Nłōkjenkā̤itää

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Nloki
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Nłōkjenkā̤itää

Post by Nloki » 19 Jan 2019 23:13

Nłokjenkaitää (not Ą̈väriäŋką̈itää anymore) is my first conlang on this year 2019, I've been working on it since a week ago, and it's based on my very first conlang (at least, in the matter of verbal declensions and some other details).
Its main phonoaesthetical influencers are Finnish and Basque or Euskara, and also, as I mentioned before, my first conlang, Valirkeite (we should know, I wasn't aware that High Valyrian could already exist when I was just 10). I've chosen a tripartite alignment for it, but I've started feeling that split-ergativity would be also useful in this conlang, or maybe even the antipassive voice (which I haven't understood yet: how is to omit P useful to some point? I would be very thankful if someone could explain it here). 10 Cases (Intransitive, Ergative, Accusative, Genitive, Posesive, Dative, Instrumental, Locative, Ablative, Allative), Free Word Order, three Infinitives, three Numbers (Singular, Plural, Distributive)... etc. As interesting facts we could say:
-Every noun beginning with Capital Letter.
Because I love that fact from German.
-No transitive verbs beginning with Kk.
All the transitive verbs beginning with Kk evolved to begin with Hh, just because the Ergative Case declension is -k. You must be thinking "But... Didn't you wrote "Free Word-Order" before?". Well, depending on the context, Word-Order can change in order to indicate politeness, instead of having four 2nd Person pronouns. So, just in case.
Today I'm posting Phonology, and as soon as I can I'll explain Grammar and Verb Conjugation Basics.
—Phonology: Ką̈itäŋkįltiä.
/pʰ tʰ kʰ/ <p t k>
/ɸ θ s̻ ɬ h~x/ <f þ s ł h>
/ʦ~ʦ̻ k͡s̻/ <z ks>
/v~β ð ɣ/ <v d g>
/m n/ <m n>
/l j/ <l j>
/ɾ~r/ <r>

/ɪ~i u/ <i u>
/ɛ ɔ/ <e o>
/æ a/ <ä a>
—Phonotactics: Ką̈itäŋkįltiänsuǫmiä.
The syllable basic structure is CV, where C can be any consonant (except Ŋŋ and Ii (Jj is possible)) at initial position (if the preceding syllable is also CV).
Another possible and very common syllable structure is CVC, where the last consonant can only be a nasal, Ll, Ss, Rr or Hh (this last only when preceding Tt).
Other structures are:
CD(C), PcV(C) (Pc = palatalised consonant), V(C), D(C), etc.
<l> never appears at the beggining of a word; <ł> is used instead (just as the sounds they represent are different.
<i> represents /i/ when stressed and /ɪ/ when unstressed.

Thanks.
Last edited by Nloki on 08 Feb 2019 15:10, edited 7 times in total.

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Re: Äväriäŋkäitää: an introduction.

Post by Frislander » 20 Jan 2019 14:18

OK, a few things.

So ogoneks are a very odd choice as stress markers, they're pretty much always nasalisation (and in the one exception, Lithuanian, afaict they reflect old nasal vowels anyway). Secondly, given that only four of your six vowels can take ogoneks, does this mean that only those four vowels can be stressed? If so that's also very unnaturalistic, because stressed syllables universally have as many or even more vowel contrasts as unstressed ones, and if you have a different set of vowels between stressed and unstressed syllables then the unstressed vowels will also phonetically be more centralised, whereas yours seem to be the opposite.

Secondly just a presentation thing by why have you placed your labials in between your coronals and velars? Additionally you ought to place your lateral fricative with your fricatives not your approximants.

So I'd present your inventory thus

/p t k/ <p t k>
/ɸ θ s̺ ɬ x~h/ <f þ s ł h>
/v~β d~ð g~ɣ/ <v d g>
/m n ŋ/ <m n ŋ>
/l j/ <l j~i>
/ɾ~r/ <r>

/i u/ <i u>
/œ ɔ/ <e o>
/æ ɑ/ <ä a>

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Re: Äväriäŋkäitää: an introduction.

Post by Nloki » 20 Jan 2019 15:48

Frislander wrote:
20 Jan 2019 14:18
OK, a few things.

So ogoneks are a very odd choice as stress markers, they're pretty much always nasalisation (and in the one exception, Lithuanian, afaict they reflect old nasal vowels anyway).
I already knew that. Actually, I based my conlang's Romanisation from Lithuanian (at least in that aspect, the ogoneks). Now I realise that I should work more on which ways my conlang or conlinguistic family could have evolved, though I used to work on it for a while, but left it.
Frislander wrote:Secondly, given that only four of your six vowels can take ogoneks, does this mean that only those four vowels can be stressed? If so that's also very unnaturalistic, because stressed syllables universally have as many or even more vowel contrasts as unstressed ones, and if you have a different set of vowels between stressed and unstressed syllables then the unstressed vowels will also phonetically be more centralised, whereas yours seem to be the opposite.
Reason: /ɑ/ and /u/ appear always as stressed vowels, while the other four can appear whether in stressed or unstressed syllables, so I assumed that it was useful to mark stress in those four vowels with an ogonek, to distinguish them from their unstressed equivalents.
Frislander wrote:Secondly just a presentation thing by why have you placed your labials in between your coronals and velars? Additionally you ought to place your lateral fricative with your fricatives not your approximants.

So I'd present your inventory thus

/p t k/ <p t k>
/ɸ θ s̺ ɬ x~h/ <f þ s ł h>
/v~β d~ð g~ɣ/ <v d g>
/m n ŋ/ <m n ŋ>
/l j/ <l j~i>
/ɾ~r/ <r>

/i u/ <i u>
/œ ɔ/ <e o>
/æ ɑ/ <ä a>
Oh, you're right. I think I will start using your inventory organisation above to prevent myself from mixing up even more. I saw that kind of inventory template other times in this webpage, but never decided to use it. Now I think I will. Thank you for your helpful critics. Next I'll post morphology.

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Re: Ą̈väriäŋką̈itää: an introduction.

Post by gestaltist » 20 Jan 2019 17:27

Is it only an accident that the name of the language is so full of <ä> or is /æ/ generally less common than /ɑ/? Because I'd expect the more common of the two to be spelled <a>. I also agree with Fris that ogoneks are super weird as stress markers. Ávariaŋkáitaa would be way more aesthetically pleasing to me.

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Re: Ą̈väriäŋką̈itää: an introduction.

Post by Salmoneus » 20 Jan 2019 20:09

I don't see what's wrong with using ogoneks for stress. It's a consistent usage that should be perfectly easy to understand.

[and in real languages, no, they're not always used for nasalisation. They've also been used in Norse and its descendents, and in Irish and Latin, for vowel quality or length distinctions]

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Re: Ą̈väriäŋką̈itää: an introduction.

Post by gestaltist » 20 Jan 2019 22:36

Salmoneus wrote:
20 Jan 2019 20:09
I don't see what's wrong with using ogoneks for stress. It's a consistent usage that should be perfectly easy to understand.

[and in real languages, no, they're not always used for nasalisation. They've also been used in Norse and its descendents, and in Irish and Latin, for vowel quality or length distinctions]
For me it's a matter of making the romanization easier to parse. Yes, there is a language that uses <v> for the schwa, if I recall right, but nonetheless you usually expect <v> to be a labial consonant. Same with ogoneks. Obviously, it's OP's project, though, and they can romanize it however they see fit. And I agree with you that it's consistent and easy to understand - once you're involved in the project. For an occasional reader (like me), it can cause some confusion, though.

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Re: Ą̈väriäŋką̈itää: an introduction.

Post by Salmoneus » 20 Jan 2019 22:51

I'd agree if it were using <v> for a schwa - or even if it were using, say, a macron for a long vowel.

But ogoneks (/caudatas) are very rare diacritics anyway, which most English speakers don't have any instinctive meaning for, so I don't think there's an issue with repurposing them - likewise hooks, horns, rings, commas, underbreves, double acutes, and so forth. So long as you're consistent and don't do anything totally counterintuitive, I don't think it's that fair to object "but that's not how Vietnamese uses that diacritic combination!" or "but that use of ogoneks is much more like that of Lithuanian than of Polish!"...

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Re: Ą̈väriäŋką̈itää: an introduction.

Post by gestaltist » 21 Jan 2019 09:46

Cẅènyon: sorry for hijacking your thread a bit with this discussion. I remember you being a bit apprehensive due to your Quenya adventures, and I'm happy that you overcame your block and started this thread. I like what I'm seeing so far, and sorry for getting hung up on the minor detail of romanization. Let's see where you go from here. [:)]
Salmoneus wrote:
20 Jan 2019 22:51
I'd agree if it were using <v> for a schwa - or even if it were using, say, a macron for a long vowel.
Sorry Sal but you got me confused here. A macron for a long vowel is such a common thing that I really don't see how you can think it more jarring than using an ogonek for stress.
But ogoneks (/caudatas) are very rare diacritics anyway, which most English speakers don't have any instinctive meaning for
Fair point. I guess I was looking at it more from the perspective of your average conlanger (or at least a person with some linguistic exposure) than your average English speaker. And yeah, I'm Polish, so my perspective on ogoneks is bound to be different. Frislander is an English native, though, and he mentioned them first.
so I don't think there's an issue with repurposing them - likewise hooks, horns, rings, commas, underbreves, double acutes, and so forth. So long as you're consistent and don't do anything totally counterintuitive, I don't think it's that fair to object "but that's not how Vietnamese uses that diacritic combination!" or "but that use of ogoneks is much more like that of Lithuanian than of Polish!"...
Given that Lithuanian ogoneks originally did encode nasality, as you undoubtedly know, I don't think it's a good example. But yeah, point taken. From the perspective of an English speaker, ogoneks are as good as anything else. From my perspective, they're not. Cẅènyon is free to take my opinion or leave it. Same for Frislander's and yours. I still feel it's nicer to have had this conversation than to have ignored this thread with a shrug.

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Re: Ą̈väriäŋką̈itää: an introduction.

Post by Nloki » 21 Jan 2019 21:29

gestaltist wrote:
21 Jan 2019 09:46
Cẅènyon: sorry for hijacking your thread a bit with this discussion. I remember you being a bit apprehensive due to your Quenya adventures, and I'm happy that you overcame your block and started this thread. I like what I'm seeing so far, and sorry for getting hung up on the minor detail of romanization. Let's see where you go from here. [:)]
No need to apologize. I already know I'll never reach conlang naturalism and that I'm condemned to fail again, and again, and again. Not just in this, but in everithing I do. No need to answer this, never mind.
gestialist wrote:...Cẅènyon is free to take my opinion or leave it. Same for Frislander's and yours. I still feel it's nicer to have had this conversation than to have ignored this thread with a shrug.
Excuse me if I couldn't visit this thread before; I was busy, and also thinking on leaving conlanging. I thought that three years after Valirkeite I would conlang better, but you all here are a thousand times smarter than me (obviously I (should) feel stupid just for comparing myself with you all). Actually, I don't know why did I joined here, to supher even more seei

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Re: Ą̈väriäŋką̈itää: an introduction.

Post by gestaltist » 21 Jan 2019 22:11

Cẅènyon wrote:
21 Jan 2019 21:29
gestaltist wrote:
21 Jan 2019 09:46
Cẅènyon: sorry for hijacking your thread a bit with this discussion. I remember you being a bit apprehensive due to your Quenya adventures, and I'm happy that you overcame your block and started this thread. I like what I'm seeing so far, and sorry for getting hung up on the minor detail of romanization. Let's see where you go from here. [:)]
No need to apologize. I already know I'll never reach conlang naturalism and that I'm condemned to fail again, and again, and again. Not just in this, but in everithing I do. No need to answer this, never mind.
Sorry to hear you feel that way about yourself. Conlanging is supposed to be a fun hobby. There's no right or wrong way to do it, really. On this forum, most of us aim for naturalism, but it's not how you have to conlang. It's just how most of us like it. I hope you can find enjoyment in what you do: conlanging and other things. And if you really always feel like you're failing, perhaps it's time to reach out for help. I know I had to at one moment in my life...
gestalist wrote:...Cẅènyon is free to take my opinion or leave it. Same for Frislander's and yours. I still feel it's nicer to have had this conversation than to have ignored this thread with a shrug.
Excuse me if I couldn't visit this thread before; I was busy, and also thinking on leaving conlanging. I thought that three years after Valirkeite I would conlang better, but you all here are a thousand times smarter than me (obviously I (should) feel stupid just for comparing myself with you all). Actually, I don't know why did I joined here, to supher even more seei
If it's any consolation, I feel stupid comparing myself to Frislander and Salmoneus, as well. I'm sending best wishes your way.
Last edited by gestaltist on 22 Jan 2019 07:35, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ą̈väriäŋką̈itää: an introduction.

Post by Frislander » 21 Jan 2019 23:04

gestaltist wrote:
21 Jan 2019 22:11
Cẅènyon wrote:
21 Jan 2019 21:29
gestalist wrote:...Cẅènyon is free to take my opinion or leave it. Same for Frislander's and yours. I still feel it's nicer to have had this conversation than to have ignored this thread with a shrug.
Excuse me if I couldn't visit this thread before; I was busy, and also thinking on leaving conlanging. I thought that three years after Valirkeite I would conlang better, but you all here are a thousand times smarter than me (obviously I (should) feel stupid just for comparing myself with you all). Actually, I don't know why did I joined here, to supher even more seei
If it's any consolation, I feel stupid comparing myself to Frislander and Salmoneus, as well. I'm sending best wishes your way.
And also I would also like to say that I'm no exemplar of conlanging either, nothing like a titan of conlanging at all, and when I was starting out I was far less experienced, just go look at my earliest posts, or see how easily I drop projects and start new ones out of indecision and dissatisfaction. Don't beat yourself up, we're all in this together here.

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Re: Ą̈väriäŋką̈itää: an introduction.

Post by Dormouse559 » 21 Jan 2019 23:27

Cẅènyon wrote:
19 Jan 2019 23:13
I've chosen a tripartite alignment for it, but I've started feeling that split-ergativity would be also useful in this conlang, or maybe even the antipassive voice (which I haven't understood yet: how is to omit P useful to some point? I would be very thankful if someone could explain it here)
The antipassive becomes useful when viewed through the lens of an ergative language. I can't give you a comprehensive listing of the uses of the antipassive, but one of them is in coordination of clauses.

There are strong parallels to the passive voice in nominative-accusative languages, so I'll start with those. In a lot of languages (nominative-accusative and ergative-absolutive), when two clauses have the same argument in the unmarked case/role you can delete the argument in the second clause. For example, in nominative-accusative English, "John walked into the barn" and "John saw a horse" could be combined as "John walked into the barn and saw a horse." The second mention of "John" got deleted because it was in the unmarked role, corresponding to the nominative case.

But if the shared argument is in a marked case at some point, languages often don't allow deletion. If we try to combine "John walked into the barn" and "A horse kicked John" using only the active voice, we need at least a pronoun in the second clause: "John walked into the barn, and a horse kicked him (John)." That's because in the second sentence, "John" is the direct object, corresponding to the accusative case.

The passive voice allows nominative-accusative languages to promote the direct object to an unmarked case/role, making it easier to coordinate. With the passive, we can coordinate the second pair of sentences and delete the second reference to John. Here are the steps with core case roles labeled.

1) John-NOM walked into the barn. A horse-NOM kicked John-ACC.
2) John-NOM walked into the barn. John-NOM got kicked by a horse.
3) John-NOM walked into the barn and got kicked by a horse.

The antipassive plays an analogous role in ergative-absolutive languages, but since they distribute cases differently, it works on different arguments. The unmarked case in these languages, the absolutive, applies to direct objects. Meanwhile, the agents of transitive verbs are in the marked ergative. So while nominative-accusative languages have no trouble coordinating "John walked into the barn" and "John saw a horse", ergative-absolutive languages might have difficulty because "John saw a horse" is transitive, putting "John" in a marked ergative role.

The antipassive allows them to put "John" in the absolutive; in the process, "horse" is demoted to a non-core role, much like it was when the passive voice turned "A horse kicked John" into "John got kicked by a horse". Here's how the process would look if English were ergative-absolutive, with core cases and the antipassive labeled.

1) John-ABS walked into the barn. John-ERG saw the horse-ABS.
2) John-ABS walked into the barn. John-ABS saw-ANTIP the horse.
3) John-ABS walked into the barn and saw-ANTIP the horse.


I think the broad takeaway is that the passive and antipassive are as much about promoting arguments into the unmarked case as they are about deleting or demoting other arguments.

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Re: Ą̈väriäŋką̈itää: an introduction.

Post by Nloki » 02 Feb 2019 23:47

Dormouse559 wrote:
21 Jan 2019 23:27
Cẅènyon wrote:
19 Jan 2019 23:13
I've chosen a tripartite alignment for it, but I've started feeling that split-ergativity would be also useful in this conlang, or maybe even the antipassive voice (which I haven't understood yet: how is to omit P useful to some point? I would be very thankful if someone could explain it here)
The antipassive becomes useful when viewed through the lens of an ergative language. I can't give you a comprehensive listing of the uses of the antipassive, but one of them is in coordination of clauses.

There are strong parallels to the passive voice in nominative-accusative languages, so I'll start with those. In a lot of languages (nominative-accusative and ergative-absolutive), when two clauses have the same argument in the unmarked case/role you can delete the argument in the second clause. For example, in nominative-accusative English, "John walked into the barn" and "John saw a horse" could be combined as "John walked into the barn and saw a horse." The second mention of "John" got deleted because it was in the unmarked role, corresponding to the nominative case.

But if the shared argument is in a marked case at some point, languages often don't allow deletion. If we try to combine "John walked into the barn" and "A horse kicked John" using only the active voice, we need at least a pronoun in the second clause: "John walked into the barn, and a horse kicked him (John)." That's because in the second sentence, "John" is the direct object, corresponding to the accusative case.

The passive voice allows nominative-accusative languages to promote the direct object to an unmarked case/role, making it easier to coordinate. With the passive, we can coordinate the second pair of sentences and delete the second reference to John. Here are the steps with core case roles labeled.

1) John-NOM walked into the barn. A horse-NOM kicked John-ACC.
2) John-NOM walked into the barn. John-NOM got kicked by a horse.
3) John-NOM walked into the barn and got kicked by a horse.

The antipassive plays an analogous role in ergative-absolutive languages, but since they distribute cases differently, it works on different arguments. The unmarked case in these languages, the absolutive, applies to direct objects. Meanwhile, the agents of transitive verbs are in the marked ergative. So while nominative-accusative languages have no trouble coordinating "John walked into the barn" and "John saw a horse", ergative-absolutive languages might have difficulty because "John saw a horse" is transitive, putting "John" in a marked ergative role.

The antipassive allows them to put "John" in the absolutive; in the process, "horse" is demoted to a non-core role, much like it was when the passive voice turned "A horse kicked John" into "John got kicked by a horse". Here's how the process would look if English were ergative-absolutive, with core cases and the antipassive labeled.

1) John-ABS walked into the barn. John-ERG saw the horse-ABS.
2) John-ABS walked into the barn. John-ABS saw-ANTIP the horse.
3) John-ABS walked into the barn and saw-ANTIP the horse.

I think the broad takeaway is that the passive and antipassive are as much about promoting arguments into the unmarked case as they are about deleting or demoting other arguments.
And how could I fit passive or antipassive voices in a tripartite alignment (ergative, accusative and unmarked intransitive)? Can both voices coexist in a language's verbal system?

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Re: Ą̈väriäŋką̈itää: an introduction.

Post by Dormouse559 » 03 Feb 2019 01:01

Cẅènyon wrote:
02 Feb 2019 23:47
And how could I fit passive or antipassive voices in a tripartite alignment (ergative, accusative and unmarked intransitive)? Can both voices coexist in a language's verbal system?
Yes. It happens that the passive is more readily useful in nominative-accusative languages, and the antipassive is more so in ergative-absolutive, but there's no reason why one language can't have both. They're just means of moving different arguments in or out of the unmarked case role.

Tripartite languages are well-suited to have both voices, and they fit in much like they would in nominative or ergative languages. The only unmarked argument in a tripartite language is the subject of an intransitive verb. The passive and antipassive both result in intransitive constructions, so it's a perfect match.

To take the coordination examples from before, a tripartite language that prohibits coordination with marked arguments wouldn't allow coordination of either sentence pair without modification.

It would use the passive to coordinate "John walked into the barn. A horse kicked John." And it would use the antipassive with "John walked into the barn. John saw a horse." Here are the step-by-step processes, with core cases and antipassive labeled. We'll call the unmarked case "intransitive" or NTR.

Passive:
John-NTR walked into the barn. A horse-ERG kicked John-ACC.
John-NTR walked into the barn. John-NTR got kicked by a horse.
John-NTR walked into the barn and got kicked by a horse.

Antipassive:
John-NTR walked into the barn. John-ERG saw a horse-ACC.
John-NTR walked into the barn. John-NTR saw-ANTIP a horse.
John-NTR walked into the barn and saw-ANTIP a horse.

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Re: Ą̈väriäŋką̈itää: an introduction.

Post by Nloki » 03 Feb 2019 10:24

Dormouse559 wrote:
03 Feb 2019 01:01
Cẅènyon wrote:
02 Feb 2019 23:47
And how could I fit passive or antipassive voices in a tripartite alignment (ergative, accusative and unmarked intransitive)? Can both voices coexist in a language's verbal system?
Yes. It happens that the passive is more readily useful in nominative-accusative languages, and the antipassive is more so in ergative-absolutive, but there's no reason why one language can't have both. They're just means of moving different arguments in or out of the unmarked case role.

Tripartite languages are well-suited to have both voices, and they fit in much like they would in nominative or ergative languages. The only unmarked argument in a tripartite language is the subject of an intransitive verb. The passive and antipassive both result in intransitive constructions, so it's a perfect match.

To take the coordination examples from before, a tripartite language that prohibits coordination with marked arguments wouldn't allow coordination of either sentence pair without modification.

It would use the passive to coordinate "John walked into the barn. A horse kicked John." And it would use the antipassive with "John walked into the barn. John saw a horse." Here are the step-by-step processes, with core cases and antipassive labeled. We'll call the unmarked case "intransitive" or NTR.

Passive:
John-NTR walked into the barn. A horse-ERG kicked John-ACC.
John-NTR walked into the barn. John-NTR got kicked by a horse.
John-NTR walked into the barn and got kicked by a horse.

Antipassive:
John-NTR walked into the barn. John-ERG saw a horse-ACC.
John-NTR walked into the barn. John-NTR saw-ANTIP a horse.
John-NTR walked into the barn and saw-ANTIP a horse.
And how should we mark the argument that passes to a non-core role in both voices (in this case, "a horse")? Which core case would be added or used in order to mark it?

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Re: Ą̈väriäŋką̈itää: an introduction.

Post by gestaltist » 03 Feb 2019 12:00

Dormouse559 wrote:
03 Feb 2019 01:01
John-NTR walked into the barn. John-NTR saw-ANTIP a horse.
John-NTR walked into the barn and saw-ANTIP a horse.
I feel that something is missing from your example. With an antipassive, the horse would have to be removed or demoted to an oblique, right? Here it looks like it's still a transitive sentence. I feel one of the two would be a better example:

Code: Select all

John-NTR walked into the barn. John-NTR saw-ANTIP at a horse.
John-NTR walked into the barn and saw-ANTIP at a horse.
(Using "at" as an example preposition to reintroduce the horse as an oblique argument.)

or have the language be topic prominent and drop the topic later in the sentence:

Code: Select all

Horse-TOP, John-NTR walked into the barn and saw-ANTIP.
Or have I misunderstood you?

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Re: Ą̈väriäŋką̈itää: an introduction.

Post by Dormouse559 » 03 Feb 2019 20:42

Cẅènyon wrote:
03 Feb 2019 10:24
And how should we mark the argument that passes to a non-core role in both voices (in this case, "a horse")? Which core case would be added or used in order to mark it?
We'd mark it with a non-core case, or by some other method, like the prepositions a lot of European languages use (EDIT: in their passive-voice constructions). English doesn't have an antipassive construction, so there's not a ready way to show that in the antipassive sentences, but I probably should have just put another glossing abbreviation in. Like so:

John-NTR walked into the barn and saw-ANTIP a horse-OBL.
gestaltist wrote:
03 Feb 2019 12:00
Or have I misunderstood you?
Sorry, I just didn't make my examples clear enough. I agree with your additions. I think my answer to Cẅènyon's question also clarifies things.

Nloki
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Re: Nłokjenkaitää discussion thread.

Post by Nloki » 05 Feb 2019 17:10

Ok so that's clear now, thank you. Now I have another doubt: is it effective to some point to mark noun definiteness sintactically instead of using a declension?
And another question: in a language with more than one noun declension, are cases' suffixes very different between a declension and another? Applying that to my conlang would make it look more naturalistic?

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Dormouse559
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Re: Nłokjenkaitää discussion thread.

Post by Dormouse559 » 05 Feb 2019 19:34

Cẅènyon wrote:
05 Feb 2019 17:10
Ok so that's clear now, thank you. Now I have another doubt: is it effective to some point to mark noun definiteness sintactically instead of using a declension?
I see no reason why not. What were you thinking of in particular?

Cẅènyon wrote:And another question: in a language with more than one noun declension, are cases' suffixes very different between a declension and another? Applying that to my conlang would make it look more naturalistic?
That's language-dependent. I suppose if the case affixes become too similar, you might no longer have a reason to talk about separate declensions (again, depends on the language), but otherwise, the affixes can vary to any degree.

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Re: Nłokjenkaitää discussion thread.

Post by gestaltist » 05 Feb 2019 21:54

Cẅènyon wrote:
05 Feb 2019 17:10
Ok so that's clear now, thank you. Now I have another doubt: is it effective to some point to mark noun definiteness sintactically instead of using a declension?
I'm curious what you have in mind. Sounds like a cool idea.
And another question: in a language with more than one noun declension, are cases' suffixes very different between a declension and another? Applying that to my conlang would make it look more naturalistic?
Not necessarily. Usually, there would've been only one declension at one point in your language and it would split into multiple declensions due to historical processes. However, since that point of divergence could've been thousands of years in the past, this can become very blurry. (Unless you mean declensions in the sense of different patterns for different genders, for example. In that case, the "original" historical morphemes could've been different to begin with.)

To give you an example in an ad hoc bogus conlang: let's say your language used to have an Accusative suffix -i
Let's take a few roots at that stage of the language: sat, san, sin, sub. So at this proto-stage, there would've been one, perfectly regular declension:

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kasat, kasati	kasan, kasani	kasin, kasini	kasub, kasubi	kasuk, kasuki	kakik, kakiki
Now let's say that widespread palatalization of coronals happens if they are followed by -i. You get:

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kasat, kasat͜ʃi	kasan, kasaɲi	kaʃin, kaʃiɲi	kasub, kasubi	kasuk, kasuki	kakik, kakiki
Here, you could still say it's a single declension but with one irregularity: coronals get palatalized.

At a later stage in the language, a final -i also affects the quality of the vowel, fronting and raising it. You get the following:

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kasat, kaset͜ʃi	kasan, kaseɲi kaʃin, kaʃiɲi	kasub, kaʃibi kasuk, kaʃiki	kakik, kakiki
and in the next stage, the final -i disappears:

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kasat, kaset͜ʃ	kasan, kaseɲ kaʃin, kaʃiɲ	kasub, kaʃib	kasuk, kaʃik	kakik, kakik
At this point - is it still one declension or multiple? It's a matter of analysis.At the very least, you got a class of words which lost the accusative case. You could still present unified rules of declension (change of final vowel + palatalization of final coronal) or you could make tables with the possible options.

However, let's say there is nasalization spread, and widespread lenition of final voiced consonants at the next stage:

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kasat, kaset͜ʃ	kasã, kasẽ kaʃĩ, kaʃĩ	kasu, kaʃi	kasuk, kaʃik	kakik, kakik
At this point, I'd say you can justifiably say that you have multiple declensions: a class of words with no accusative (always ending in -i(C) or -ĩ(C)), a -at/-et͜ʃ declension, etc.

This is obviously super simplified; I just wanted to illustrate how declensions come to be historically. It doesn't mean that you have to work out the whole historical process but there should be some rhyme and reason to the patterns you have. (But as I said, if that original divergence point is very far to the past, it might not matter that much anymore...)

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