Random ideas: Morphosyntax

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eldin raigmore
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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by eldin raigmore » 28 Jun 2017 04:33

Creyeditor wrote:So, this is not really morphosyntax, but I did not know where to put it. I made up a system of discourse particles while preparing for an exam tomorrow. The system is kind of engelang-y, because it is modelled after a several formal pragmatic theories and very regular. On the other hand it is naturalistic in the sense that all of the factors are used in some natlang. The words in <> are actually just fillers taken from Indonesian and modified from German. What do you think?

Discourse particles
Name (Gloss) Rough Translation <filler>

New information:
alternative particle (DP.ALT) What I am going to say is not the only possibility, but it's the one I consider true: <dong>
question under discussion particle (DP.QUD) I think the following is what you want to know from me right now; As you might wanna know, ... <lah>
important particle (DP.IMP) The following might be important to you in general: <ya>

Old information:
expectation particle (DP.EXP) As you expected me to say, ... <kah>
community membership particle, world knowledge particle (DP.CM) As we both know, because we share the same background, <hal>
premention particle (DP.PM) As one of us already said a while ago, ... <ne>
recent premention particle (DP.RPM) As one of us recently said, ... <si>
physical copresence particle (DP.PC) As we saw a while ago, ... <so>
recent physical copresence particle (DP.RPC) As we saw recently, ... <doh>
prominent physical copresence particle (DP.PPC) As we cleary saw a while ago, ... <em>
recent prominent physical copresence particle (DP.RPPC) As we saw recently, clearly ... <den>

....
I really like it! That's what I think!
It reminds me of the "executants" in Rob Chilson's stories, and of a comic I saw that took place in future Singapore with characters who spoke "Singlish".

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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by Creyeditor » 28 Jun 2017 21:41

Yep, Singlish and Indonesian have very similar discourse particles. Espcially -lah comes to mind.
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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by LinguoFranco » 30 Jun 2017 14:39

What would you think of a topic-prominent language that marks the topic with a circumfix, so you know exactly where the topic word begins and ends, and that everything after that is the comment?

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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by Creyeditor » 30 Jun 2017 14:41

Would that mean that word order is relatively free?
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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by eldin raigmore » 30 Jun 2017 16:27

LinguoFranco wrote:What would you think of a topic-prominent language that marks the topic with a circumfix, so you know exactly where the topic word begins and ends, and that everything after that is the comment?
  • Spoiler:
    I.
    • I.A. Isn't a circumfixflex a written glyph, not a spoken something?
    • I.B. Or do you mean a spoken diacritic?
      • I.B.1.
        • I.B.1.a. Such as a rise-fall peaking tone?
        • I.B.1.b. Or a fall-rise dipping tone?
      • I.B.2. And which syllable would it be on?
        • I.B.2.a The whole word?
        • I.B.2.b.The primarily-stressed syllable?
        • I.B.2.c. Both the first heavy syllable and the last heavy syllable, if the topic word had two heavy syllables?
        • I.B.2.d.Or what?
  • II. Why must the topic necessarily be a single word?
Even where topics are always noun-phrases, they're not always single words; or are they?
Can't complement-clauses be topics?
Or nominalized things?

There are languages with a "given-new" sentence structure -- similar to a "topic-focus" or "ground-kontrast" organization -- with "transitional material".
"Given" can be interpreted broadly or narrowly; "new" also can be interpreted broadly or narrowly.
Material that's in the overlap between "broad given" and "broad new", or (perhaps synonymously?) in the gap between "narrow given" and "narrow new", is called "transitional material".

Have you ever heard of that?
Edit: LinguoFranco wrote "circumfix".
I mis-read it as "circumflex". [:$]
And then I even went and typed "circumfix" myself in my response! :roll:
So my item "uppercase roman numeral I" is all a big "Never mind"!
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Last edited by eldin raigmore on 03 Jul 2017 04:43, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by Frislander » 30 Jun 2017 16:58

@eldin-raigmore: I think you may be confusing the circumflex (the diacritic) with a circumfix (an affix consisting of both a prefix and a suffix).

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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by eldin raigmore » 30 Jun 2017 19:58

Frislander wrote:@eldin-raigmore: I think you may be confusing the circumflex (the diacritic) with a circumfix (an affix consisting of both a prefix and a suffix).
Not so much confusing them, as mis-reading.
LinguoFranco wrote "circumfix"; I mis-read it as "circumflex".
Never mind!
[:$] [:x] [:3] [:P]

The rest of that post (less than half of it :roll: ) still applies, however.
Must the topic be just one word, and if so, why?
Mightn't there be a prefix and a postposition, or a preposition and a suffix, or a circumposition?
In case the topic were a phrase with more than one head word, for instance, the conjunction of two noun-phrases?
Or the conjunction of two complement clauses? Or of a noun-phrase and some other kind of phrase?

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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by LinguoFranco » 03 Jul 2017 18:52

I want to play around with plurality. I used to always use affixes to make a noun plural, but lately I've been playing around with the idea of marking plurals with a particle. I know of at least one natlang that does it, but idk if I could get it to work consistently with a language that is heavily inflecting, particularly when it comes to marking person and number on the verbs.

For example, in my conlang, the word for sword is /kizo/, but it could be /kizo.jan/ or 'jan kizo' if I decide to make /jan/ a particle instead of a suffix. I guess I do not really have a preference either way. I guess I prefer the idea of marking plural with a particle, but I think /jan/ goes better as a suffix.

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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by Imralu » 03 Jul 2017 19:22

LinguoFranco wrote:but idk if I could get it to work consistently with a language that is heavily inflecting, particularly when it comes to marking person and number on the verbs.
Languages don't have to be even. One thing that often strikes me when I gloss Swahili sentences is that the verbs are heavily inflecting, with words like i-si-po-ku-w-a, but the nouns are quite simple, and even if you count their class prefix, they're still much more simple than the verbs. To me, Swahili feels a bit like a collaborative conlang where one person designed the nominal structures and someone else the verbal structures. In any case, a natlang does it.

Personally, I like to have consistent order. I put things like plural markers in the same direction as the head. If the language is head initial, I put the plural marker or whatever it is at the beginning of its phrase. It prevents bizarre instances where things either get sandwiched in the middle of a phrase or have an ambiguous scope. This is the main reason why my conlangs have come out fairly isolating - I like head initial languages but I don't really like prefixes (although Swahili is changing that for me), and although I like agglutinating languages, having a head-initial but suffixing language bothers me.
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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by LinguoFranco » 04 Jul 2017 02:25

Imralu wrote:
LinguoFranco wrote:but idk if I could get it to work consistently with a language that is heavily inflecting, particularly when it comes to marking person and number on the verbs.
Languages don't have to be even. One thing that often strikes me when I gloss Swahili sentences is that the verbs are heavily inflecting, with words like i-si-po-ku-w-a, but the nouns are quite simple, and even if you count their class prefix, they're still much more simple than the verbs. To me, Swahili feels a bit like a collaborative conlang where one person designed the nominal structures and someone else the verbal structures. In any case, a natlang does it.

Personally, I like to have consistent order. I put things like plural markers in the same direction as the head. If the language is head initial, I put the plural marker or whatever it is at the beginning of its phrase. It prevents bizarre instances where things either get sandwiched in the middle of a phrase or have an ambiguous scope. This is the main reason why my conlangs have come out fairly isolating - I like head initial languages but I don't really like prefixes (although Swahili is changing that for me), and although I like agglutinating languages, having a head-initial but suffixing language bothers me.
I really like head-initial languages, too, and my current project is kinda similar to Swahili in that the nouns are pretty simple but the verbs are more complex. With nouns, its pretty much an analytic language, but more synthetic in its verbs. I used to not like prefixes because I feared it would make the language very redundant with words of the same class always having the same prefix, but now I know that is not necessarily a bad thing.

Even though I prefer head-initial languages and head-marking in general, I like the topic-prominent structure of Japanese and how it can drop pronouns without conjugating its verbs to agree with the subject or object. I've also taken some influences from the Austronesian family in that my languages seem to be somewhere between agglutinative and isolating, like how many Austronesian languages are analytic, but still use affixes in some circumstances.

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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by Creyeditor » 21 Jan 2018 18:50

So I thought about a language with core and non core cases marked by prepositions1, and there is an obligatory topic at the beginning of the sentence that will always get stripped of all adpositions and you can onyl see it's a topic, because it is unmarked. Let's look at some made-up examples.

(1)
Krikr nom iyunsi puk ak blab.
letter NOM 1PL receive ACC anwer
'We got an anwer to the letter.'

We have 'letter' as the topic, no preceding prepostion, followed by the subject '1PL' which is preceded by the nominative preposition. The verb 'receive' is then followed by an object letter, that is preceded by the accusative preposition. The topic is interpreted as the thing that was answered.

This sentence is equivalent in meaning (semantic, but not pragmatic) to another sentence

(2)
Iyunsi puk ak blab gen krikr.
1PL receive ACC anwer GEN letter
'We got an anwer to the letter.'

Now the 'letter', that was the topic in (1) modifies the 'answer', the 'letter' is integrated into the whole sentence and gets it's own preposition (yay!). Note that I used the genitive preposition, but it could have used any case really. Also note that the subject '1PL' has lost it's nominative preposition (Oh No!), because it became the topic. I really like the idea of the subject being the topic often, and then only getting a nominative if there is a preceding topic. I also like the idea that the preposition is somehow not able to survive if it would be initial in the sentence. The sentence boundary like to crash prepositions, hehe [}:D]

What do I mean by adposition? It should be independent phonologically (be treated as a word by phonological rules and receive it's own stress), it should have at least one syllable. And it should come at the beginning of a noun phrase (see (3), not just before the noun (in the big house instead of the big in-house) . I also think it should be stranded when you form questions (e.g. what are you looking at) (see 4). Of course that means the language would have to have wh-movement. Not sure though if the topic or the wh-phrase would come first in a sentence.

(3)
Krikr nom iyunsi puk ak laa blab.
letter NOM 1PL receive ACC long anwer
'We got a long anwer to the letter.'

(4)
Krikr hee nom iyunsi puk ak?
letter what NOM 1PL receive ACC
'What did we get to the letter?'


The whole thing gives me a kind of Japanese+Oceanic syntactic vibe. I like that [:D]
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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by loglorn » 22 Jan 2018 11:11

Really cool stuff i might be stealing.
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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by Creyeditor » 22 Jan 2018 15:23

It wouldn't be stealing, because it is so random, I won't even put it in my random ideas language [:D]
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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by LinguoFranco » 07 Feb 2018 22:40

There might be a natlang that does this, but if there is, then I don't know of it. I have an idea for verb conjugation where the person affixes occur as infixes instead of prefixes or suffixes. In Spanish, "I speak" is "hablo", but in the conlang I'm experimenting with, let's say that "to speak" is "Pawak. -et- is the first person singular infix, so "I speak" would be "Petawak."

Thoughts?

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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by Creyeditor » 07 Feb 2018 23:43

Sounds okay. I would like to know how the relation to other verbal inflection is. Person is often an affix category that is more outward than other affixes. And infixes are more inward than other affixes, I would expect that there is only a small set of affixial inflection in this language.
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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by LinguoFranco » 07 Feb 2018 23:52

Creyeditor wrote:
07 Feb 2018 23:43
Sounds okay. I would like to know how the relation to other verbal inflection is. Person is often an affix category that is more outward than other affixes. And infixes are more inward than other affixes, I would expect that there is only a small set of affixial inflection in this language.
Well, it is a personal lang, and I am still trying to figure out a lot of the morphology.

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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by k1234567890y » 08 Feb 2018 00:33

LinguoFranco wrote:
07 Feb 2018 22:40
There might be a natlang that does this, but if there is, then I don't know of it. I have an idea for verb conjugation where the person affixes occur as infixes instead of prefixes or suffixes. In Spanish, "I speak" is "hablo", but in the conlang I'm experimenting with, let's say that "to speak" is "Pawak. -et- is the first person singular infix, so "I speak" would be "Petawak."

Thoughts?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lakota_language < well, the 3rd plural object mark of Lakota is an infix e.g. waŋyáŋkA "to look at something/somebody". > waŋwíčhayaŋke "He looked at them"
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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by Frislander » 08 Feb 2018 16:52

Infixed person marking is found in Kuot as well as Conlangery discussed here (a grammar PDF showing the different paradigms can be found on the page).

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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by vo1dwalk3r » 08 Feb 2018 16:59

So I've been trying to work out the details of genitive phrases and the like in Ȧbhannı. I've ended up with two cases, possessive and partitive, which serve various functions (including those suggested by their names). A little quirk of these cases is that the possessive is head marking (i.e. arm-POSS me) but the partitive is dependent marking (some people-PTV). This is a result of the fact that, in Old Ȧbhannı, adpositions of motion were postpositions while the others were prepositions, so you get some [people from] > some people-PTV but arm [of me] > arm-of me. In modern Ȧbhannı, all adpositions have become prepositions (or case markers) except in some circumposition-esque constructions, such as in house from, 'from inside the house.'

I was actually going to post about the usage distinction between the cases, which I've got mostly worked out, but I think I'll actually need a bit more thinking for that.

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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by eldin raigmore » 10 Feb 2018 03:55

vo1dwalk3r wrote:
08 Feb 2018 16:59
So I've been trying to work out the details of genitive phrases and the like in Ȧbhannı. I've ended up with two cases, possessive and partitive, which serve various functions (including those suggested by their names). A little quirk of these cases is that the possessive is head marking (i.e. arm-POSS me) but the partitive is dependent marking (some people-PTV). This is a result of the fact that, in Old Ȧbhannı, adpositions of motion were postpositions while the others were prepositions, so you get some [people from] > some people-PTV but arm [of me] > arm-of me. In modern Ȧbhannı, all adpositions have become prepositions (or case markers) except in some circumposition-esque constructions, such as in house from, 'from inside the house.'

I was actually going to post about the usage distinction between the cases, which I've got mostly worked out, but I think I'll actually need a bit more thinking for that.
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