The Most Average Conlang Ever, NP: Qmachah!

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

Post by masako » 29 Jul 2015 00:01

Conceptually, I like it...practically, I do not. I do admire the work you're doing, though. Kudos.

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

Post by shimobaatar » 29 Jul 2015 01:03

kanejam wrote: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:]
If you don't mind my asking, I assume you're referring to this list?

Anyway, I quite like the language as well, so I'm glad to see you "back", so to speak, and that you aren't currently planning to revamp it. Also, thank you very much for taking the time to respond to any of my questions. [:D]
kanejam wrote: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:
kanejam wrote:Proper nouns and spatial nouns never take articles however:
Ahh, OK, thanks for the explanation. The usage of articles is quite interesting, in my opinion.
kanejam wrote: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.
Sorry if this has been explained elsewhere, but what exactly do you mean when you refer to a phrase's weight?
kanejam wrote: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.
Looking forward to it! [:)]

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

Post by kanejam » 29 Jul 2015 02:13

masako wrote:Conceptually, I like it...practically, I do not. I do admire the work you're doing, though. Kudos.
Care to be more specific? You like the idea but not the language itself, or you like the grammar but not the aesthetic and the word forms, or what? I'm always open to advice.
shimobaatar wrote:If you don't mind my asking, I assume you're referring to this list?
Yup.
shimobaatar wrote:Sorry if this has been explained elsewhere, but what exactly do you mean when you refer to a phrase's weight?
Long phrases are heavier than short phrases, so 'the man' is a very light noun phrase, whereas 'the bad man who killed my cat Snuffles and stole the Korean lady down the road's TV that she bought off eBay from a deaf couple that live a few blocks over' is a very very heavy noun phrase. It's cross linguistically common for heavy phrases to be shunted to the right (and I know it happens in English but can't immediately think of an example).
shimobaatar wrote:Ahh, OK, thanks for the explanation. The usage of articles is quite interesting, in my opinion.
Really? I think they're pretty standard, and not so different from an article happy lang like French.
shimobaatar wrote:Anyway, I quite like the language as well, so I'm glad to see you "back", so to speak, and that you aren't currently planning to revamp it. Also, thank you very much for taking the time to respond to any of my questions.
Well knowing me I'll probably fall back off the wagon soon enough. I keep meaning to go back to Ketzumin and Savvinic as well, and I'm also toying with a Gothic project atm. But thanks though! And I should be thanking you for the questions! Along with your great feedback, the questions force me to think deeper and develop my conlang more than I would alone [:D] keep 'em comin'!

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

Post by shimobaatar » 29 Jul 2015 02:35

kanejam wrote: Long phrases are heavier than short phrases, so 'the man' is a very light noun phrase, whereas 'the bad man who killed my cat Snuffles and stole the Korean lady down the road's TV that she bought off eBay from a deaf couple that live a few blocks over' is a very very heavy noun phrase. It's cross linguistically common for heavy phrases to be shunted to the right (and I know it happens in English but can't immediately think of an example).
[xD]

Thanks for the clarification; it makes sense that it would mean that.
kanejam wrote:Really? I think they're pretty standard, and not so different from an article happy lang like French.
Eh, well, I don't speak French… [:S]

But I really do think the usage you described is interesting. [:)]
kanejam wrote:Well knowing me I'll probably fall back off the wagon soon enough. I keep meaning to go back to Ketzumin and Savvinic as well, and I'm also toying with a Gothic project atm.
Looking forward to potentially hearing more about these in the future as well!

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

Post by masako » 29 Jul 2015 17:33

kanejam wrote:Care to be more specific? You like the idea but not the language itself, or you like the grammar but not the aesthetic and the word forms, or what?
The aesthetic doesn't *feel* average to me...more Slavic, or Turkic, and the vowels don't look "common" by any measure. That being said, you've put a lot of work into this and it does seem to be substantial. I commend you.

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

Post by kanejam » 30 Jul 2015 01:12

masako wrote:
kanejam wrote:Care to be more specific? You like the idea but not the language itself, or you like the grammar but not the aesthetic and the word forms, or what?
The aesthetic doesn't *feel* average to me...more Slavic, or Turkic, and the vowels don't look "common" by any measure. That being said, you've put a lot of work into this and it does seem to be substantial. I commend you.
Well this has been briefly discussed already. It's only average with respect to WALS which gives me a lot of leeway. I've decided to make it as interesting (= unaverage) as I can within those bounds.

So for phonology, all I need to fulfil is that there are 5-6 vowels, 19-25 consonants, voicing in plosives but not in fricatives, no common gaps, /l/ and no lateral fricatives or affricates, no interdentals, no clicks, no uvulars, no pharyngeals, no velar nasal, no tone, no vowel nasalisation, no front rounded vowels, penultimate stress and a CCVC syllable structure. As you can see my phonology fits that.

Thanks for the kind words though, this is probably my best developed conlang so far.

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

Post by masako » 30 Jul 2015 01:57

kanejam wrote:It's only average with respect to WALS which gives me a lot of leeway.
Yeah...that's probably less interesting to me. The wide birth you have means that essentially you can make whatever kind of conlang you fancy and that means it is less "average" than it is whatever you want it to be based on arbitrary WALS data. If you really went for the most average, staying within strict guidelines of what is average among all natlangs, then, I would be enthralled.

To be blunt, it's not average at all. You prolly shouldn't say it is. [¬.¬]

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

Post by kanejam » 30 Jul 2015 22:27

masako wrote:
kanejam wrote:It's only average with respect to WALS which gives me a lot of leeway.
Yeah...that's probably less interesting to me. The wide birth you have means that essentially you can make whatever kind of conlang you fancy and that means it is less "average" than it is whatever you want it to be based on arbitrary WALS data. If you really went for the most average, staying within strict guidelines of what is average among all natlangs, then, I would be enthralled.

To be blunt, it's not average at all. You prolly shouldn't say it is. [¬.¬]
So your only problem is that I'm using the label 'average' in a nonstandard way? I've explained that I'm not trying to make it completely average in that sense so I don't see why it's a problem.

Incidentally, how would you do that? Obviously vowels would be /a e i o u/, but then what about the consonants? My system isn't particularly weird so far, other than the two coronal affricate series. But what about phonotactics? And then for morphology and grammar any notion of 'averageness' becomes even more vague. Even among strictly agglutinative, suffixing languages there is huge variation in the shape and usage of different morphemes. To even come close would mean being familiar with a huge number of languages, and I daresay the result would tick far fewer WALS boxes than this conlang does.

I would also guess that someone doing such a project would inevitably fail and end up with a Eurocentric auxlang-type grammar, although I'm definitely willing to be wrong on that account.

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

Post by masako » 30 Jul 2015 22:37

kanejam wrote:So your only problem is that I'm using the label 'average' in a nonstandard way?
No, I already listed more than only that.
kanejam wrote:I've explained that I'm not trying to make it completely average in that sense so I don't see why it's a problem.
Well, I never said it was a ""problem"".

I just find it silly...like saying "I'm kinda making spaghetti but instead of making it completely spaghetti I'm using tortellini noodles." So, you're making tortellini...not spaghetti.

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

Post by he2he » 01 Aug 2015 21:19

masako wrote:I just find it silly
I think you take the title way too literal. I see it as an experiment about how unique you can get while having average features according to WALS. It plays a bit with the importance of these features. It shows that average according to these features doesn't correspond to creating something that feels like an average language, as can be seen by your reaction.

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