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Re: A speedlanging challange - anybody interested?

Posted: 20 Sep 2017 05:48
by Linguifex
The band's not doing anything this weekend, so I'm down.

Re: A speedlanging challange - anybody interested?

Posted: 20 Sep 2017 14:07
by Omzinesý
Linguifex wrote:The band's not doing anything this weekend, so I'm down.
No problem. If you are interested to make a lang, you can well make it later when you have time.

Re: A speedlanging challange - anybody interested?

Posted: 20 Sep 2017 17:17
by shimobaatar
Omzinesý wrote:
Linguifex wrote:The band's not doing anything this weekend, so I'm down.
No problem. If you are interested to make a lang, you can well make it later when you have time.
It's true that anyone who can't complete the challenge right away can do it later, but Linguifex said he can do it this weekend.

Re: A speedlanging challange - anybody interested?

Posted: 20 Sep 2017 17:28
by Omzinesý
shimobaatar wrote:
Omzinesý wrote:
Linguifex wrote:The band's not doing anything this weekend, so I'm down.
No problem. If you are interested to make a lang, you can well make it later when you have time.
It's true that anyone who can't complete the challenge right away can do it later, but Linguifex said he can do it this weekend.
'To be down' really means he participates? OK. Good.

Re: A speedlanging challange - anybody interested?

Posted: 20 Sep 2017 20:31
by Thrice Xandvii
Yes, "I'm down for that" is actually synonymous with "I'm up for that."

Re: A speedlanging challange - anybody interested?

Posted: 21 Sep 2017 15:09
by Solarius
I'd be interested too.

Re: A speedlanging challange - anybody interested?

Posted: 21 Sep 2017 15:48
by Click
I'm down for this as well.

Speedlanging Challange VII (22 - 25 September)

Posted: 22 Sep 2017 15:45
by Omzinesý
The challenge starts now and officially ends on Monday 25 September at 16:00 Greenwich time. It means you have three days for the challenge. If you cannot participate during the official challenge, you can well use the requirements later for you lang and post it here if you want.

There are two groups of requirements for the langs. The first ones (1-5) you should use (I'll not come to bite your nose if you don't). The second group of requirements is optional. You can use all three, two, one, re none of them. IMO they are somewhat more exotic or unknown features.

Good description of a grammar is not just a list of affixes but their use is also explained. It's rarely possible for a speedlang to have a good grammar description, but do what you can.
After the challenge it would be polite, if everybody comments and tells what was interesting and innovative in the others' langs.

Basic requirements.

1. The language should have at least one labio-velar consonant. (I mean real labio-velars ... _consonant like ͡kp, ͡gb, ŋ͡m, or w. If you don’t want to get exotic /w/ is a good choice).
2. The language has two sibilants.
3. More complex syllables structures than (C)V(C) should be allowed.
4. Morphology should be mainly agglutinative . (You can interpret “agglutinative” broadly if you want.)
5. Light verbs should be common. For example: to do sleeping instead of to sleep (Verbs can be an open or a closed class.)

Extras :
6. Different phonations can be distinctive.
7. The language can have a topic-prominent syntax . I find topic-prominence a fussy term, but the notion of subject seems to be quite bad describing their syntax and the notion of topic more describing. Interpret the term as you like.
8. Incorporation can appear ... nguistics).

If you want a translation challenge to test your lang, I find Ossicone's story "The Cat and the Fish" viewtopic.php?f=9&t=636&hilit=cat+fish a good one. You can use its sentences or the whole story or use example sentences of your own.

If I forgot to say something, please say it.

Re: Speedlanging Challange VII (22 - 25 September)

Posted: 22 Sep 2017 20:50
by shimobaatar

  • At least one labial-velar consonant.
  • Two sibilants.
  • Syllable structure more complex than (C)V(C).
  • Phonemic phonation distinction.
/p b t d k g k͡p g͡b/ <p b t d k g kp gb>
/θ s ʃ h/ <ð z s h>
/m n ŋ ŋ͡m/ <m n ŋ ŋm>
/ɽ/ <r>

/i y ɪ ʏ e ɛ æ/ <i y ỉ ỷ e ẻ a>
/u ʊ o ɔ/ <ū u ō o>

Basic syllable structure is (S)(C)V(C), where S = /s ʃ/. There is vowel harmony between /i y e u o/ and /ɪ ʏ ɛ ʊ ɔ/, with /æ/ being neutral. However, if /æ/ is the only vowel in a word's root, the suffixes act as if the root vowel were one of /ɪ ʏ ɛ ʊ ɔ/. Vowels are nasalized before coda nasals. Voiceless stops are aspirated word-initially. Fricatives are voiced intervocalically, after sonorants, and before voiced stops. Word-initially, /i y ɪ ʏ e ɛ æ u ʊ o ɔ/ are [ji ɥy jɪ ɥʏ je jɛ jæ wu wʊ wo wɔ]. When it appears in the coda position, /ɽ/ is closer to [l] for many speakers. Stress is penultimate.

  • Mainly agglutinative.
  • Light verbs are common.
  • Topic-prominent syntax.
  • Incorporation.
The language is marked nominative, or nominative-absolutive, and largely head-initial. It is secundative when it comes to ditransitive verbs. Unmarked word order is typically SVO. Oblique arguments tend to come sentence-finally. The language also exhibits topic-prominent syntax, and nouns can sometimes be incorporated into the verb.

The language has the following cases:

NOM: -Es
GEN: -
INS: -Ym
INE: -at
ELA: -Is
ILL: -Ub
ADE: -Oz
ABL: -In
ALL: -Ek

In sentences with ditransitive verbs, the recipient takes the accusative case, and the theme takes the instrumental case. All of the other cases' usages are pretty straightforward. Plurality is marked with the suffix -Y.

The pronouns, which also function as possessive suffixes on nouns and subject agreement suffixes on verbs, are the following:

kpẻ 1s / ry 1p
2s / ðat 2p
ŋor 3s / nỉ 3p

As can be seen, pronouns have suppletive plural forms, but can take case suffixes. The particle a follows the topic of a sentence.

There are three tenses, marked with these suffixes:


Transitivity is also explicitly marked:

DITR: -ha

When there is just one oblique argument or less, sentences with intransitive verbs often have their meanings expressed instead with light verbs. The original intransitive verb is nominalized with the suffix -Ir and becomes the object of the verb gbỷð.

To indicate a more general or less definite object, a generic noun related to the object or theme is often incorporated into the verb, directly after the root. Sometimes, these nouns have special incorporated forms. For example, sbōs "animal" is incorporated as bōs. However, incorporated nouns almost never change their form to agree with the vowel harmony of the rest of the word, which is determined by the verb root.

The template for nouns is ROOT-CASE-NUMBER-POSSESSOR. For verbs, the template is ROOT-OBJECT-TENSE-TRANSITIVITY-PERSON.

Haŋmỉr a kpẻẻs zỉnbōsẻhakpẻ sū ŋmedym.
haŋm-Ir a kpẻ-Es zỉn-bōs-E-ha-kpẻ sū-Ø ŋmed-Ym
pay-NMZ TOP 1s-NOM give-animal.INCORP-FUT-DITR-1s 2s-ACC rabbit-INS
I'm going to give you a rabbit as payment.

I've lost track of how long this took me. I started it after I got back from class, but I took a break to go get food somewhere in the middle. Anyway, this is, naturally, far from complete, but I'm pretty satisfied with what's here. I'll revisit it sometime in the future, along with the other languages I've created for these challenges.

Considering how long it's taken me to get around to trying some of the other challenges, I'm surprised that it looks like I'm the first to respond this time, not that that matters at all. See you all in a few months for #8.

Re: Speedlanging Challange VII (22 - 25 September)

Posted: 22 Sep 2017 21:42
by Thrice Xandvii
As a random aside, I am now in love with the "comma above" diacritic you are using in your romanization, Shimo!
Edit: I was mistaken, it's actually the "hook above" diacritic (ả) used in Vietnamese.

Re: Speedlanging Challange VII (22 - 25 September)

Posted: 22 Sep 2017 22:05
by InquisitorJL
Is there a time limit to time spent on the language, or just as much as you can do before the end date?

Re: Speedlanging Challange VII (22 - 25 September)

Posted: 22 Sep 2017 22:46
by Omzinesý
InquisitorJL wrote:Is there a time limit to time spent on the language, or just as much as you can do before the end date?
Speedlangs are usually done without at once without much pondering and correcting what you already accomplished, but I guess no real time limit is needed.

Or was there one before?

Re: Speedlanging Challange VII (22 - 25 September)

Posted: 23 Sep 2017 00:30
by shimobaatar
Thrice Xandvii wrote:As a random aside, I am now in love with the "comma above" diacritic you are using in your romanization, Shimo!
Oh, thanks! I was originally going to use a breve, but I wasn't able to find a <y> with a breve in my browser's "insert special characters" window, but I was able to find <ỷ>.
Omzinesý wrote:
InquisitorJL wrote:Is there a time limit to time spent on the language, or just as much as you can do before the end date?
Speedlangs are usually done without at once without much pondering and correcting what you already accomplished, but I guess no real time limit is needed.

Or was there one before?
I think participants have usually just been advised to set aside a few hours and post whatever they're able to come up with.

Re: Speedlanging Challange VII (22 - 25 September)

Posted: 23 Sep 2017 21:23
by Click
I've had an hour of free time and came up with this for the challenge.

Snàrıä [s̩ˈnɑɾɪjæ]

Snàrıä has a minimal phonemic inventory with only nine consonants and three vowels.

/m n/ m n
/p t k/ p t k
/s ʃ/ s sh
/w r/ w r

/i a u/ ı a u

The vowel inventory is extended by three diphthongs /ia/, /iu/ and /ai/, which contrast with identical vowel sequences. In a stress-carrying vowel sequence, it is the second vowel that is always stressed. To tell a sequence apart from a diphthong, a diaeresis is placed on the second vowel: ıä ıü aï.

Vowels are always stressed in word-initial position. Elsewhere, stress is unpredictable and thus indicated with a grave accent: ì à ù.
Minimal pairs distinguished only by stress may appear as well; consider as an example kàsıa 'ten' and kasıà 'you ate' (pl.)

The syllable structure is (C)N(C)(C) for word-initial syllables and CN(C)(C) elsewhere.

Any consonant can be part of the syllable onset.
Legal syllable nuclei (N) include vowels, the diphthongs /ia/, /iu/ and /ai/ and syllabic allophones of /m n s r/. The syllabic allophones are written em en s er, or èm èn ès èr if stressed. Stressed syllabic /s/ is a very rare phoneme.
As with onsets, any consonant can be part of the syllable coda as well. Legal consonant clusters in this position are ts ks st sk.

The canonical word order is OVS in transitive clauses and SV in intransitive ones. Snàrıä is an overwhelmingly head-final and suffixing language, and this is reflected in the language's morphosyntax. The main exceptions to this are person/possessive prefixes and a tendency for relative clauses to follow the noun they describe.
  • (1) wìnıän shuwanwànts tèsna=t
    3s-tail[ABS]-POSS 3s.A-back_and_forth_motion-do[PST] dog-ERG=DEF
    The dog wagged his tail.
  • (2) empıät murıùwa=na sk=wer pìt=t=ınu wìssen wıt pstèmwaı.
    dry[PST]-ADJ tobacco_leaf[ABS]-PL=DEF REL=3s[ABS] shed=DEF=LOC 3s.P-leave[PST] immediately 1s.A-pick_up[PST]
    I immediately picked up the dried tobacco leaves that were left in the shed.

From the examples above, we can see that Snàrıä is an ergative-absolutive language. Agents of transitive verbs and agent-like sole arguments of intransitive verbs take the ergative case, whereas other arguments are in the unmarked absolutive case.
Verbs are marked for person and there are two sets of personal prefixes. One indicates the person of the agent or agent-like sole argument whereas the other indicates the person of the patient or patient-like sole argument. The catch is that each given verb can only take one prefix at a time. A hierarchy tells us which prefixes are given precedence: the first person prefix is always expressed and the second person one is expressed in absence of a first person argument. If both arguments are referred to with the same person, precedence is given to the agent.
If the patient argument is marked in place of the agent, the verb takes the inverse suffix -ıa.
  • (3) nawàstıa wen
    2s.P-love-PRS-INV 3p.ERG
    He loves you.

There are relatively few verb roots compared to other languages, but they are often extended through compounding/incorporation and constructions involving nouns. The most common base verbs for those constructions are ts 'do' and ı 'go'.
  • (4) wanwànts

    (5) mátaï

    (6) shıän ts
    porridge do

Here's a small quote to wrap up this post.
  • Shàttıä nerràmırıän=ut ennù wırìtıän sksaı nımıuppa.
    today 2s-hide_from-NMLZ-POSS=by tomorrow 3s-responsibility[ABS]-POSS out_of_sight-go 2s.A-can.PRS.NEG
    You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.
                    • [list][list][list][list][list][list][list][list][list][list][list][list][list][list][list][list][list][list]~ Abraham Lincoln

Re: Speedlanging Challange VII (22 - 25 September)

Posted: 24 Sep 2017 01:31
by Nachtuil
This was fun but I have to finish up early. haha. Maybe I will return to this at some point. I may insert another sentence or two by the end of the weekend. The syntax feels pretty Englishy actually (or maybe I have been dabbling in some weird stuff by comparison)

"Orkan" /[oɭqã]

Orkan is lightly a agglutinating with 3 cases and two genders.

/m n/ <m n>
/kp kpʰ p pʰ t tʰ k kʰ/ <kp kph p ph t th k kh>
/gb b d g/ <gb b d g>
/s ʂ h/ <s x h>
/w l j ɭ/ <w l y r>

The language has vowel harmony. Root words, always on the left, determine the exact vowel qualities of vowels in suffixes that follow.
Front group:
/i y e ø ai ay/ <i ù e ò ai aù>
Back group:
/ɯ u ɤ o aɯ au/ <ì u è o aì au>
/a/ <a>

Alveolar consonants in clusters with retroflexes become retroflexes.
Velar consonants in clusters with retroflexes become uvular.
/h/ is h word initially but a glottal stop intervocalicly.
Lateral approximants become devoiced lateral fricatives immediately following coronal stops.
Vowels are nasalised when word finally preceding a nasal which is deleted. If a nasal is in coda but a consonant follows that is part of the word, then the vowel is articulated normally.

C1: Any consonant
C2: s l ʂ ɭ (only in conjunction with plain or aspirated bilabial, coronal or velar stops)
C3: Any coronal or velar consonant that isn’t a voiced stop.
V: Vowel


The Noun Phrase:
Numbers + Prepositions + Genitive Nouns + Headnoun.SecondaryNouns.Adjectives.CaseMarking + Definite Articles

Adjectives are attached directly to nouns in this language and fit between the base noun and any case marking. Some dialects have incorporated the definite article into the main noun, as indicated by participation in vowel harmony of the singular inanimate "nò".

Word Order:
Agent/Subject (Indirect object) Verb Patient (Other obliques)

Case structure:
Word order and verb conjugation make reasonably clear the relationship between agent and patient. There are 3 cases: Direct, Oblique, and Genitive.
Singular: Ø - wa - xan
Plural: on - dai - xut

Direct case: This is used for subject, agents and patients. Word order determines what is what. The verb conjugation also helps clarify relationships.
Oblique case: This is used for nouns in other roles, including indirect objects. They often have a preposition to further identify their role but not always.
Genitive: This is applied to a noun to indicate that another noun is associated to or possessed by it.

Definite Articles:
Singular animate: na
Singular inanimate: nò
Plural: nan
Definite articles are last in noun phrases.

(presented in direct, oblique and genitive forms)
1st singular: to towa tox
1st plural: akha khai khan
2nd singular: pì pìth pùx
2nd plural: pìn plò pari
3rd animate singular: ùr ùrth wax
3rd animate plural: kùl kùrai kùr
3rd inanimate sing: mik ton mike
3rd inanimate plur: mikh tomi mikha

Verbs agree with person, transitivity and number but it is not explicit if the agent or patient or plural. That is, 1 dog seeing 3 cats and 3 cats seeing 1 dog would use the same verb ending.
Presented is intransitive, transitive singular, and transitive plural, and the subjunctive where number and person information are flattened.
1st: lon tla loxk lostèt
2nd khù khùn ksuhè ksusèt
3rd animate: (a)da (u)n noxt nògari
3rd inanimate: na (u)n noxt nanki

Past tense is created with the prefix, "ha"
Future tense is created by use of the auxiliary verb "yep"
Passive voice is created by use of the auxiliary verb "tadi"

Light verbs are used quite often. The most common verbs to fill this role are:
Kpulé : To have something.
Taxas: To make something.
Haram: To take something.

Example sentences:

Ùr èspoknoxt kùr dìluon ak agbeksòyen nan.
[yɭ ɤspoknoʂʈ kyɭ dɯluõ ak agbeksøjẽ nã]
3rd.sing built.3rd.transitive.plr 3rd.plr.Gen houses on plains.golden
“He/she built their houses on the golden plains”

To ha-kpul-tla yup ak agbawa nò.
[to ha-kpul-tɬa jup ak agbawa nø]
3rd.Sing.Dir past-have-1st.trans.sing run.dir on plains.obl
“I had a run on the plains”

To ha-yup-lon ak agbawa nò.
[to ha-jup-lõ ak agbawa nø]
3rd.Sing.Dir. past-ran-3rd.intransitive on plains.obl
“I ran on the plains”

Kpestpùr na harun dusin bìsì txùxetùbal nò
Horse.white.dir drink.3rd.sing.trans drink.dir from
“The white horse took a drink from the red river”

Kpestpùr na dusinun bìsì txùxetùbal nò drink.3rd.sing.trans from
“The white horse drank from the red river”

Noun incorporation:
Nouns of lesser animacy may be incorporated into verbs. If this is done they precede the verb and the verb conforms to the vowel harmony of the noun being incorporated in the typical fashion where vowel harmony moves from the beginning of a word to its end. Noun incorporation is not mandatory by any means.

The past tense prefix precedes the incorporated noun in the verb structure.

Tox siha hawordan khan khexxan eplù nò
[toʂ siʔa hawoɭɖã kʰã kʰeʂʂã eply nø̃]
1st.sing.gen wife.dir past.trim.3rd.trans.sing 3rd.plr.gen child.gen hair.dir
My wife trimmed our child’s hair the
“My wife trimmed the hair of our child”

Tox siha haeplùwòrdan khan khex
[toʂ siʔa haeplywøɭɖã kʰã kʰeʂ]
1st.sing.gen wife.dir 3rd.plr.gen child.dir
My wife hairtrimmed our child
“My wife trimmed our child’s hair.”

I have had to do a few edits, firstly to add noun incorporation. Then more edits to add detail and fix errors, because I really like making those.

Re: Speedlanging Challange VII (22 - 25 September)

Posted: 25 Sep 2017 00:52
by Solarius
I hope it's okay that this is somewhat synthetic with an old language of mine; a lot of the constraints were the same as features there.


/p ᵐb t ⁿd k ᵑɡ k͡p ᵑɡ͡b/<b mb t nd k ng p mp>
/f s ʃ h/<f s j h>
/m n/<m n>
/l r~ɹ j w/<l r y w>

/i ɛ̃ ɛ̃: a a: ɔ̃ ɔ̃: u ai au/<i e ee a aa o oo u ai au>

Syllable Structure is maximally (C)(C)(l,r)V(V)(C)(C). Hiatus is legal. It's worth talking about the diphthongs; all diphtongs are legal. The diphthongs /ai/ and /au/ diachronically come from long high vowels, and as a result there are a few tripthongs, as in nduniai, "world."

There are three tones: high, low, and mid, although one could just as easily analyze them as phonation types--breathy, plain, and creaky. They're never written orthographically except for teaching children or transcription, but I'll use them for this document. High is acute, mid is unmarked, low is tilde.

The syntax is pretty free; the canonical word order is VSO but SVO and VOS are both possible, when the subject or object is a topic. Topics are set off with the preposition aun. Unsurprisingly, there's an overwhelming head-initial tendency. There's approximately equal numbers of prefixes and suffixes.

Nouns are marked for cases, of which there are four:
1. The Nominative/Absolutive, which is unmarked.
2. The Accusative -áál, which is used for direct objects of transitive sentences outside of the perfect aspect.
3. The Genitive -ões, which indicates possession and is also an ergative in the perfect aspect.
4. The Dative -í, which marks indirect objects.

These cases combine with the language's five prepositions to indicate a wide variety of locative expressions.

Nouns also get prefixed by adnominal demonstratives: phaa- for distal and tãn- for proximal. They also have a three gender system: Masculine, Feminine, and Inanimate. It's highly semantic, and unmarked on nouns.

Pronouns are:
1s/ 1p/ tẽf
2s/ ãná, sai 2p/ sai, mesai
3m kõõr
3f nõõr
3i ã

Politeness is the difference between the forms on left and right in the 2nd person, with former being less polite.

Verbs are inflected for a lot; they have polypersonal agreement, evidentiality, and a wide variety of applicatives and causatives to keep them busy. However, in practice a tiny number of auxiliary verbs inflect fully. The most important are these TAM verbs:

hõek: Past Perfective ← from “to do”
hep: Present Perfect ← from “to come”
hip: Past Perfect ← from moribund irregular past tense of “to come”
kãr: Negative
e: Imperfective ← from “to be," consequently drops in the present tense.

The full range and order of suffixes is listed in the spoiler. Note that valency stays with the lexical verb, not the auxiliary.
[allocutive agreement][valency]root[evidentiality][subject][object]

0- polite verb form
it- masculine informal to listener, masculine allocutive
et- feminine allocutive

0- intransitive (note that there are a few transitive verbs which are also unmarked)
pa- causative via direct physical force, e.g. force-fed
mũ- indirect causation, e.g. convinced to eat
ndee- instrumental applicative
bai- benefactive applicative

-ú indirect evidential

-ti: 1p.SG.SUBJ
-te 1p.PL.SUBJ
-me 2p.SG.SUBJ
-mem 2p.PL.SUBJ
-0: 3p.MASC.SUBJ
-é: 3p.FEM.SUBJ
-ãã 3p.INAN.SUBJ

-ti 1p.SG.OBJ
-taa 1p.PL.OBJ
-m 2p.OBJ
-í 3p.MASC.OBJ
-é 3p.FEM.OBJ
-0 3p.INAN.OBJ
Here's a common Sembenese saying.

Aun pan hepãã sẽtõ ndaa tõndrãã hĩch.
TOP apple PERF-3p.INAN SUBJfall ABL yesterday
"Opportunities are easily missed. (Lit. The apples had fallen from yesterday onwards.)"

Re: Speedlanging Challange VII (22 - 25 September)

Posted: 25 Sep 2017 07:17
by Linguifex
Just as a heads-up, as the deadline ends at 11:00 AM my time I'll have to post what I have when I get back from work.

Re: Speedlanging Challange VII (22 - 25 September)

Posted: 25 Sep 2017 16:20
by InquisitorJL
I was really excited when I saw this thread, I go through phases with conlanging and I was just coming into one after over a year of not really thinking about it. But it got to Monday and I had lots of rough ideas and nothing concrete to write down. So I've decided to challenge myself and go about it differently from how I usually would. I'm starting this at 11:30 UK time, I'm gonna write as much of a phonology as I need to create word-like things, then just have a go at the translation in the challenge, line by line, coming up with new stuff as I go, trying to stick to the rules of the challenge and the ideas I have floating around (and presumably a bunch of mistakes even then because I'm forcing myself not to go back and check stuff).

/t d k͡p g͡b ʔ/ <t d p b q>
/s z h/ <s z h>
/l ɾ j w/ <l r y w>
/m n/ <m n>

I wanted a relatively limited consonant inventory but that seemed difficult to get to work with labiovelars. I'm figuring /k͡p g͡b/ come from an earlier /k b/ and the voicing distinction between them became seen as the distinguishing feature amongst speakers. I don't think this would be a very stable selection of stops, and can see this causing lots of interesting stuff with separate velars and labials in the future.

On the subject of at least two sibilants, I've never thought of voiced fricatives like /z/ still being sibilant but wikipedia includes them and I felt like it worked better with the consonant inventory I was going for.

/i u/ <i u>
/e a/ <e a>

The low vowels are probably something closer to [ɛ~æ ɑ] in reality. I'm thinking of a system of stress based vowel reductions, that will be regular, but in future could be a way for this language to become something more fusional if stress changed. Vowels will have a length distinction /Vː/ <VV> and a phonation/tone distinction /V̰/ <V̀>. These vowels have low tone, and in long vowels, or stressed short vowels will also convey creaky voice to that vowel, and to voiced consonants in that syllable.

There are no true diphthongs, but the phonetic realisation of /Vj/ and /Vw/ will function similarly.

The first syllable of a word takes the primary stress if it is heavy (long vowel or final consonant). If it is light the second syllable takes the primary stress. Beyond that secondary stresses are determined by where the primary stress would fall if the root as independent. Depending on the pattern this can cause stress shifts. For the purposes of the following chart pre-tonic and post-tonic refer to the changes caused in vowels. The following stress rules are applied left to right, and can cause shifts to chain down the length of a word, but do not act between word boundaries.

STRESS STRESS ? = STRESS pre STRESS (the third syllable in this pattern doesn't matter and can cause further shifts down the line)

Long vowels pre and post-tonic lose length, post tonic they also lose creaky voice, and just carry low tone.

Short vowels pre and post tonic never carry creaky voice. Pre-tonic the high vowels are [ɪ ʊ] and the low vowels are [ə]. Post-tonic vowels are lost, which can cause consonants to become syllabic.


The basic syllable structure is C(C)V(C|ː).

The initial clusters can be of the pattern non-glottal stop + sibilant, nasal + non-glottal stop, and <t d p b s z m n> + <l r y w>. The final consonant can be anything other than a non-glottal stop. I've not worked out exactly how vowel loss and stress shifts, or even just syllable boundaries will effect sounds but I'll mention it as I come across stuff where I think there should be some allophony.

This sounds like enough to get going, so lets go. Also, it's just shear laziness but I'm probably not gonna get all the tone marking and creaky voice marking accurate, and probably just mark creaky voice on the vowel, even if it would get spread to other sounds in the syllable or be reduced to just tone.

Nben lày.
[ˈŋ͡mɛn ˈlɑ̰͡ĭ]
cat TOP
"There was a cat."

There's two interesting things going on here. First, I wondered what should happen with nasal + labiovelar. In the end I figured labial nasal + labiovelar probably just loses the velar part of it, so /mk͡p mg͡b/ becomes [mp mb]. For alveolar nasal + labiovelar it was more tricky to decide, in the end I think /nk͡p ng͡b/ becoming [nk͡p ŋ͡m] provides an interesting difference.

My rough idea of word order in this language is something like (TOPIC) core-arguments VERB adverbials, with the slot immediately before the verb being used to convey focus. With person marking on verbs I didn't feel like I'd actually need a topic marker. However, i thought having a topic marker could be useful at a discourse level to mark an unexpected or contrastive topic, or, as in this case, an existential predicate with the explicit purpose to introduce a topic.

Nbenay nbenssà.
nben-ay nben-suqà
[ˈŋ͡mɛn.ə͡ĭ ˈŋ͡mɛn.sːə̰]
cat-small cat-white
"She was small and white"

No need for a pronoun here. The topic is still the cat that we introduced specifically as a topic in the previous line and when topic doesn't change it can be omitted in topic prominent languages. For the adjectives I thought it would be interesting to go with a system (can't remember the proper term) where a small number of core adjectival senses (which size and colour both fall into) can't exist on their own and have to be attached to the noun. There could also be independent versions of the same adjective but I felt like if I went with this system you wouldn't use them here in such a simple expression.

We also have our first example of stress squishing vowels. In -suqa white we had the post-tonic /u/ just getting lost leaving us with [sʔə̰], and I felt like the glottal stop becoming a lengthening of the fricative, perhaps via [h], seemed like reasonable allophony.

"When she woke up, she was very hungry."

Some interesting phonetic stuff happening here again. We have /m.ʔ/ becoming lengthening of the /m/ and [ŋ͡m] from earlier assimilating with the preceding /z/ and losing the double articulation, resulting in [z.nm].

Morphologically we have dam-, a piece of required verbal marking for 3rd person animates in intransitive verbs. Despite aiming for primarily agglutination I felt that having different marking for transitive and intransitive verbs would just provide a bit of interest. We also have -nbày, an intensive marker that falls into the grey area between derivational and inflectional morphology.

The most interesting thing here though is that we have both examples of noun incorporation and verb serialisation. The serialisation is the simpler part, apparent here due to the verbs sharing the same topic and being combined into the same word. Here it is being used to convey the sequencing of events, where in English an adverbial clause was used.

The noun incorporation in both of these examples is lexical. I felt that within the constraint of light verbs "to have" and "to stop" were semantically common enough to have their own verb, while "to wake up" probably wouldn't. And "to have hunger" instead of "to be hungry" is something I've seen idiomatically in languages without productive noun incorporation. qutrìsim and pawraz could instead be interpreted as qutrì-sim "sleep-stop" and paw-raz "hunger-have". As is typical for more lexical forms of noun incorporation, the verbs have become intransitive.

Hitsèmew duqunplaqìnèbe
[hɪˈtsɛ̰.mə͡ŭ dʊˈʔuŋ.k͡plɑˌʔḭ.nə̰ˌg͡bɛ]
hitsè-mew du-qun-plaa-qìnè=be
food-some 3AN.TR-3INAN.TR-do-see=so
"So she went looking for some food"

Here we have some interesting stress shifts. Stress final hiTSÈ causes the stress carrying suffix MEW to lose it's stress and the person prefixes duQUN causes the expected pattern of stress in PLAAqiNÈbe to be pushed along shortening the long vowel in plaa and putting a secondary stress onto the clitic particle be which only joined the word because it was a monosyllable that didn't carry a stress naturally.

We have our first noun + verb combination. Here hitsè appears separately. It's an important part of the comment here (the topic is of course, the still omitted cat) and not previously mentioned so we don't have a discourse reason to incorporate it, and I didn't feel like "look for food" was a common enough thing to have it as an example of lexical incorporation. I could however imagine an incorporated form hitsèplaaqinè or maybe even just hitsèplaa specifically for "to hunt" (though I could also imagine hitsèplaa being something else like "to cook"). We have another example of something being affixal in this language, the quantitative suffix -mew. I haven't really thought how or if to split the concepts of some and any in this language but I quantifiers in general being present as noun suffixes.

We also have another verb serialisation, this one being more lexical/derivational than the previous example. The semantically very light verb plaa meaning to do is one I imagine getting used in lots of examples of both noun incorporation and verb serialisation, and here it is being used to take a verb with where the agent is relatively patient-like (the verb of perception qìnè, "to see") and turn it into something more active.

I chose to create a conjunction =be to translate so, therefore to maintain the lines breaks of the original text. I can totally see something like "wake.up-be.hungry-look" being used to continue the use of verb serialisation/chaining to sequence events, continuing from the previous line, though it certainly does raise questions about breaking stuff for word/sentence length that come up with the differences between spoken and written language. I'm also starting to realise that I'm using the fact this is a story, the telicity of verbs and constructions meaning a sequencing of actions to basically just ignore tense and aspect entirely so far. If this was a longer term project, I imagine I'd end up coming with affixes or adverbials for when someone wants to draw attention to these concepts, and I'd want to think about places I could intentionally avoid recreating verb semantics from English.

Pirizza zadla duqunbùhitsèplaaqinè qesayyim duqunninèzàm.
[k͡pɪˈɾi.zːə zəˈdlɑ dʊˈʔuŋ.g͡bṵˌhi.tsə̰ˌk͡plɑː.ʔɪˌnɛ̰ ʔəˈsɑ͡ĭ.jɪm dʊˈʔu.nːɪˌnɛ̰.zə̰m]
pirìz-ha zadla du-qun-bùù-hitsè-plaa-qinè qesay-yim du-qun-qinè-zàm
back-3INAM tree 3AN.TR-3INAN.TR-stand-food-do-see oak-nut 3INAM.TR-3AN.TR-see-MIR
She looked behind the tree and found an acorn.

Not a lot new going on phonetically here. We have a stress shift shorting bùù and moving the stress in hitsè, and this time we see plaaqinè without a stress shift. The /h/ in pirìz-ha and /ʔ/ in qinè both end up assimilating, causing a long consonant at the start of a syllable and mudding syllable breaks a little.

We have our first locative adverbial, and we get to see another use of verb serialisation, applicatives! Here the intransitive postural verb bùù to stand has become a transitive verb that gets serialised with the 'content' verbs marking a locative applicative. The use of the applicative by it's very nature means we want to promote an oblique sense so the thing promoted isn't incorporated. We also have a locative expression, instead of an unanalysable adposition we have a possessive expression with a body part, though one that could develope into a preposition with time. As I've generally been treating this language as head marking, the possession is marked on the possessum and not the possessor.

We also see discourse level noun incorporation. hitsè which we saw before unincorporated is now stuck right on the middle of the serial verb construction. This is because I felt like this language would be less open to just changing the transitivity of verbs than English (the fact I decided to do just that for creating an applicative notwithstanding) so plaaqinè would need an object. However it's something we've talked about before and so it's not that important so it gets incorporated.

We also get a noun that is new information and hasn't been incorporated, but is still in the middle of the serial verb construction. qesayyim acorn appears as it's own word between the serialised sequence of events, plaaqinè and qinèzàm, the looking and the finding. qesayyim is also important as it is the first example of noun noun compounding to create a new term acorn from a literal phrasing oak-nut or oak-pebble.

The derivation of to find is also new. qinèzàm has been made with a mirative suffix, but it doesn't convey literal surprise at seeing something, the surprise has instead been used to convey the emotional difference between just happening to see something and successfully finding something.

Unfortunately before the deadline this is all I got through, because I have other things I need to do. To conclude I found this method interesting, and something I might try in future as I often have lots of ideas but struggle to find a good way to get them out of my head. I didn't get nearly as much done as I'd have liked, but I think I managed to display all of the requirements of the challenge, and to get into how stuff was used. I hope I made something you find interesting.


-ay - binding adj. small
=be - conjunction clitic so, therefore
bùù - v. to stand (used as postural verb, or as locative applicative)
dam- - 3rd person animate intransitive
du- - 3rd person animate transitive
-ha - 3rd person inanimate possessive
hitsè - n. food
lày - particle Topic marker, for contrastive topics or introducing new topics
-mew - quantifier suffix some, any
-nbày - v. suffix Intensive marker
nben - n. cat
paw - n. hunger
pawraz - v. to be hungry (lit. to have hunger)
piriz - n. back (the body part) adposition behind, at the back of
plaa - v. to do (general light verb)
plaaqinè - v. to look for, to search for
qasey - n. oak
qaseyyim - n. acorn (lit. oak nut)
qinè - v. to see
qinèzàm - v. to find
qun - 3rd person inanimate transitive
qutrì - n. sleep
qutrìsim - v. to wake up (lit. to stop sleep)
raz - v. to have
sim - v. to stop
-suqà - binding adj. white
yim - n. nut, pebble (generally small round hard thing)
zadla - n. tree
zàm - v. suffix mirative, can be used derivationally to express a verb achieving a surprising or successful result

Re: Speedlanging Challange VII (22 - 25 September)

Posted: 25 Sep 2017 17:45
by Omzinesý
I made this on Monday 11:45 – 13:30, so I'm not late with conlanging, just posting.

p t k ͡kp <p t k qb>
b d g ͡gb <b d g qb>
m n η ͡ηm <m n qn qm>
s ɬ <s ll>
z ɮ <z ll>
l j w <l j w>

i ɨ u <i y u>
e o <e o>
a <a>
Vowels can be long but they appear iff the syllable is stressed and open, so I don’t regard vowel length phonemic in this description.
Syllable onset is usually just one C or a V. Progressive prefix of verbs /s – z/ can however precede a consonant. Syllable codas can be more complex:
- a vowel
- a consonant
- liquid + another consonant
- nasal + an obstruent
-a fricative + a stop
- a stop + a fricative
- a nasal/liquid + a fricative
- a liquid/nasal + a stop + a fricative
Template of Noun: <root> <number> <case> <definiteness/class>
There are three numbers.
-Singular: Ø
-Plural -en
-Paucal: -oqm
Singular always means one. The difference between Plural and Paucal is rather if there is a known number of individuals or is it rather ‘some’.
There are but one semantic case. Let’s call it simply Nominative though it’s closer to the direct case. There are however locational cases.
-Nominative: -Ø
-Inessive: -(y)p ‘in’
-Superessive: -(y)lh ‘on the surface’
-Adessive: -(y)k ‘near’
There is also Equative -(y)p ‘likeX, Xily’

Definiteness has three markers:
-Definite: -a
-Indefinite: -y
-Proper noun: -o
-Abstraction: -e
Formation of the abstract noun is very productive. llep-y ‘a man’ -> llep-e ‘manhood/being a man’
No definiteness/class marker appears in Possession construction (construct state). The possessed appears before the possessor and lacks the definiteness/class marker.
oss llepa ‘the man’s house’

Adjectives differ from other nominals in that they take the definiteness/class marker of the whole NP, not one of their own. Now, I start wondering if the suffix is an enclitic, morphologically. Adjectives do not agree their head in number or case either.
llep kep-a ‘the stupid man’
llep kep-y ‘a stupid man’

Template of Verb: <progressive aspect> <subject number> <root> <mood> <” conjugation”> <subject person>
Progressive marker is /z/ or /s/. /s/ appears before vowels and voiceless consonants, while /z/ appears before voiced consonants.
Singular subjects do not take any marker, plural subjects have marker /ii/.
Subject person markers are:
-First person: -l
-First person inclusive: -m
-Second person: -p
-Third person: -Ø
The first person inclusive marker /m/ can also appear without the plural marker, but then its meaning is impersonal.
perk-sur-e-m ‘One shall not kill.’
kill-‘MOOD’must not’-conj-INCL
The category of “conjucation” I borrowed from Mordvian. The label is also borrowed from there and is not very descriptive. There are to suffixes /e/ and /a/. Roughly /e/ expresses lower semantic transitivity (in Hopper and Thompson’s sense). /a/ correlates with telicity of the verb and definiteness of the object and /e/ with atelicity of the verb and lack of an object or indefiniteness of the object. If the lang one day goes further I’ll think about that more.
There are very many <mood> markers in the lang. I just translate them into English without finding out linguistic labels. Negations also appear in that slot.
- sur ‘must not’
- ol ‘don’t’
- pep ‘they say’ (reportative evidential)
- mez ‘doubt’
- ker ‘must’
- ot ‘can’

In this speedlang challenge, I have no time to make infinite morphology. Action nominals, which are used with light verbs, are formed with suffix -e, which also derives abstract denominal nouns.

The basic word order is SVO. If some other participant should be promoted to topic position, the word order is XSV(O) where X stands for the promoted participant, which can well be the object.
Putt-en-y i-zap-ol-e solht-en-y.
Cats don’t eat acorns.
Solhteny putteny izapole.
‘Acorns are not eaten by cats.’

Objects can also be incorporated in the verb. Then it appears in the construct state, and usually loses number marking.
Putteny i-solht-zap-ol-e.
‘Cats don’t acorn-eat.’
Cases can however be preserved.
‘sits in the house’ (rep ‘sit’)

Locational cases express location (in, on, near) but direction (exit, stay, enter) is expressed by verbs. mesp stands for ‘jump to’
Kogze mesp-lh-a.
‘She jumped on (to) the table.’

Re: Speedlanging Challenge VII (22 - 25 September)

Posted: 25 Sep 2017 17:50
by Omzinesý
Thank you everybody! [<3]

I'll comment on your langs when I find time.