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brblues
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BLSL thread

Post by brblues » 08 Jul 2019 14:22

In this thread, I will be presenting a conlang I've been working on for a bit already, and the setting of which is a collabworld project. I haven't yet decided on the geographical and chronological setting yet, other than it is quite a bit in the past of the collabworld, so I will be skipping the background of the language, skipping straight to the boring stuff, the phonology :p

Phonology

Inventory

Image
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Allophonies:
/s/ and /z/ > [ʃ] and [ʒ] before front vowels /i/, /e/ and /ɛ/
/u/ > [ɯ] unless preceded by labials /m/, /b/ and /p/

The allophonies might look a bit meager, and I am debating even removing those as I have kind of outsourced all the allophony rules to a sound change applier along with the diachronic changes. Given that I conceptualized this lang mostly as the baseline for future versions, I was thinking a simpler approach might work better even if it is somewhat unnaturalistic, as I could just put the "pure" baseline sentences through the sound changes to get something more like how it was actually spoken.

Phonotactics:
CV(C)

My simplicity-based approach is also reflected in the - at this stage - only rule for phonotactics.

I will soon be posting some jucier stuff about the grammar - the basic specifications are: SOV language using nominative-accusative alignment, with an asymmetric case system, split between animate and inanimate nouns, based on postpositions and suffixes. Heavy use of converbs, which employ switch reference. [:D]
Last edited by brblues on 11 Jul 2019 21:13, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: BLSL thread

Post by brblues » 08 Jul 2019 19:21

Nouns

Grammatical number

While BLSL nouns have no grammatical gender, there has been the fairly recent development of forming inflected plurals by suffixing different collective nouns (according to semantic criteria) to nouns to make various differentiations in grammatical number.

Before this development, plurals were formed by reduplication, dropping the syllable coda, if any; this is no longer productive. In BSLS, the reduplicated forms that are still used fall into one of three categories:

Before this development, plurals were formed by reduplication of the first syllable, dropping the syllable coda, if any; this is no longer productive. In BSLS, the reduplicated forms that are still used fall into one of two categories:

a) The reduplicated form may have acquired a new meaning – some examples below:

Singular noun Meaning Reduplicated Meaning

/tas/ = “water”; /tatas/ = “ocean”
/sum/ = “beginning”; /susum/ = “reason”
/ʔud/ “thread” / “string”; /ʔuʔud/ = “net(work)” / “environment” / “nature”

b) The reduplicated form is still used as plural, e.g. /ɣuɣ/ = “eye”; /ɣu.ɣuɣ/ = “eyes”

Here's a table of the innovative and productive suffixes now used to form grammatical number:

Image

Inserting “mɛka(hɛ)” (= “full”) between the root and the plural suffix derived from a collective word is a way to nominally express “the full collection of”, i.e. “all”:

kasaki-mɛka-sig sazon he
priest-full-PL beard COP.INAL
“All priests have beards”

An adverbial way of expressing the same thing would be:

kasaki-sig sazon gabo he
priest-PL beard all.ADV COP.INAL
“Priests all have beards”
Last edited by brblues on 01 Sep 2019 18:50, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: BLSL thread

Post by Shemtov » 09 Jul 2019 22:08

brblues wrote:
08 Jul 2019 19:21
Nouns

Grammatical number

While BLSL nouns have no grammatical gender, there has been the fairly recent development of forming inflected plurals by suffixing different collective nouns (according to semantic criteria) to nouns to make various differentiations in grammatical number.

Before this development, plurals were formed by reduplication, dropping the syllable coda, if any; this is no longer productive. In BSLS, the reduplicated forms that are still used fall into one of three categories:

Before this development, plurals were formed by reduplication of the first syllable, dropping the syllable coda, if any; this is no longer productive. In BSLS, the reduplicated forms that are still used fall into one of three categories:

a) For animate nouns, the reduplicated form serves as a generic form of the noun:

ʔo-ʔon.saz lu.lu.mɛ sɛ-sa.som
REDUP-man often NEG-listens
“Men often don’t listen!”

b) The reduplicated form may have acquired a new meaning – some examples below:

Singular noun Meaning Reduplicated Meaning

/tas/ = “water”; /tatas/ = “ocean”
/do/ = “line” / “length”; /dodo/ = “angle”
/sum/ = “beginning”; /susum/ = “reason”
/ʔud/ “thread” / “string”; /ʔuʔud/ = “net(work)” / “environment” / “nature”

c) The reduplicated form is still used as plural, e.g. /ɣuɣ/ = “eye”; /ɣu.ɣuɣ/ = “eyes”

The innovative - and productive - suffixes used for the new plurals will follow in a list, as I am currently struggling to enter the table I made in my document!
I like this idea. I created a family were the protolang created plurals the same way as your language used to. One daughter has dropped plurals entirely, so do you mind if I "steal" use b to create new vocabulary for the daughter (the old plural for "Animal hide" now means "Trousers" for example)?
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: BLSL thread

Post by yangfiretiger121 » 10 Jul 2019 03:33

brblues wrote:
08 Jul 2019 14:22
In this thread, I will be presenting a conlang I've been working on for a bit already, and the setting of which is a collabworld project. I haven't yet decided on the geographical and chronological setting yet, other than it is quite a bit in the past of the collabworld, so I will be skipping the background of the language, skipping straight to the boring stuff, the phonology :p

Phonology

Inventory

Image
image uploader

Allophonies
[s z > ʃ ʒ] before front vowels [i e ɛ]
[u > ɯ] unless preceded by labials [m p b]

The allophonies might look a bit meager, and I am debating even removing those as I have kind of outsourced all the allophony rules to a sound change applier along with the diachronic changes. Given that I conceptualized this lang mostly as the baseline for future versions, I was thinking a simpler approach might work better even if it is somewhat unnaturalistic, as I could just put the "pure" baseline sentences through the sound changes to get something more like how it was actually spoken
Allophones are indicated as [sounds], not /phonemes/. And, the high back vowel allophony is [ɯ > u], not the stated [u > ɯ].
Alien conlangs (Font may be needed for Vai symbols)

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Re: BLSL thread

Post by brblues » 11 Jul 2019 19:23

Shemtov wrote:
09 Jul 2019 22:08

I like this idea. I created a family were the protolang created plurals the same way as your language used to. One daughter has dropped plurals entirely, so do you mind if I "steal" use b to create new vocabulary for the daughter (the old plural for "Animal hide" now means "Trousers" for example)?
Sure go ahead, I'm glad you like it [:D]

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Re: BLSL thread

Post by brblues » 11 Jul 2019 21:28

I've edited my post about nouns to add the table of grammatical number suffixes, and also corrected the notation of allophones; however, I'm thinking about actually doing away with allophones altogether for now, and I would then just put the allophonies in as the very first diachronic changes, we will see.

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Re: BLSL thread

Post by brblues » 12 Jul 2019 19:26

Cases

BLSL was an SOV language using nominative-accusative alignment, but without morphological marking of the accusative (nor the nominative cas). Its case system was asymmetric to an extraordinary degree, split between animate and inanimate nouns.

Nouns take the following case suffixes:

ANIMATE SUFFIXES

GENITIVE alienable
GENITIVE inalienable he
DATIVE o
ABLATIVE xi

INANIMATE SUFFIXES

INSTRUMENTAL du
LOCATIVE
LATIVE bo
ABLATIVE mɛʔu

A further important restriction is that only animate nouns can act as agent; inanimate are used with the instrumental postposition "-du", plus either an animate agent or the dummy agent "kiku”, as illustrated by the following examples:

/ɣis.te-du ki.ku sig-hɛ sot-mɛ ɣuɣ.za.lig pɛlma-mɛ/
apple-INSTR ‘DUMMY AGENT’ 1PL.EXC-GEN.ALIEN house-LOC window BREAK-PFV


“Somebody broke the window of our house with an apple.”

This strategy, employing an unnamed dummy agent, here translated as “somebody”, is always used if an inanimate noun is to act as semantic agent. The example also illustrates that locative cases, primarily LOC, but also ABL, are used to express possessive relationships involving inanimate possessors.

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Re: BLSL thread

Post by brblues » 12 Jul 2019 21:32

Copulas

There exist various copulas:

Image

Sorry for the image, but turns out I am too lazy to format tables here, and I'm not even sure how it works :?:

Some further examples, all from a translation exercise on here in the relevant sub-forum:


(ki) lum.bo.ki kun
3SG.ANIM fisher COP
"He is a fisherman."

“kun” is the copula for “noun = noun” constructions; personal pronouns are frequently dropped.

(ki) ma.hɛ
3SG.ANIM ‘to be strong’
"S/he is strong."

Stative verbs are used for predicative adjectives

(ki) mu-he ki.ʔud.ki kun
3SG.ANIM 1SG-GEN.INAL spouse COP
"He is my husband."

This uses the same construction as the “fisherman” example above.

(ki) mu-he sot mɛhɛ
3SG.ANIM 1SG-GEN.INAL house ‘to be located in’
"He is in my house."

A locative verb is employed here – that is, a stative verb that expresses the location “at / inside / near”, with the location as direct object.

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Re: BLSL thread

Post by brblues » 12 Jul 2019 22:06

Verbs

Verb types


All BLSL verbs (including the verb-like adjectives) are derived from a combination of a noun and a suffixed dummy verb or copula:

Image

Negation

The general form of negation is to add the negative prefix “-” to the verb. In addition to this verbal negation, nouns may carry the negative suffix “-” to restrict the scope of negation in more detail.

Example:

/tas-du-sɛ kiku mu-he nuz sɛ-katma-mɛ/
water-INSTR-NEG ‘DUMMY AGENT’ 1sg-GEN friend NEG-kill-PFV


"It wasn't water that killed my friend"

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Re: BLSL thread

Post by Nachtuil » 17 Jul 2019 15:28

brblues wrote:
12 Jul 2019 21:32
Copulas

There exist various copulas:

Image

Sorry for the image, but turns out I am too lazy to format tables here, and I'm not even sure how it works :?:

Some further examples, all from a translation exercise on here in the relevant sub-forum:


(ki) lum.bo.ki kun
3SG.ANIM fisher COP
"He is a fisherman."

“kun” is the copula for “noun = noun” constructions; personal pronouns are frequently dropped.

(ki) ma.hɛ
3SG.ANIM ‘to be strong’
"S/he is strong."

Stative verbs are used for predicative adjectives

(ki) mu-he ki.ʔud.ki kun
3SG.ANIM 1SG-GEN.INAL spouse COP
"He is my husband."

This uses the same construction as the “fisherman” example above.

(ki) mu-he sot mɛhɛ
3SG.ANIM 1SG-GEN.INAL house ‘to be located in’
"He is in my house."

A locative verb is employed here – that is, a stative verb that expresses the location “at / inside / near”, with the location as direct object.
I have no idea how to do tables on here either.

I like what you've been doing. I like the distinction between alienable and inalienable possession you have and up above the old plural system having ceased to be productive but still being relevant is cool.

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Re: BLSL thread

Post by brblues » 18 Jul 2019 19:03

Nachtuil wrote:
17 Jul 2019 15:28

I like what you've been doing. I like the distinction between alienable and inalienable possession you have and up above the old plural system having ceased to be productive but still being relevant is cool.
Thank you! I don't even like alienable vs inalienable possession that much just in itself, but it gave me a neat way for forming two different kinds of stative verbs (=verb-like adjectives), namely that adjectives like "scary" (a characteristic, possibly?) are derived from the inalienable possession marker, while ones like "scared" (more like an actual state) come from the alienable marker.

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Re: BLSL thread

Post by brblues » 23 Jul 2019 16:26

I made a minor change in the section on grammatical number, deleting the reduplicated form as generic plural for animates, and at the end of the same section added a whole new way of saying "all" nominally (in addition to the adverbial way, which I think I hadn't presented before either).

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Re: BLSL thread

Post by brblues » 23 Jul 2019 16:35

Let's continue with the verbs, which I'd already started, to come to aspect and tense. This will actually be really straightforward!

Tense and aspect


Tense and aspect are marked by suffixes on the verb; while the markers, each of which is specific to either tense or aspect, most often occur individually with a verb, they usually encode a specific combination of tense and aspect.


PFV: -mɛ => Perfective past
IPFV: -ka => Habitual present
IPFV + PST: -kali => Imperfect (imperfective past)
PST: -li => Past in subordinate clause
FUT: -bo(lu) => Future

Here are examples, although ones for the "-li" suffix still have to wait till after I've introduced relative clauses:

sa lu-mɛ sohe kiki inudhe-ka-li
DEM.DIST time-LOC many people be.lazy-IPFV-PST
“In that time, many people were lazy/wasteful.”

sothuka xiʔo nuɣehɛ-nɛ pima-mɛ
Sothuka REFL annoy-and say-PFV
“Sothuka [name of a deity] got angry, and said:.”

kiki tagoma-bolu
people teach-FUT
“I will teach the people!”
Last edited by brblues on 26 Jul 2019 21:37, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: BLSL thread

Post by brblues » 26 Jul 2019 19:15

I'm in the mood for some mood!

Imperative-jussive mood

The sole true morphological mood divorced from the tense-aspect suffixes is the imperative-jussive mood, which is formed by suffixing the personal pronoun to the verb, deleting “ma”; only “-ma”-verbs can be used in this mood.


Cause I haven't touched on this yet, here are the personal pronouns:

1SG /mu/
2SG /dɛx/
3SG ANIM /ki/
3SG INANIM /ʔe/

1PL INC /mu.’nɛ.dɛx/
1PL EXC /’sig/
2PL /'dɛxdɛx/
3PL ANIM /'kisig/
3PL INANIM /'ʔeʔe/


Second person imperatives are straightforward, and simply imply a command to the addressee(s):

/ton-dɛx - ton-sɛ-dɛxdɛx/
help-2sg help-NEG-2pl
“Help!” - “Don’t help!”


The following example contains some grammar stuff which I haven't covered yet, but I still wanted to share it :D

/sotma dɛx-o nolishɛ-ʔul-ʔe mu-o mi.mil.’su.mɛ mɛʔuma-dɛx/
live 2sg-DAT be.desirable-COND-DS 1sg-DAT here go.away.from-IMP
“Come with me if you want to live!”*
* Dative doubles as comitative.

By suffixing 1st person pronouns, jussive forms can be formed for the 1st person – with a change in meaning:

/ton-mu/
help-1SG
"I hope I can help” / ”I want to help”


/ton-sɛ-sig/
help-NEG-1PL.EXC

“We don’t want to help” / “I hope we won’t have to help”

/ton-sɛ-munɛdɛx/
help-NEG-1PL.INC
“We don’t want to help” / “I hope we won’t have to help”

/ton-mudɛx/
help-1pl.INC
“I hope we can help” / “We want to “help” / “Let’s help”

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Re: BLSL thread

Post by brblues » 27 Jul 2019 13:25

Verbs of motion and locative verbs


Verbs of motion encoding direction are formed by using the dynamic verbal ending “ma”, suffixed onto locative case postpositions (as well as combinations thereof); similarly, so-called “locative verbs” are formed by suffixing the stative endings “hɛ” and “he”, respectively.

Image

A verb for putting something in a specific location can be formed by simply inserting “da” before the verbal suffix /ma/.

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Re: BLSL thread

Post by brblues » 01 Sep 2019 19:09

Converbs

In BLSL, converb suffixes were added to a verb infinitive to express coordinating and subordinating senses. All the converbs have different forms depending on whether the subject argument for the converb is identical to that of the finite verb (same subject, SS) or not (different subject, DS).

Different strategies are employed to differentiate between SS and DS on converbs:

a) Some converb suffixes have completely different forms; those are most often derived from different case endings, with the SS form being derived from a case restricted to inanimate nouns, and the DS form from a case sufffix for animate nouns.

Example: The causal converb uses “ʔo” from the dative case (only used with animate nouns) and “mɛʔu” from the ablative case (only used with inanimate nouns) endings for the SS and DS endings, respectively.

b) Other converbs use a base form suffix to express SS, and then suffix the additional DS ending to this base form. This DS ending is identical to the proximal demonstrative adjective “ʔe” (singular; the plural is “ʔeʔe”). It is important to note that the suffix agrees in number with the subject of the finite verb, and not that of the converb itself.

One example of a converb in use:

Simultaneous CVB “nɛ(ʔe[ʔe])” (derived from conjunction “nɛ” = “and”)


/tagoki-sig donam-ɣuz toɣoma-nɛ xilsɛma-ka-li/
student-PL ‘wax tablet’-PL write-CVB quiet-IPFV-PST
“The students were quiet while writing on tablets.”

/tagoki toɣoma-nɛ-ʔe tagohu xilsɛma-ka-li/
student write-CVB-DS teacher quiet-IPFV-PST
“While the student was writing, the teacher was quiet.”

/tagoki toɣoma-nɛ-ʔe-ʔe tagohu-sig xilsɛma-ka-li/
student write-CVB-DS-PL teacher-PL quiet-IPFV-PST
"While the student was writing, the teachers were quiet.”


As the DS marker derives from the demonstrative “ʔe(ʔe)”, which referred to the following noun phrase (i.e. the argument of the finite verb) it agrees in number with the argument of the finite verb.

The imperfective aspect combined with the adverb /kalu/ (“always) expresses “every time / whenever” – however, /kalu/ can also be dropped and the interpretation left to context:

(/kalu/) /sumhebat sɛ-pisom-nɛ-ʔe mu ɣiɣsom-ka/
(always) Sumhebat NEG-smile-CVB-DS 1SG see-IPFV
“Whenever I see Sumhebat he is not smiling” = “I’ve never seen him smile”.

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