Conlang breakthroughs thread

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LinguistCat
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Conlang breakthroughs thread

Post by LinguistCat » 06 Dec 2018 04:29

This is a thread when you've been trying to decide something about a conlang for a long time, and most of the options you've found or were suggested just don't seem right, and then you hit upon something that fits perfectly.

For my cat language based on Old Japanese, I actually had two problems: I didn't know what I wanted to do with the prenasalized consonants, and I was concerned that certain sound changes I had would completely get rid of /r/, as they turned it into other things.

And then this post reminded me that nasals, especially /n/ itself, often become rhoticized, so I could have /mb nd ŋg/ become /m n ŋ/ at least conditionally, and then /n/ > /r/ at least conditionally. Possibly with /nz/ changing to /n/ at some later point if there's too much of a hole otherwise.

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Shemtov
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Re: Conlang breakthroughs thread

Post by Shemtov » 06 Dec 2018 20:16

I was doing a diachronic project, and while thinking about the pronoun system, I was reading about Scottish Gaelic grammar,and decided that the daughter should evolve a reflexive along the lines of SG.
This isn't what you were thinking of, but I think I'm the first conlanger to create a Romani dialect
Many children make up, or begin to make up, imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.
-JRR Tolkien

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KaiTheHomoSapien
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Re: Conlang breakthroughs thread

Post by KaiTheHomoSapien » 14 Dec 2018 02:16

Due to my indecisive nature, I'm constantly agonizing over conlanging decisions. I still don't know if I want Lihmelinyan to have /b/ as a phoneme. I almost never use it and I'm thinking of eliminating it altogether (in favor of /f/ and /p/), but I'll have to think about it some more. [>_<]

I did finally decide that most athematic verbs will not ablaut within tenses; that's too much ablaut and Lihmelinyan is "ablauty" enough as it is. While my verbal system is based on PIE, it is not a direct copy of it, as the PIE system of verbs being either imperfective or perfective does not work well with my more Latin-like system of a single large verbal paradigm containing all the aspects.

I also decided recently that Lihmelinyan will have word-final laryngeals. Lihmelinyan preserves all laryngeals except syllabic ones (which it turns into /a/ or /e/). That means I have to go back and change some declension tables I made!
Don't live to conlang; conlang to live.

My conlang: Image Lihmelinyan

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Re: Conlang breakthroughs thread

Post by brblues » 16 Dec 2018 20:56

KaiTheHomoSapien wrote:
14 Dec 2018 02:16
Due to my indecisive nature, I'm constantly agonizing over conlanging decisions.

Same here, and I do go back and forth on decisions too and change everything constantly. It helps somewhat to put all the discarded options into an "abandoned ideas" scratchpad, so I could revisit them, and maybe at one point make the kitchen sink lang to end all kitchen sinks and conlangs, namely a sinklang containing only the ideas I rejected for my actual kitchen sink lang :D

One topic I had been undecided about forever was whether and how to make ergative arguments definite/indefinite.

The verbs in my ERG-ABS lang have an obligatory prefix that marks transitivity and the definiteness of the absolutive argument, so the ergative argument is always unmarked for definiteness. Wasn't sure whether to just always leave it ambiguous or find some way of dealing witwh it, but today two ideas occurred to me at once - either an antipassive voice or productive noun-incorporation. Either would make the verb intransitive and the previously ergative argument absolutive, allowing marking for definiteness marking.

It was a no brainer to go with the former, simply because it meant I did not need to agonize about how to form the antipassive - the antipassive will thus be relegated to my "abandoned ideas" pile!

An example can be found at the end of today's Lexember post (in which I summarized the whole past week...): viewtopic.php?p=286416#p286416
Spoiler:
Pnangvaş şáꞥ, gómas bag à-fádó-qe
winter LOC ERG.bear food TR.INDEF-hunt-NEG

"In winter, bears do not hunt for food"

Since the verbal prefix marks definiteness of the absolutive argument only, ergative nouns are by default "neutral" in that regard, that is, definiteness must be deduced from context. In order to clarify this, the direct object can be incorporated into the verb, with the object merging with the verb after the verbal prefix (as they are now part of the verb, the vowels in the noun are all fronted).

If we, in the above case, now want to clarify that we are actually speaking about a specific bear, the direct object "bag" ("food") would be incorporated (fronting the back vowel "a" to "á"), thereby changing the verb from a transitive to an intransitive one, and the bear - now the absolutive argument - can be specified as being definite or indefinite!

Pnangvaş şáꞥ, gomas ì-bág-fádó-qe
winter LOC ABS.bear INTR.DEF-food-hunt-NEG

"This bear does not hunt in winter."

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eldin raigmore
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Re: Conlang breakthroughs thread

Post by eldin raigmore » 16 Dec 2018 23:17

Maybe go with something like a nineteen-tubs system for abandoned ideas.

Label seven tubs with the names of the days of the week.
When you abandon an idea put your work on it in the tub for that day.

Label another twelve tubs with the names of the months of the year.
When you’re putting something in a weekday’s tub you may notice something already in it that’s been there over a week.
When you’ve left an idea alone for over a week, put it in the tub for that month.

When you reconsider an idea, pull it out of its tub. If you re-abandon it, put it in the tub for that day, not the tub you got it out of.

When you notice scratchwork etc. for an idea you’ve done nothing with, not even reconsidering it, for over a year, discard it permanently.

—————

Your landlord, or whoever lives with you, might insist on some modifications or refinements to such a system.

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Re: Conlang breakthroughs thread

Post by Shemtov » 23 Dec 2018 20:14

I wasn't thinking of adjectives, heck, some details of adjective morphology in the language are still undecided, but I was reading about Italian syntax and decided I want to do something similair with the adjective syntax in nĆaulaosz. Actually,it's gotten me thinking about adjectives in nĆauloasz in general, and since I started typing this, I think I've got the morphology hammered out- at least I have a better idea of what I want then when I started.
Many children make up, or begin to make up, imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.
-JRR Tolkien

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Re: Conlang breakthroughs thread

Post by Cẅènyon » 13 Jan 2019 20:33

Since November 2018, when I started focusing on Quenya, I began trying to make my conlangs as similar as possible to it, which led me to disaster. I kept some time focused on Quenya, but then I realised that I was just going to lose all my conlanging skills and now I'm trying to remake something original, which probably wont success for another time.
Trying to found which reasons had led me to this situation, I found that the guiltiest was orthography. Some problems are:
-Cc or Kk: not sure whether of those use as standard.
-Not sure if /β/ can coexist with /v/ without misprnouncing.
-Not sure what I want my orthography to look like.
Actually, these problems are probably making conlanging a nightmare to me.
Thanks.

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Shemtov
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Re: Conlang breakthroughs thread

Post by Shemtov » 14 Jan 2019 21:50

I was trying to think about the Aimdulite mood system. I knew I wanted it to be heavy on Epistemic and Evidentiality, but I wasn't sure how to implement the system. Then, on Saturday, for some reason, it clicked!
Many children make up, or begin to make up, imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.
-JRR Tolkien

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LinguistCat
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Re: Conlang breakthroughs thread

Post by LinguistCat » 15 Jan 2019 04:18

I might keep notes on computer but I might do better working things out and seeing what I want to do with sound and grammar changes by writing things out on paper. This is as much a break through as anything else

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