The Most Average Conlang Ever, NP: Qmachah!

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kanejam
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Re: The Most Average Conlang Ever, NP: Revamp

Post by kanejam » 18 May 2015 03:40

idov wrote:His language is very average if you ask WALS. The language would be just as average if it was /a i u e o/ according to their chapters, but kanejam wanted to be as interesting as possible within the parameters. That's partly why the great revamp happened in the first place.
[+1]
Correctemundo! I wanted it to be average but not boring [:P]

I have almost completely stopped work on this, but I took twenty minutes today to enter it into CALS. Looks like I was more hopeful about getting conflicts down, as here I count ten or eleven (with all but two being the second most common option). I don't know why I had case, as I'm pretty sure I can drop at least one conflict by not having it. That means that the language will be due another big update soon.

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Re: The Most Average Conlang Ever, NP: Revamp

Post by GrandPiano » 18 May 2015 04:52

What do you mean by "average"? How do you select your features?
:eng: - Native
:chn: - B2
:esp: - A2
:jpn: - A2

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Re: The Most Average Conlang Ever, NP: Revamp

Post by Znex » 18 May 2015 08:36

"Average" as in having the most broadly used language features.
:eng: : [tick] | :grc: :wls: : [:|] | :chn: :isr: : [:S] | :nor: :deu: :rom: :ind: :con: : [:x]
Conlangs: Pofp'ash, Ikwawese, Old Quelgic, Nisukil Pʰakwi, Apsiska

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Re: The Most Average Conlang Ever, NP: Revamp

Post by gach » 18 May 2015 12:51

Average is a good word since it lacks a rigorous definitions such as for example mean or mode have. You can then use a house definition for it best suiting the application at hand.
ImageKištaLkal sikSeic

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Re: The Most Average Conlang Ever, NP: Revamp

Post by kanejam » 18 May 2015 22:05

Znex wrote:"Average" as in having the most broadly used language features.
There aren't many more meaningful definitions of 'average' that I can think that apply to languages. A much more meaningful concept would be to look at how features play well together, and I suspect that for a large number of combinations in WALS it would become decidedly unaverage (whatever that might mean). Regularity could also come in to play but I'm trying to make this language interesting while fitting inside the design parameters.

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Re: The Most Average Conlang Ever

Post by kanejam » 25 May 2015 03:07

Qmačah - Averagelang Makeover Edition

Yes, it's another update! This time it even has a name [O.O] so there will be a bit of change, mostly in the direction of simplification, including the big change of dropping case.



Phonology

/m n/ <m n>
/p b t d tɕ dʑ ts̠ dz̠ k g ʔ/ <p b t d ć đ č ž k g q>
/s ɕ z̠ x/ <s ś š h>
/l ʋ j/ <l v j>

/i ɨ ʉ/ <i y u>
/æ o/ <a o>


Phonotactics and Allophones

The syllable structure is C(R)V(C), where C is any consonant and R is an approximant /l ʋ j/. Word-initial syllables can additionally start with a CN cluster. Codas are only allowed word-finally, and can't contain voiced stops, the glottal stop or approximants. Coda /x/ is pronounced [h]. The glottal stop is not written before a vowel word-initially where it doesn't contrast as null onsets are disallowed.

The sequence /ji/ as well as /ʋj jʋ/ and approximant+nasal clusters are disallowed. /n t d k g x/ become /ɲ ts dz c ɟ ç/ before /j i/. Of the approximants, only /ʋ/ can begin a word or appear after an affricate. /j/ can't appear after any of the sibilants or any of the affricates, /ʋ/ can't appear after labials and /l/ can't appear after a nasal.

Stress is on the penultimate syllable, with every second syllable before that receiving secondary stress. So with all that, the name of the language is [ˈʔmæts̠æh]


Harmony

There is still weak vowel harmony in the language - any suffix containing a non-round front vowel will have two forms and agree in frontness with the preceding syllables vowel (central counts as back). So gy hony 'women' but gy bani 'fields'. Note that this restriction only applies to bound morphemes.

There is also sibilant harmony - any suffix will only have /s/, but if a retroflex (retracted) or palatoalveolar occurs in the preceding word, then the suffix will also be retroflex or palatoalveolar respectively. Conveniently for examples, the other plural morpheme for nouns ending in vowels is -s: gy bas 'bodies', gy bjožaš 'girls' and gy ćvaś 'men'.



Morphology

Qmačah is exclusively suffixing for its morphology. It is characterised by relatively simple noun morphology and rich verbal morphology. It has an accusative alignment, and is mostly head-marking although it is dependent marking in some cases.


Nouns

Nouns inflect only for number and possession. The plural suffix has two forms depending on whether the noun ends in a vowel or consonant: -s and -i, respectively. They are further subject to vowel and sibilant harmony, as detailed above. The plural suffix can also be used on proper names to create an associative plural: Jasusy 'Jesus and co.'

The possessive suffixes are used to indicate possession of the inflected noun:
After a vowel: 1SG -va, 1PL -h, 2SG -n, 2PL -ću, 3SG -qi, 3PL -ži
After a consonant: 1SG -va, 1PL -oh, 2SG -u, 2PL -, 3SG -ik, 3PL -
These suffixes appear after the plural suffix: o bjožašva 'my daughters', o honyžy 'their wives'. These suffixes are normally only used when there is no overt possessor noun in the noun phrase. When there is an overt possessor, the genitive construction is used.

There are both a definite article and an indefinite article, although like French the latter is identical to the numeral for one. Neither inflect for number: o ban 'the field', o bani 'the fields', gy ban 'a field', gy bani 'some fields'.


Pronouns

Qmačah has a very simple pronoun system - there are even fewer inflections than nouns.

The personal pronouns have a single invariant form. These are:
1SG ala, 1PL hać, 2SG nuva, 2PL nać, 3SG ky, 3PL žva

The reflexive pronouns, which can also be used intensively (as in English: the king himself is here) are straightforwardly based on ba 'body' plus the possessive suffixes: bah 'ourselves', baqi 'him/her/itself'.

The reciprocal pronoun is an invariant halva 'each other'.

The demonstratives can be used adpositionally or pronominally without marking. There is a two-way distinction in deixis - šal 'this', šalva 'these', ot 'that', otva 'those'. Here we see the pronominal plural morpheme -va. When used adpositionally, they follow the noun they modify (which necessarily takes the definite article): o ćvaś otva 'those men', o hon šal 'this woman'.

The locative pronouns are derived from the demonstratives using an old locative suffix: šalin 'here', otyn 'there'.

The interrogative pronouns are as follows: žu 'who', ćy 'what', ćyn 'where'. All three can be used adpositionally on nouns: o ban žu? 'whose field?', o ban ćy 'which field?', o ban ćyn 'the field where?'. These must agree in number using the pronominal plural: o bani žuva? 'whose fields?'. Note that when they are used on their own they are invariant.

The indefinite pronouns are derived from the interrogatives by way of an indefinite suffix: žulo 'someone', žulova 'some people', ćylo 'something', ćylova 'somethings'. There is no locative indefinite pronoun.

The negative indefinite pronouns are formed from the negative particle bi: bilo 'nothing', binuś 'no-one'. They co-occur with the negative particle: binuś bi haśajak 'no-one died'.
Last edited by kanejam on 25 May 2015 05:44, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Most Average Conlang Ever, NP: Qmachah!

Post by shimobaatar » 25 May 2015 05:23

For some reason, and despite the fact that there's a link in your signature, I only really "saw" this interesting language of yours for the first time several months ago. [:$] [:'(] I figure a new "makeover" is the perfect time to finally "jump in", so to speak. [:O]

The initial cluster in the language's name feels a bit Ryukyuan to me, I'd say, but overall, the language looks fairly Slavic in my opinion, but with some definite undertones I can't define or describe very well at the moment reminding me of a language or language family from Asia or Oceania. I love the unique and interesting sound and look of the language! [+1]

The different kinds of harmony are cool, as are the ways in which different pronouns are formed based on one another and some other suffixes. I also like that verbs are negated even when negative pronouns are in use.

Would it be possible to see some further examples and/or explanations of how the definite and indefinite articles are used?

Very much looking forward to seeing more! [:D]

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Re: The Most Average Conlang Ever, NP: Qmachah!

Post by kanejam » 25 May 2015 06:26

shimobaatar wrote:For some reason, and despite the fact that there's a link in your signature, I only really "saw" this interesting language of yours for the first time several months ago. [:$] [:'(] I figure a new "makeover" is the perfect time to finally "jump in", so to speak. [:O]

The initial cluster in the language's name feels a bit Ryukyuan to me, I'd say, but overall, the language looks fairly Slavic in my opinion, but with some definite undertones I can't define or describe very well at the moment reminding me of a language or language family from Asia or Oceania. I love the unique and interesting sound and look of the language! [+1]

The different kinds of harmony are cool, as are the ways in which different pronouns are formed based on one another and some other suffixes. I also like that verbs are negated even when negative pronouns are in use.

Would it be possible to see some further examples and/or explanations of how the definite and indefinite articles are used?

Very much looking forward to seeing more! [:D]
Thanks, the glottal stop + nasal/approximant thing was definitely inspired by Ahzoh adding it recently to their lang. The orthography is supposed to be reminiscent of Slavic languages, but the aesthetic of the lang itself doesn't have much inspiration (other than the glottal stop + nasal/approximant and the limited medial codas from Proto-Oceanic).

A lot of what's happening with the pronouns is just from WALS - in fact using a negative particle with negative pronouns is super common, ~85% of langs do that. That's the interesting thing about WALS, it's showing me exactly where my biases are. The one that got me is how rare relative pronouns are, ~5-10%.

I haven't thought too much about the articles, so for the moment just imagine that they are used as in English. Maybe they'll be restricted in places but I'll wait till I get to syntax for that. Unfortunately I'm bad with examples but so far I'm really pleased with how the sentence binuś bi haśajak turned out. Edit: Except that the articles are always used with demonstratives and possessed nouns.

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Re: The Most Average Conlang Ever, NP: Qmachah!

Post by shimobaatar » 25 May 2015 21:41

kanejam wrote:Thanks, the glottal stop + nasal/approximant thing was definitely inspired by Ahzoh adding it recently to their lang. The orthography is supposed to be reminiscent of Slavic languages, but the aesthetic of the lang itself doesn't have much inspiration (other than the glottal stop + nasal/approximant and the limited medial codas from Proto-Oceanic).
Ahh, OK. I think the Oceanic languages were probably one of the groups I was thinking of.
kanejam wrote:A lot of what's happening with the pronouns is just from WALS - in fact using a negative particle with negative pronouns is super common, ~85% of langs do that. That's the interesting thing about WALS, it's showing me exactly where my biases are. The one that got me is how rare relative pronouns are, ~5-10%.
Oh, interesting. I didn't know it was that common; I just associated the feature/phenomenon with Spanish.

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Re: The Most Average Conlang Ever, NP: Qmachah!

Post by kanejam » 29 May 2015 01:47

Morpho cont.

So the articles are probably going to be more along the lines of specificity, as I've been looking at Polynesian languages a lot recently. They aren't restricted in use, and they are pretty obligatory, maybe not quite as obligatory as French though.


Numerals and Quantifiers

Qmačah has a decimal system. Numerals, like demonstratives, follow the noun they modify. The cardinals from 1 to 10 are invariant:
1 gy, 2 atlan, 3 siky, 4 vatlo, 5 čnido, 6 mišin, 7 talo, 8 atlabo, 9 huco, 10 tolimi. Ten points to whoever recognises where these are stolen from. They act as adjectives coming before any determiners but after other adjectives and can be used as nouns or verbs: o atlan 'the two (things/people)', sikyha

Ordinals are formed from the cardinals with the suffix -lo, except for the word for 'first' which is suppletive: 1st hak, 2nd atlanjo*, 3rd sikylo, 4th vatlolo etc. These also act like adjectives.
*/l/ can't appear after a nasal and so becomes /j/.

Distributives are used to distinguish sentences such as John and Bill carried three suitcases, where it is unclear whether John and Bill carried three in total or three each. In Qmačah, the former would use an ordinal while the latter would use a distributive. They can also be used adverbially to mean 'in threes, three by three'. They are formed by reduplication:
1ea gygy, 2ea atlanatlan, 3ea sikysiky, with partially reduplicated 8ea atlaqatlabo and 10ea tolitolimi.

The word for 'every' has an interesting form: pah ... ćyćy, where pah usually means 'also': pah ćva ćyćy haśak 'every man dies'. Other quantifiers follow their nouns, coming after any demonstrative. The word for 'none of' is the same as 'nothing', except used as a quantifier (with the negative particle): o bjoža bilo bi haśajak 'no girl died'. Both are usually used the definite article with the noun in singular.


Verbs

These follow the template ROOT-TENSE-MOOD-SUBJ-OBJ which will be explained in the following section. Tense is either non-past, which has no marking, or past, which differs depending on whether the sentence is affirmative, where it's -ju, or negative, where it's -ja. After sibilants and palatoalveolars, an epenthetic -a- is inserted, as in haś-a-jun 'you died'.

Transitive verbs mark both the agent and patient of the sentence. The subject and object suffixes are as follows:

Code: Select all

  Subject         Object
  SG     PL       SG    PL
1 -la/ja -h/oh    -va   -hi/a
2 -n/u   -ću/uć   -ś/uś -ć/uć
3 -k/i   -dži/ot  -t/it -dži/im
There are also three moods, with basic indicative mood being unmarked. Then there is the imperative, which takes -ki after vowels and -i after consonants. Second person singular imperatives usually drop the subject marker, and the imperative can only be used with the second persons. Lastly, the subjunctive mood which sees its main use in some subordinate phrases, which takes the suffix -ga after vowels and -a after consonants.

The participle affix is ću-, one of the only prefixes in the language. This is a derivation and so removes any other inflection on the verb. The participle acts as an adjective that can't be used as a stative verb, and takes a passive sense for transitive verbs and an active sense for intransitive verbs. Zero nominalisation is commonly employed: o haś 'death'.

The morphological causative takes the form of a suffix -(q)ošy that appears before any inflection (subject to sibilant harmony). It can attach to any intransitive verb, including adjectives, and some transitives, although the resulting verb is almost always monotransitive. Most causatives are transparent, such as haśośy- 'kill' from haś- 'die', but some aren't, such as minošy- 'watch' from min- 'see'. Partial reduplication is also commonly employed to form intensives: hahaś- 'die painfully'.

Negation is just bi, placed before the verb, except for the imperative, which takes aša as in aša haśi! 'don't die!'. It's still used with the past tense and also with negative pronouns as previously mentioned: bilo bi haśajak 'nothing died'.

Other interesting stuff: situational can, may and must appear as serial verbs, where they follow the lexical verb and take all the same marking. Verbal serialisation is available for a limited number of other verbs and isn't particularly productive. The word for 'maybe' or 'probably' is going to be derived from the word for 'soon', as soon as I work out what that is [:P]


Adjectives

Adjectives are great little beasts in Qmačah. When modifying a noun, they simply appear after their noun uninflected. However they can be used both as abstract nouns and verbs with no derivation: o hon qjat 'the beautiful woman', o hony qjat 'the beautiful women', o qjat 'beauty', o hon qjati 'the woman is beautiful'. It also appears as a substantive with the participle prefix ću-: o ćuqjat 'the beauty', o ćuqjati 'the beauties'. They can also be used as adverbs with full reduplication, which generally follow the verb they modify, but are common sentence initially or before or after the subject.
Last edited by kanejam on 03 Aug 2015 07:22, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: The Most Average Conlang Ever, NP: Qmachah!

Post by shimobaatar » 29 May 2015 05:53

kanejam wrote:Qmačah has a decimal system. Numerals, like demonstratives, follow the noun they modify. The cardinals from 1 to 10 are invariant:
1 gy, 2 atlan, 3 siky, 4 vatlo, 5 čnido, 6 mišin, 7 talo, 8 atlabo, 9 hutjo, 10 tolimi. Ten points to whoever recognises where these are stolen from. They act as adjectives coming before any determiners but after other adjectives and can be used as nouns or verbs: o atlan 'the two (things/people)', sikyha
Well, I'd say they were taken from Janko's database, but I have a feeling that's not quite the answer you're looking for. [:P] Anyway, how are higher numbers formed, and in what ways are they variant? It's fine if you haven't thought about that stuff yet; I completely understand.
kanejam wrote:These follow the template ROOT-TENSE-MOOD-SUBJ-OBJ which will be explained in the following section. Tense is either non-past, which has no marking, or past, which differs depending on whether the sentence is affirmative, where it's -ju, or negative, where it's -ja. After sibilants and palatoalveolars, an epenthetic -a- is inserted, as in haś-a-jun 'you died'.
I really like how polarity determines the past suffix that is used. I apologize if this has been answered elsewhere, but how is negation marked in the nonpast?
kanejam wrote:Then there is the imperative, which takes -ki after consonants and -i after vowels. Second person singular imperatives usually drop the subject marker, and the imperative can only be used with the second persons.
Interesting!
kanejam wrote:The morphological causative takes the form of a suffix -(q)ošy that appears before any inflection (subject to sibilant harmony). It can attach to any intransitive verb, including adjectives, and some transitives, although the resulting verb is almost always monotransitive. Most causatives are transparent, such as haśośy- 'kill' from haś- 'die', but some aren't, such as minošy- 'watch' from min- 'see'. Partial reduplication is also commonly employed to form intensives: hahaś- 'die painfully'.
Would it be possible for us to see some examples of the causative? I'd be particularly interested in seeing exactly how some transitive verbs remain monotransitive once made causative in Qmačah, and how causative adjectives generally compare to causative verbs in usage and such. It's fine if these things aren't possible to demonstrate at the moment, though.

I also like the intensive partial reduplication!
kanejam wrote:Other interesting stuff: situational can, may and must appear as serial verbs, where they follow the lexical verb and take all the same marking. Verbal serialisation is available for a limited number of other verbs and isn't particularly productive. The word for 'maybe' or 'probably' is going to be derived from the word for 'soon', as soon as I work out what that is [:P]
[:D]

(I like the idea itself as well as the joke!)

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Re: The Most Average Conlang Ever, NP: Qmachah!

Post by kanejam » 29 May 2015 13:06

shimobaatar wrote:Well, I'd say they were taken from Janko's database, but I have a feeling that's not quite the answer you're looking for. [:P] Anyway, how are higher numbers formed, and in what ways are they variant? It's fine if you haven't thought about that stuff yet; I completely understand.
Actually from Wikipedia [:)] but yeah, there is a specific language they are formed from. Chances are they will be of the form: [W thousands with X hundreds with Z and Y tens] for WXYZ i.e. a different coordinator for 11-99 than for higher numbers, and the ones before the tens.
shimobaatar wrote:I really like how polarity determines the past suffix that is used. I apologize if this has been answered elsewhere, but how is negation marked in the nonpast?
Sorry, I thought I had. It's just bi, placed before the verb, except for the imperative, which takes aša as in aša haśi! 'don't die!'. It's still used with the past tense and also with negative pronouns as previously mentioned.
shimobaatar wrote:Would it be possible for us to see some examples of the causative? I'd be particularly interested in seeing exactly how some transitive verbs remain monotransitive once made causative in Qmačah, and how causative adjectives generally compare to causative verbs in usage and such. It's fine if these things aren't possible to demonstrate at the moment, though.

I also like the intensive partial reduplication!
So one of my big problems I have is coming up with examples, which is somewhat exacerbated by the fact that I'm slow to coin vocab. I promise examples will come, I just can't say when [>_<] [}:D] [D;] soz! Thanks for the comments though, it's great to have feedback and confirmation that someone is appreciating this [:D] cheers shimo mi amigo!

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Re: The Most Average Conlang Ever, NP: Qmachah!

Post by shimobaatar » 30 May 2015 02:25

kanejam wrote:Sorry, I thought I had. It's just bi, placed before the verb, except for the imperative, which takes aša as in aša haśi! 'don't die!'. It's still used with the past tense and also with negative pronouns as previously mentioned.
Oh, silly me. You had mentioned bi before, but I didn't realize it could be used with verbs. I quite like the sound of aša haśi!, by the way, and actually just aša by itself as well.
kanejam wrote:So one of my big problems I have is coming up with examples, which is somewhat exacerbated by the fact that I'm slow to coin vocab. I promise examples will come, I just can't say when [>_<] [}:D] [D;] soz! Thanks for the comments though, it's great to have feedback and confirmation that someone is appreciating this [:D] cheers shimo mi amigo!
No worries about the examples, and please don't feel rushed; I'm also terrible when it comes to generating vocabulary. And it's my pleasure to be able to show my enjoyment of the thread! [:D]

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Re: The Most Average Conlang Ever, NP: Qmachah!

Post by kanejam » 05 Jun 2015 13:01

Ugh, so I'm running in to problems with the chapter on action nominals. They seem to be very, very liberal in what they are calling 'action nominals', and I'm not allowed to use any of them. Does anyone has advice on how some Australian or North American languages manage without? As far as I can tell, they treat everything as clauses and so they avoid action nominals by keeping things verbal. This means I'll have to greatly restrict the nominals of this type:
In the post on verbs, I wrote:Zero nominalisation is commonly employed: o haś 'death'.
I'm also testdriving an ever so slightly modified orthography, and see the last spoiler for some more interesting orthographical hijinx. Anyway, onwards into the misty realms of syntax!


Syntax

Qmačah has SOV word order in its basic sentences, as well as postpositions. It has no cases, but accusative alignment in verbs where both the subject and object are marked, making it prone to argument dropping. It also expresses some syntactic relations such as the genitive through postpositions.


Noun Phrase

As mentioned, adjectives, numerals and determiners other than articles follow the noun they modify, in that order. Demonstratives only agree with their head noun if they come directly after it or a numeral. Articles precede the noun directly. Genitive phrases also precede the noun; these are marked with the postposition sa:

O pika sa o bani uđoh huco otva.
DEF pika GEN DEF field-PL green nine DEM.OBV
"Those nine green fields of the pika ~ the pika's nine green fields over there."

As said before, adjectives are free to act as nouns with no marking, just as demonstratives can be used pronominally. Relative clauses follow their nouns, and degree words precede their adjective.

Postpositions also agree in number if they directly follow the noun or numeral they modify, taking the pronominal plural:

O pikas sava o bani uđoh.
DEF pika-PL GEN-PL DEF field-PL green
"The pika's green fields."

This is inspired somewhat by Māori - adverbs take passive marking if their head verb is in the passive, cool right?

When coordinating nouns, the conjunction needs to be placed after each participant, unless their are only two coordinands, in which case the second conjunction can be dropped:

O pika hu o noma hu ~ o pika hu o noma
DEF pika CNJ DEF fox CNJ | DEF pika CNJ DEF fox
"The pika and the fox."


Basic Sentences

So we have a basic SOV word order. Subject and object are unmarked, with the agent and patient being marked accusatively on the verb instead. Because of the argument marking, either the subject or the object or both arguments can be dropped. This is in fact normal for pronouns. In general, animate nouns are assumed to be subject and inanimate nouns object, and overt pronouns can be used to disambiguate:

O bjodža o hvi qjat nvogokyt.
o bjodža o hvi qjat nvogo-k-yt
DEF girl DEF clothing green wear-3SG-3SG
"The girl is wearing beautiful clothing."

Nvogokyt - o hvi nvogokyt - o bjodža nvogokyt.
wear-3SG-3SG | DEF clothing wear-3SG-3SG | DEF girl wear-3SG-3SG
"She wears it - she wears the clothing - the girl wears it".

Oblique arguments (eg indirect objects) can appear either directly before or after the direct object, and aren't marked on the verb. These are marked with the dative postposition, ap, such as for the verb kyč 'give':

O kunot o snuśa ap gy noma vatu kyčajukyt ~ o kunot gy noma vatu o snuśa ap kyčajukyt.
DEF boy DEF elder DAT INDEF fox dead give-PST-3SG-3SG | DEF boy INDEF fox dead DEF elder DAT give-PST-3SG-3SG
"The boy gave the elder a dead fox."

The negative particle bi directly precedes the verb, as does the prohibitive marker aša. The question particle naq is sentence final, accompanied by a raise in pitch:

Gy hon bi kokoqaqlat.
INDEF woman NEG REDUP/hit-1SG-3SG
"I don't abuse women."

O pika aša kyčy!
DEF pika IMP.NEG give-IMP
"Don't pay the pika!"

Śimuh naq?
go-1PL Q
"Are we leaving?"

Adverbs generally follow the verb they are modifying. Sentence adverbials, especially temporal adverbs like kydžiś 'today', can come after the subject or even sentence initially when stressed:

O śmyčlaki knaqjudžym atlanatlan
DEF cake-PL eat-PST-3PL-3PL DISTR/two
"They ate the cakes two by two ~ they ate two cakes each."*
*The last meaning can be disambiguated by placing atlanatlan directly after the noun it modifies, although this is the more normal order.

Kydžiś o hvi bi nvogojadžym
today DEF clothing NEG wear-PST-3PL-3PL
"They didn't wear clothes today."

Interrogative phrases don't get fronted, i.e. they stay exactly where they are, although these sentence have interrogative intonation, just as the polar questions:

O bliđa o žu ap kyčajanyt?
DEF obsidian DEF who DAT give-PST-2SG-3SG
"Who did you give the obsidian to?"

More complex stuff will follow next time!

Lexicon:
Spoiler:
bi part. not
aša part. not
naq part. interrogative
pah adv. also
hu conj. and

kydžiś n. today
hon n. woman
bjodža n. girl
ban n. field
ćva n. man
ba n. body
hvi n. clothing
bliđa n. obsidian
kyč n. name
noma n. fox
pika n. pika
snuśa n. elder
kunot n. boy
śmyčlak n. cake of some kind

qjat adj. beautiful
ila adj. dark
uđoh adj. green
vatu adj. dead

haś v. die - haśośy v. kill - hahaś v. die painfully
min v. see - minošy v. watch
čna v. want
koqaq v. hit, kokoqaq v. abuse
kyč v. pay, give (ditrans)
doqla v. do - dodoqla v. bang
đuka v. sit - đukaqošy v. seat
tyju v. look - tyjuqošy v. show
klunga v. decorate
nvogo v. wear - nvonogo v. put on
śimu v. go
knaq v. eat
Cyrillic and more!:
Spoiler:
Also, I started thinking about placing it in somewhere. I was thinking of Serbia because their style of Cyrillic would be cool, but I doubt it's very plausible. In any case it will probably be somewhere Slavic to account for the romanisation.I'm pretending the glottal stop came from /q/.

О бјoџa қjaт o пикa сa o бaни уђoх хуцo oтвa минoшыкым
O bjodža qjat o pika sa o bani uđoh huco otva minošykym
"The beautiful girl watched those nine green fields of the pika."

Code: Select all

Macedonia:    и   ы у  a o м н њ  п б т д ц  s  ћ  ђ  ч   џ   к г қ   с щ  ш  х л љ  в ј
Albania:      i   ë u  a o m n nj p b t d c  x  cj xj ç   xh  k g (') s sj sh h l lj v j
Greece:       ι/η υ ου α ο μ ν νι π b τ d τσ dσ κι γι τσσ dσσ κ γ (’) σ σι σσ χ λ λι β ι
Romanisation: i   y u  a o m n ń  p b t d c  dz ć  đ  č   dž  k g q   s ś  š  h l lj v j
ι/η are used in Greece to distinguish between ći đi śi <κι γι σι> and ki gi si <κη γη ση>. Albanian Qmachah (Maçah) also uses <q> for <kj/ki>
О бјoџa қjaт o пикa сa o бaни уђoх хуцo oтвa минoшыкым
O bjoxha jat o pika sa o bani uxjoh huco otva minoshëkëm
Ο bιοdσσa ιατ ο πικα σα ο bανι ουγιοχ χουτσο οτβα μινοσσυκυμ
عو بيوجا عيات عو بيكا سا عو باني عوضيوخ خوطو عوتوا مينوصهكهم
O bjodža qjat o pika sa o bani uđoh huco otva minošykym
Edit: So I thought if it were spoken in Macedonia or Southern Serbia, it might also spill over into Albania or Greece, and would probably be written with an adapted alphabet in both cases, so I've added them under the last spoiler, as well as an Arabicisation for when the region was under Ottoman control.
Last edited by kanejam on 13 Jun 2015 10:59, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: The Most Average Conlang Ever, NP: Qmachah!

Post by shimobaatar » 05 Jun 2015 23:49

kanejam wrote:Postpositions also agree in number if they directly follow the noun or numeral they modify, taking the pronominal plural:
kanejam wrote:This is inspired somewhat by Māori - adverbs take passive marking if their head verb is in the passive, cool right?
kanejam wrote:When coordinating nouns, the conjunction needs to be placed after each participant, unless their are only two coordinands, in which case the second conjunction can be dropped:
[+1]
kanejam wrote:Oblique arguments (eg indirect objects) can appear either directly before or after the direct object, and aren't marked on the verb.
Is there ever any difference, pragmatic or otherwise, between oblique arguments placed before the direct object and those placed after it?

(The Cyrillic orthography looks cool, by the way. And I wish I could help with the action nominal problem, but as someone who only read the term "action nominal" for the first time at the top of your last post, I don't feel nearly qualified enough to do so.)

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Re: The Most Average Conlang Ever, NP: Qmachah!

Post by kanejam » 18 Jun 2015 07:49

Make sure to check out the different orthographies in the previous post; I've been thinking of placing it in the Balkans, simply because of the cool scripts there. The language will be variously known as Қмачах, Maçah, Ματσσαχ and, historically, عماشاخ.

Syntax Continued


Slightly More Complex Sentences

I'll quickly mention that conjunction of noun phrases and verb phrases is the same, although it will probably be restricted. I'll have to think more about this. I also want to bring the older conjunction qli into the language, maybe as a word meaning both? I also really need to sort out the articles, but I'm putting that off for now.

'Adverbial subordinators', as WALS calls them, meaning words like ploki 'although' and švo 'because', come at the start of the clause they are subordinating:

Ploki svitak, saciqi ćudymini.
although sleep-3SG eye-PL-3SG PART-open-3SG
"Although he's asleep, his eyes are open."

We have already covered adjectival predication, where the adjective is simply treated as a verb, as in the above example sentence. Nominal predicates use an explicit copula vi which cannot be dropped. Locative predicates use a separate copula glo, usually with prepositions, although they can be dropped. Both copulas are intransitive:

O snuśa vija
DEF elder COP-1SG
"I am an elder."

Silan-časo (ap) gloja
New.Zealand (DAT) LOC-1SG
"I am in New Zealand."

Predicative possession is a nice boring, transitive construction based on qjo 'hold':

Ganuty siky qjojadži
dog-PL three hold-1SG-3PL
"I have three dogs"

Qmačah has some limited verb serialisation. The first use is for deontic modal marking. The verbs tlo 'may', čat 'ought', no 'must' are simply placed after the lexical verb and are marked exactly the same i.e. both lexical and modal are fully inflected for tense, person etc.
Spoiler:
The difference between deontic (or situational as WALS calls it) and epistemic modality is as follows: epistemic is about the truth of a proposition being true or not (Bob may have gone home, Terry must be home by now) whereas deontic is more about the speakers attitude (You may/must go home now). Qmačah, unlike English, keeps the two completely separate. Epistemic modality isn't marked with verbs; instead, adverbs such as kala 'maybe' are used.
Đukan tlon.
sit-2SG you-2SG
"You may be seated."

O kunoty otva knaqućym čatućym.
DEF boy-PL that-PL eat-2PL-3PL ought-2PL-3PL
"You should all eat those boys."

Haśośyka noka
die-CAUS-3SG-1PL must-3SG-1PL
"He must kill us."

Either the lexical verb or the auxiliary can be negated:

Bi haśośyka noka / haśośyka bi noka.
NEG die-CAUS-3SG-1PL must-3SG-1PL | die-CAUS-3SG-1PL NEG must-3SG-1PL
"She must not kill us / she doesn't have to kill us."

The other main use is to mark verbal deixis in the form of suta 'come' and śimu 'go' to mark movement to or from the speaker. It is especially common with mon 'carry' to mean 'take' or 'bring'.

Tyjujuh śimujuh
look-PST-1PL go-PST-1PL
"We looked away."

O maśočyva sava o balam monjunyt sutajunyt
DEF enemy-PL-1SG GEN-PL DEF blood carry-PST-2SG-3SG come-PST-2SG-3SG
"You brought me the blood of my enemies."

There may be one or two other opportunities for verb serialisation (maybe with 'die' to mean 'do sth to death'?), but for the moment they are fairly restricted.

Adjectives are not marked for a comparative. Comparisons are formed simply by adding the thing being compared with the dative postposition ap:

O ot (o šal ap) qjati.
DEF that DEF this DAT pretty-3SG
"That is pretty(-er than this)."

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Re: The Most Average Conlang Ever, NP: Qmachah!

Post by HoskhMatriarch » 18 Jun 2015 08:19

kanejam wrote:Ugh, so I'm running in to problems with the chapter on action nominals. They seem to be very, very liberal in what they are calling 'action nominals', and I'm not allowed to use any of them. Does anyone has advice on how some Australian or North American languages manage without? As far as I can tell, they treat everything as clauses and so they avoid action nominals by keeping things verbal. This means I'll have to greatly restrict the nominals of this type:
In the post on verbs, I wrote:Zero nominalisation is commonly employed: o haś 'death'.
You can just nominalize the clause as a whole, like using their example, "the enemy's destruction of the city" would be something like "the the enemy destroyed the city(-ing)". I'm not sure if that's the most common thing since WALS does not discuss the languages with no action nominals in much depth, but it is easy to use and understand.
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Re: The Most Average Conlang Ever, NP: Qmachah!

Post by kanejam » 18 Jun 2015 16:26

HoskhMatriarch wrote:You can just nominalize the clause as a whole, like using their example, "the enemy's destruction of the city" would be something like "the the enemy destroyed the city(-ing)". I'm not sure if that's the most common thing since WALS does not discuss the languages with no action nominals in much depth, but it is easy to use and understand.
That's certainly similar to the one example WALS give:

(1) Imbabura Quechua (Cole 1982: 43)
Pedro ya-n [ñuka Agatu-pi kawsa-ni]-ta.
Pedro think-3 I Agato-in live-1-ACC
'Pedro thinks that I live in Agato.'

I'm somewhat restricted from this by my morphology, and how the nouns have minimal marking and there aren't any clitics so far. I'm thinking for a lot of sentences I can just have a full clause preceded by a complementiser: 'the cities destruction caused upheaval' => 'that the city was destroyed caused upheaval.' Many can be simply avoided by avoiding action nominals: 'eating veggies is good' => 'it's good to eat veggies'.

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Re: The Most Average Conlang Ever, NP: Qmachah!

Post by shimobaatar » 19 Jun 2015 05:34

kanejam wrote:I've been thinking of placing it in the Balkans, simply because of the cool scripts there. The language will be variously known as Қмачах, Maçah, Ματσσαχ and, historically, عماشاخ.
kanejam wrote:Cyrillic and more!:
Spoiler:
Also, I started thinking about placing it in somewhere. I was thinking of Serbia because their style of Cyrillic would be cool, but I doubt it's very plausible. In any case it will probably be somewhere Slavic to account for the romanisation.I'm pretending the glottal stop came from /q/.

О бјoџa қjaт o пикa сa o бaни уђoх хуцo oтвa минoшыкым
O bjodža qjat o pika sa o bani uđoh huco otva minošykym
"The beautiful girl watched those nine green fields of the pika."

Code: Select all

Macedonia:    и   ы у  a o м н њ  п б т д ц  s  ћ  ђ  ч   џ   к г қ   с щ  ш  х л љ  в ј
Albania:      i   ë u  a o m n nj p b t d c  x  cj xj ç   xh  k g (') s sj sh h l lj v j
Greece:       ι/η υ ου α ο μ ν νι π b τ d τσ dσ κι γι τσσ dσσ κ γ (’) σ σι σσ χ λ λι β ι
Romanisation: i   y u  a o m n ń  p b t d c  dz ć  đ  č   dž  k g q   s ś  š  h l lj v j
ι/η are used in Greece to distinguish between ći đi śi <κι γι σι> and ki gi si <κη γη ση>. Albanian Qmachah (Maçah) also uses <q> for <kj/ki>
О бјoџa қjaт o пикa сa o бaни уђoх хуцo oтвa минoшыкым
O bjoxha jat o pika sa o bani uxjoh huco otva minoshëkëm
Ο bιοdσσa ιατ ο πικα σα ο bανι ουγιοχ χουτσο οτβα μινοσσυκυμ
عو بيوجا عيات عو بيكا سا عو باني عوضيوخ خوطو عوتوا مينوصهكهم
O bjodža qjat o pika sa o bani uđoh huco otva minošykym
Edit: So I thought if it were spoken in Macedonia or Southern Serbia, it might also spill over into Albania or Greece, and would probably be written with an adapted alphabet in both cases, so I've added them under the last spoiler, as well as an Arabicisation for when the region was under Ottoman control.
Very cool! These various orthographies look nice and seem quite well planned-out.

I particularly like the fact that the glottal stop is unwritten in some of the orthographies. Especially for those of us who are unfamiliar with the Arabic script, would it be possible to see an explanation of that orthography?
kanejam wrote:I'll quickly mention that conjunction of noun phrases and verb phrases is the same, although it will probably be restricted. I'll have to think more about this. I also want to bring the older conjunction qli into the language, maybe as a word meaning both? I also really need to sort out the articles, but I'm putting that off for now.
If possible, could you please expand upon the first sentence of this paragraph? Also, what do you mean by "the older conjunction"?
kanejam wrote:'Adverbial subordinators', as WALS calls them, meaning words like ploki 'although' and švo 'because', come at the start of the clause they are subordinating:

Ploki svitak, saciqi ćudymini.
although sleep-3SG eye-PL-3SG PART-open-3SG
"Although he's asleep, his eyes are open."
Would it be possible to reverse the order of those two clauses? If so, what effect would that have, if any?
kanejam wrote:Either the lexical verb or the auxiliary can be negated:

Bi haśośyka noka / haśośyka bi noka.
NEG die-CAUS-3SG-1PL must-3SG-1PL | die-CAUS-3SG-1PL NEG must-3SG-1PL
"She must not kill us / she doesn't have to kill us."
Cool! [+1] To this, as well as to what you wrote about how deontic and epistemic modality are handled differently.
kanejam wrote:There may be one or two other opportunities for verb serialisation (maybe with 'die' to mean 'do sth to death'?), but for the moment they are fairly restricted.
This sounds like an interesting idea too! [:D]

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Re: The Most Average Conlang Ever, NP: Qmachah!

Post by kanejam » 28 Jul 2015 09:00

So I just completed the torch for the List relay, and after taking a small break, I have found that I actually quite like this language. I was thinking I might have to do another revamp, but it's actually come along really nicely. I thought it was about time for another post, so I'll go through and answer (hopefully) all of shimo's questions [D:]

Also, in other news, I was Janko'd and he recognised where I'd stolen the numbers (straight away and without prompting). Say what you like about the guy, he knows his numbers!

First, a few changes. Intensive verbs are now formed through full reduplication, which is fully productive. Final consonants are simply lost. Partial reduplication of verbs is semi-productive, and not always completely predictable, and usually accompanied by cluster simplification: nvogo 'v. wear' > nvonogo 'v. put on'; bađo 'v. cook' > babađo 'n. stove'. Partial redupication of nouns exists but isn't productive: kaba 'n. food' > kakaba 'n. meal, mealtime'.

I also think I can handle the whole 'no action nominals' thing - by abusing the subjunctive tense anywhere that verbal nouns or nonfinite forms might be used in English. But there's currently no complementiser or simple subordinator so I'm thinking it has a pretty big load to have simple old -a as an allomorph and I might change it to -ag. It may turn out to be unwieldy without at least some kind of particle though.
shimobaatar wrote:Would it be possible to see some further examples and/or explanations of how the definite and indefinite articles are used?
So they are now simply definite-indefinite. I thought about doing something interested and then I stopped thinking about it. Common nouns on there own basically have to take an article. If the noun is possessed or is followed by demonstratives, then it requires the definite article, except for a handful of nouns, mostly kinship terms:

Gy kaba - o kaba - o kabadži - o kaba ot.
INDEF food - DEF food - DEF food-3PL - DEF food DIST.DEM
"Food - the food - their food - that food."

Amava hu atan hu.
mother-1SG, father-2SG
"My mother and your father."

Proper nouns and spatial nouns never take articles however:

Dmitli o śmuč sa qjudla ap đukaqošylat.
Dmitri DEF house of outside at sit-CAUS-1SG-3SG
"I'll sit Dmitri outside the house."
shimobaatar wrote:Would it be possible for us to see some examples of the causative? I'd be particularly interested in seeing exactly how some transitive verbs remain monotransitive once made causative in Qmačah, and how causative adjectives generally compare to causative verbs in usage and such.
I'll cover this with the periphrastic causative; that way I can treat them all at once.
shimobaatar wrote:Is there ever any difference, pragmatic or otherwise, between oblique arguments placed before the direct object and those placed after it?
Nope. Sometimes it can be to help with ambiguities, for example if there is only one overt core argument for a transitive verb, if the oblique argument is placed before the core argument then it's definitely an object. It may also depend on weight - heavier phrases want to appear more to the right.
shimobaatar wrote:Especially for those of us who are unfamiliar with the Arabic script, would it be possible to see an explanation of that orthography?
Unfortunately I'm not too familiar with the Arabic script myself, but the region would at one point be under Ottoman rule so it makes sense that they had an Arabic orthography, though it would be based on the Ottoman Turkish orthography (which you can check out on Wikipedia, especially if there was a decent portion of Muslims (which wouldn't be too weird if they border Albania). It would probably be underspecifying, especially for the palatoalveolar and retroflex series.
shimobaatar wrote:
kanejam wrote:I'll quickly mention that conjunction of noun phrases and verb phrases is the same, although it will probably be restricted. I'll have to think more about this. I also want to bring the older conjunction qli into the language, maybe as a word meaning both? I also really need to sort out the articles, but I'm putting that off for now.
If possible, could you please expand upon the first sentence of this paragraph? Also, what do you mean by "the older conjunction"?
Hmmm, it seems I had Māori on my mind again, where basically only clausal conjunction comes problem free. You can't really conjoin verb phrases, and you have to jump through hoops to conjoin human nouns. I think I'll just ignore that for now though. So basically, to conjoin verb phrases or clauses, simply stick hu in between. Conjunction of more than two verb phrases is allowed, but as with nouns hu appears after each conjunct:

Mutojulat hu monjulat hu đogo ča ubijulat hu.
grab-PST-1SG-3SG and carry-PST-1SG-3SG and inside in put-PST-1SG-3SG and
I picked it up, carried it and put it inside.
shimobaatar wrote:
kanejam wrote:'Adverbial subordinators', as WALS calls them, meaning words like ploki 'although' and švo 'because', come at the start of the clause they are subordinating:

Ploki svitak, saciqi ćudymini.
although sleep-3SG eye-PL-3SG PART-open-3SG
"Although he's asleep, his eyes are open."
Would it be possible to reverse the order of those two clauses? If so, what effect would that have, if any?
I'm going to say yes. It might put a slight bit of emphasis on the fact that his eyes are open, or else leave people expecting something else to follow. As with the obliques though, it's affected by weight, with heavier phrases and clauses tending to move right.

There should be a complex syntax section coming soon, which will cover causatives and the subjunctive and hopefully all kinds of subordinate and relative clauses.

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