviya" (I'm sorry). Like its English equivalent, it is used not only in apologizing, but also when hearing bad news (such as one's interlocutor's husband passing away). "Is as shayam weviya" means "I am very sorry", and "Is as wuari we weviya" means "I am profusely sorry". To accept an apology, say, "Is nivendas ar" (I accept your apology).

People are usually addressed by their first names in conversation or in correspondence (although they will introduce themselves with their full names). The exceptions are someone's biological mother and father, who will most often be addressed as mimi (mom) and haha (dad). If someone grows up in a polyandrous family in which she or he does not know which man is her or his biological father, she or he will refer to all the men by their first name. Even titles like Phum (Dr.) sometimes go with a first rather than last name -- similar to Dr. Phil or Judge Judy. In newspaper, magazine and journal articles, people are usually referred to on second reference by their last name only -- even for kids. The exception is when two or more siblings who share the same biological mother and father are mentioned in the same article, in which case they will be referred to with their first names, or last and first names (without the element name) upon second reference. When people are given pseudonyms in an article, however, it is usually just a first name. There is no equivalent to "Ms." or "Mr." in Kankonian; if a non-Kankonian is being referred to by surname, s/he will be given the honorific from her/his native language.

Kankonians do not change their speech with another Kankonian based on their interlocutor's gender or age (except people will use simpler vocabulary around children, similar to the way they do with immigrants who don't speak Kankonian as a first language). Older people, even teachers, Vigilante Squadders and people at the Pandominium, do not demand more "respect" from younger speakers. Children will freely joke with and insult their parents. Women and men do have speech differences, however, based on their inherent psychological differences (with women using pronouns more often and men talking about things more often). Baby talk, more often imitating very young children than with very young children, includes a number of reduplications with shw- (such as kravishwavi for kravik, toe) based on suppositions of the way children attempt to speak (using SH and W a lot). Kankonian adults do not raise the pitches of their voices when addressing young children, however.

When asking alternative questions, Kankonians will typically list the answer their interlocutor is "supposed to" give second/last. For instance, instead of asking, "Can we talk, or do you want to do your hair?", they'll ask, "Do you want to do your hair, or can we talk?"

Kankonians do not have an "inside voice" and an "outside voice"; they will use whatever volume of voice occurs naturally to them at the moment, which is often quite loud. Even at a library there are no norms about keeping quiet. Obviously, however, they will whisper to keep something a secret. Kankonians also use a loud voice when speaking to someone who is way across the room, or in another room, or outside the building altogether, for the practical purposes of being heard. Their voice will get louder if it becomes apparent that someone didn't hear them. A voice may become quieter but more intense to make what is said extra dramatic. Kankonians do not believe that speaking in a louder voice will make it easier for immigrants or foreigners to understand them.

Kankonian proxemics are a convoluted topic, as the Kankonians have no real personal space. Even in the rural regions of Kankonia, people will not step away if another person steps quite close to them. People climbing right over other people to get by is a common sight. However, people will jump farther away from their interlocutor than they currrently are to recoil in fear, and if a Kankonian person becomes angry with his interlocutor, he may step closer to her. If he is already right next to her, he may stay where he is, but he might indicate increasing anger by bumping right into her. Distance relative to where one was standing before can therefore be seen as a defining factor in Kankonian proxemics. Kankonians do not have an orientational symbolism in their communication, i.e. they do not associate having one's back turned to someone as a sign of disrespect for her/him.

There are no taboo topics in Kankonian conversation. Death, rape, child molestation, genitalia, feces, urine, blood and murder are all openly talked about, regardless of the time, place, or station of one's interlocutor. If you ask a Kankonian what STD's he has or how much money she makes, the Kankonian will answer matter-of-factly. There are also no taboos regarding speaking to, or speaking about certain things to, a certain relative (such as a man speaking to his mother-in-law or joking with his sister).

The Kankonians do not see much need for privacy or keeping their conversations private. Someone being offended by a comment from someone next to her while she was making a phone call would be incomprehensible to Kankonians; the Kankonians understand that by making a cellphone call right in front of another person, you forfeit your right to privacy. If a Kankonian wants to keep something a secret (for instance, she is holding a surprise party for someone and doesn't want him to find out), she will move somewhere away from him or go in a room with a white sound machine playing and lock the door. If two people are talking and a third person from whom they want to keep something secret walks by, they will simply stop talking about it. If they are concerned, one of them may ask him, "Mahan ar theshen ham?" (Did you hear that?)

Kankonian insults include such words as karsti (idiot) and veziri (jerk). However, the Kankonians will most commonly either use a political insult, or compare a person to a nonsapient animal. Politically insulting someone includes calling him a devesis, obviously, but also dandis, from the letter dand, the first letter in "devesis". Bungksazidfash, meaning truncheon-wielder, or bungksa for short, is equivalent to "pig" and insults police officers. A synonym is varim. Heshra, from the title for the dictator of Danton, is also very insulting. These terms are equivalent to calling someone a fascist. There are also the terms hainoslass, meaning unity fetishist, and varo, meaning stability fetishist. Animal insults include ar zash phoroish vathazh (you hairy gorilla), ar zash hakuil heyapnoi (you slippery eel), ar zash matel savait (you cunning cobra), ar zash pa*aung az toetshas (you plodding snail), ar zash kluromb az klopfas (you clomping tarpan) and ar zash fermum az boervikas (you hideous tarantula) or ar zash pakadzhoma az boervikas (you hideous pakajooma). The Kankonians would find the concept of "silent treatment" incomprehensible; they believe that if you want to show someone he is beneath you, the best way to do it is to insult him.
Last edited by Khemehekis on 26 Sep 2017 08:16, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How conversation works in your conlang

Post by Ahzoh » 12 Oct 2014 07:00

I didn't know there was a specific way of conversing...
Frankly this is one of my weakest points in my social life, being high-functioning autistic
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Re: How conversation works in your conlang

Post by Iyionaku » 12 Oct 2014 10:27

I'm not quite sure what I'm supposed to answer here. Should I copy your text, Khemehekis, and change your Kankonian words into Yélian ones? Or should I also refer to (propably) cultural diversities?
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Re: How conversation works in your conlang

Post by Khemehekis » 12 Oct 2014 23:20

Ahzoh wrote:I didn't know there was a specific way of conversing...
Frankly this is one of my weakest points in my social life, being high-functioning autistic
Ah, so you're one of them so-called Aspies. Aspies don't always follow the same rules others do when speaking their language. For instance, one might talk for hours on end about his special interest, without giving somebody else a turn. And many of them don't know when it's their turn to speak.

But maybe with your interest in linguistics, you can learn more about this stuff.
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Squirrels chase koi . . . chase squirrels

My Kankonian-English dictionary: 62,500 words and counting

31,416: The number of the conlanging beast!

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Re: How conversation works in your conlang

Post by Khemehekis » 12 Oct 2014 23:22

Iyionaku wrote:I'm not quite sure what I'm supposed to answer here. Should I copy your text, Khemehekis, and change your Kankonian words into Yélian ones? Or should I also refer to (propably) cultural diversities?
Every language has a different set of rules. Post a paragraph on how Yélian deals with getting someone's attention, how Yélian speakers start a conversation, how greetings work in Yélian, how interrupting works in Yélian, and so on.
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Re: How conversation works in your conlang

Post by Squall » 13 Oct 2014 01:07

I still do not have words, then I will translate my notes into English.

*Hello! - Used when you see someone. It is answered with the same expression.
*Hello, I have seen you. - Used when you see someone, but you do not intend to start a conversation. It is polite, because it shows that you are not ignoring the person.
*Listen! - When you want to get someone's attention.
*Say! - Answer to the previous expression. It is also used to start the conversation with someone that is looking at you, but has said nothing.

*Good sleep! - Used only when you and the other person are about to sleep in the same building.
*Welcome to the morning! - Used only when you have just walked up and the other person has slept in the same building.

There is no expression equivalent to "good ..." or "happy ...".

*Literal "How are you?" - It is only used when you see something unusual with the other person.
*"Long time no see" - "Who is alive always appears.", "Where in the planet were you during all that time?"
*"What's new?" - It is used when you see someone and want to start a conversation. You still do not know what to talk about.

*"A pause!" - You stopped the conversation, but have not left the place. You may continue the conversation later.
*"I am leaving." - You are going to leave the place.
*"Go in peace and bye!" - It is said by the person that will stay.
*"Bye!" - The last statements. Answer to previous expressions. It is answered with the same expression.
*"Long Bye!" - Will be a long time without seeing each other.

Some fillers:
*Are you getting it? Are you understanding?
*That is the fact... - Said before starting a long sentence.
*I want to say... - The speaker made a pause, but will continue speaking.

Some insults: idiot (lack of intelligence), insane, immoral, deceiver, curse (his presence is a curse), useless, unwanted, hated, unlikable, child of a demon (created by something so bad), child of a whore (came from someone immoral), piece of crap, piece of garbage

There are some taboo topics. Death is feared and should be forgotten. Sexual topics are forbidden and are interpreted as molestation, the person will be treated as a pervert. Disgusting things, such as excrement, should be avoided, because they are unpleasing.
English is not my native language. Sorry for any mistakes or lack of knowledge when I discuss this language.
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Re: How conversation works in your conlang

Post by Foolster41 » 13 Oct 2014 03:48

Salthan
Salthans traditionally greet by placing the hands paralel to the ground and bob their head quickly, though less formally may only bob their head, and perhaps raise one hand palm upwards. They say <b>dika esha</b> (to a male) or dika eshi (to a woman). When addressing a group of people dika eshanai (all men, or with a mix of genders, though dika eshnai can be used too) or dika eshinai (all women).

(For the following the same gender and plural rules apply, marked with a *. if there is a presceding the *, then ignore if the person is male, or add a i if female.).

A person might say salurya (good morning!") salsaia (good evening) as either meeting or parting greeting.

when getting someone's attention you say netas tos* (I will be in your debt).

An adult might greet a child they know well (their own child, or a friend of one of their kids for example) with kisiltos*? (Are you pure? (i.e "behaving yourself?").

A person making small talk who asks kisalsan*? (how are you?) Generally are genuinely asking and expect a response, though a person may just respond ah |asal (not so good) or |u|agisal (not bad, not good) and are not really expected to elaborate if the problem is something more private they don't wish to share.

Fillers are usually thins like eh..., ki... (wha...) is.. (it is...)and ikas... (I know...)

The most common way of saying goodbye is kalnens (go well), or a person might say kaknens (go carefully, strongly) or kaks dadoshnai (divines protect [you]).

To apologize one says tas tos* (I'm in your debt). It's only used for apologize, not as a response to when someone says something sad.

Accepting the apology is done by saying utas (it's a small debt/it's nothing), or uls chitas (I lower, reduce the debt/I forgive you).

People are addressed by their first name, using the gi- honrific prefix if they don't know the person well. Parents are refereed to sadi (mom) or sada (dad).

in more formal instances, a gi- prefix might be added, for example saying seth gisadi (yes, mom).

People with titles are referred to with the gi- honorific and the title. The first name may be added to, if the person knows them well enough, such as with your doctor or priest For example, kiletka* (teacher) or kietkalaila (teacher Laila).

Older people are often referred to by kids (even if they don't know them) as gikas* ("knowledgable one") or gihon* (uncle/aunt/extended older reletive).

There aren't taboo subjects perse among adults, though people aren't going to be comfortable talking about things with people they don't know (or hearing from people they feel they don't know). They believe strongly in honesty, but that doesn't mean they share every intimidate detail with a stranger. They generally feel that if someone says something in a public space they have no reason to be upset if it's overheard. That said, Salthans often live together in spaces with sheets for walls, so family members are more used to more private things being shared among family members, or knowing what not to say since it can be overheard.

With children it's different. it's not just a strong taboo, but a crime to talk explicitly about sex to, or knowingly in front of a child (unless it's your own child)

Generally there are no "vulgur" versions of words, but it's more about how they are used. There are generally no euphemisms for private parts (like in English, gentiles, privates or crotch). Children are taught to use the words chut (penis) and nisie(vagina).

Insults are generally disparaging of a person's intelligence/honesty, such as |aka* (idiot, liar), comparing people to animals like kes*, or kesilekyren* (child of a Kes), scatological like kalkekestos* thed (shit eater) or ulthed* (insignificant shit).

Khemehekis: What is the gloss/etymology of the different age greetings?

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Re: How conversation works in your conlang

Post by Tanni » 13 Oct 2014 12:20

Khemehekis wrote:
Ahzoh wrote:I didn't know there was a specific way of conversing...
Frankly this is one of my weakest points in my social life, being high-functioning autistic
Ah, so you're one of them so-called Aspies. Aspies don't always follow the same rules others do when speaking their language. For instance, one might talk for hours on end about his special interest, without giving somebody else a turn.
Provided that someone listens for hours to that special interest topic.
And many of them don't know when it's their turn to speak.
You might not want to interrupt the other, which might be seen as disrespectful.
But maybe with your interest in linguistics, you can learn more about this stuff.
Pragmatics
Khemehekis wrote:To indicate you are still listening when someone else is taking a long turn, you may say "Youm" (equivalent to "mhm") or "Haum" ("Oh" or "I see") or "Ha" ("Mmmmm" or "OK") or even "Haum, ha" ("Oh, OK").
Aizuchi
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aizuchi wrote:Aizuchi is the Japanese term for frequent interjections during a conversation that indicate the listener is paying attention and/or understanding the speaker. In linguistic terms, these are a form of phatic expression. Aizuchi are considered reassuring to the speaker, indicating that the listener is active and involved in the discussion.
I very much doubt that the listerner is still paying attention, but pretends that he's still paying attention, especially it the speaker's turn is very long. The listener might not want to interrupt the speaker, because that might be seen as disrespectful.
Kankonian insults include such words as . . .
Amongst Kankonians, is it legal to insult others? In real world, you might get a fine of several hundred dollars for insulting somebody.
ar zash fermum az boervikas (you hideous tarantula)
Why do some people think tarantulas are hideous? There are people keeping them in terries because of their beauty. Enjoy the music!
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Re: How conversation works in your conlang

Post by Khemehekis » 21 Oct 2014 06:03

Foolster41 wrote: Khemehekis: What is the gloss/etymology of the different age greetings?
Zha is a vocative particle. It also does duty as a "Hey, ____" opener for a greeting.

mopiga - woman
wiri - man
piva - girl
bein - boy
malazi - little girl
makeke - little boy
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Re: How conversation works in your conlang

Post by Khemehekis » 21 Oct 2014 06:11

Tanni wrote:
Khemehekis wrote: Ah, so you're one of them so-called Aspies. Aspies don't always follow the same rules others do when speaking their language. For instance, one might talk for hours on end about his special interest, without giving somebody else a turn.
Provided that someone listens for hours to that special interest topic.
True. I listen, but I get very stressed out.
Tanni wrote:
Khemehekis wrote:To indicate you are still listening when someone else is taking a long turn, you may say "Youm" (equivalent to "mhm") or "Haum" ("Oh" or "I see") or "Ha" ("Mmmmm" or "OK") or even "Haum, ha" ("Oh, OK").
Aizuchi
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aizuchi wrote:Aizuchi is the Japanese term for frequent interjections during a conversation that indicate the listener is paying attention and/or understanding the speaker. In linguistic terms, these are a form of phatic expression. Aizuchi are considered reassuring to the speaker, indicating that the listener is active and involved in the discussion.
I very much doubt that the listerner is still paying attention, but pretends that he's still paying attention, especially it the speaker's turn is very long. The listener might not want to interrupt the speaker, because that might be seen as disrespectful.
Cool -- I didn't know there was a word for these particles!

When I use aizuchi, I'm often trying to avoid interrupting someone.
Tanni wrote:
Kankonian insults include such words as . . .
Amongst Kankonians, is it legal to insult others? In real world, you might get a fine of several hundred dollars for insulting somebody.
Thelemarchy, so no laws against insulting someone. It won't even get the Vigilante Squad to attack you.

In the United States, people insult others (especially Clinton, Bush and Obama) all the time. There's that crap about "fighting words", but I think the concept is much like "disturbing the peace" -- trying to find a way to have people arrested for actions that aren't crimes.
Tanni wrote:
ar zash fermum az boervikas (you hideous tarantula)
Why do some people think tarantulas are hideous?
Because they have eight eyes? Just a guess.
There are people keeping them in terries because of their beauty. Enjoy the music!
Is that a tarantella I hear playing?

There was actually a band called the Tarantulas, one of whose members died about a fozen years back.
Last edited by Khemehekis on 21 Jan 2018 16:25, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How conversation works in your conlang

Post by clawgrip » 12 Apr 2015 05:55

The interesting thing about aizuchi in Japanese is that it is often induced by the speaker. There are various cues given by the speaker that encourage an aizuchi response, namely certain conjunctions and verb endings. The way the speaker alters their intonation when pronouncing these endings and gives short pauses after them can encourage a response.

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Re: How conversation works in your conlang

Post by Khemehekis » 12 Apr 2015 09:40

clawgrip wrote:The interesting thing about aizuchi in Japanese is that it is often induced by the speaker. There are various cues given by the speaker that encourage an aizuchi response, namely certain conjunctions and verb endings. The way the speaker alters their intonation when pronouncing these endings and gives short pauses after them can encourage a response.
Neat! You might want to do something like this in Himmaswa!

Speaking of which, I hope this thread helps you organize the pragmatics section in your Himmaswa grammar.

Foolster41: Cool, one of my friends is named Chris Gikas. Although he's not an "elder", he's the same age as I am.
♂♥♂♀

Squirrels chase koi . . . chase squirrels

My Kankonian-English dictionary: 62,500 words and counting

31,416: The number of the conlanging beast!

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