(Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by clawgrip » 20 Apr 2016 15:57

Thrice Xandvii wrote:
sangi39 wrote:writing system [...] that emit vowels
I know you didn't mean to spell it that way... but I am highly amused by the idea of a writing system emitting vowels.
When I imagine a script emitting vowels, I imagine something like this:

Image

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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by elemtilas » 20 Apr 2016 17:30

Lambuzhao wrote:Elemtilas has some nice Elder :con: from the Indo-Aryan (hints of Tocharian?) - Talarian and Yllurian
(Of which we need to see more samples, ahem!).
grrmblrmmmblrmakingmemuckaboutintheoldestarchivesgrrmblemmmbl

Okay, here is your sample of Yllurian. With a bit of Talarian attached!
Elem uses a nice modified (connected/running) cursive form of cuneiform for Talarian. Hooray!
http://www.kunstsprachen.de/relay11/talarian.html
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Thrice Xandvii » 21 Apr 2016 06:09

Did I miss the script sample? I didn't see it.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by elemtilas » 21 Apr 2016 12:28

Thrice Xandvii wrote:Did I miss the script sample? I didn't see it.
I'm sure he means the samples here, down towards the bottom.

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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Iyionaku » 21 Apr 2016 21:11

How do you all structure the syntax section in your grammar descriptions? I have described the morphology and derivational morphology of all my languages widely elaboratedly, but I struggle to find an entrance into the syntax pages and therefore always have to rely on my intuition.
How do you start? With simple affirmative sentences etc.? When and how do you explain more complex structures, like comparative constructions or relative clauses? Are there, maybe, some well-elaborated examples?

Thank you all in anticipation!
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by ol bofosh » 23 Apr 2016 06:16

Just a question on grammar terminology.

Gnoughish allows "raising" of prepositional adjuncts in the following manner:
I heard a noise in the alleyway > alleyway in-heard noise (by me)

So alleyway is now the subject by prefixing the preposition on the verb. Is there a word for this, any similar examples in natlangs?

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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by clawgrip » 23 Apr 2016 08:24

I'm not an expert, but isn't this an applicative construction, or something like it?

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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by DesEsseintes » 23 Apr 2016 09:08

ol bofosh wrote:Just a question on grammar terminology.

Gnoughish allows "raising" of prepositional adjuncts in the following manner:
I heard a noise in the alleyway > alleyway in-heard noise (by me)

So alleyway is now the subject by prefixing the preposition on the verb. Is there a word for this, any similar examples in natlangs?
First, do you intend "noise" to remain the grammatical object of the verb in this sentence?

clawgrip suggested this might be some sort of applicative, but an applicative by definition raises an oblique argument (here a locative argument) to the status of direct object rather than subject. Applicatives can of course be passivised to turn that object into a subject, but as far as I understand, that would mean having another direct object would be highly unlikely.

I think a more viable route would be to classify your raised argument as some kind of topic which disallows another argument in subject position, forcing it to appear as an oblique. In that case, I would be in favour of the verb being analysed as impersonal, regardless of whether this is overtly marked on the verb.

Regardless, having the preposition fuse onto the verb is fine.

Without further info on the overt morphology of your language, that's all I can think of.

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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by HoskhMatriarch » 23 Apr 2016 21:04

Which of these should I use for 2nd person formal:

4th person (as in indefinite, not obviate)

3rd person plural neuter

3rd person plural with a different gender depending on who you're talking to

Verb agreement is not very agglutinative so the formal has to be derived from something else in order to stick around. I really want a formal so I can insult people by using the wrong pronoun so I'm not going to just not add it even if "T-V is too European you should use inclusive and exclusive we instead if you want to insult people".


Also, why does it seem bad to use marked sounds in function words and affixes? There are so many affixes and function words in my language that a lot of them are going to have to have marked sounds, and English is extremely guilty of this, but it just seems bad to use too many marked sounds in common words.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by GrandPiano » 23 Apr 2016 23:38

Who says T-V is too European? Mandarin has it. (你 vs. 您)
:eng: - Native
:chn: - B2
:esp: - A2
:jpn: - A2

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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Keenir » 24 Apr 2016 02:43

HoskhMatriarch wrote:Which of these should I use for 2nd person formal:
3rd person plural neuter
this.
Also, why does it seem bad to use marked sounds in function words and affixes?
seems bad?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by clawgrip » 24 Apr 2016 04:03

Lots of Asian languages put European languages to shame with their intricate differences in formality in pronouns. This is hardly a European feature of language.

Also, what is a "marked sound"?

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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Micamo » 24 Apr 2016 09:59

My guess is "marked sound" is a phoneme that's rare in the lexicon. For example, English /D/ is very rare in nouns and verbs, but present in lots of grammatical words like the, this, that, there, then, than, etc.
My pronouns are <xe> [ziː] / <xym> [zɪm] / <xys> [zɪz]

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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Creyeditor » 24 Apr 2016 22:55

HoskhMatriarch wrote:Also, why does it seem bad to use marked sounds in function words and affixes? There are so many affixes and function words in my language that a lot of them are going to have to have marked sounds, and English is extremely guilty of this, but it just seems bad to use too many marked sounds in common words.
Okay, there's two explanations:
The "normal" one: Marked sounds are difficult to produce/to perceive. Function words and affixes are very frequent. For ease of production/perception frequent words do not include marked sounds.
Haspelmaths explanation: Marked is actually a very vague term meaning both infrequent and phonetically difficult. If you call something a marked sound, you imply that it doesn't appear in frequent words/function words. Markedness theory is an illusion [;)]
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by HoskhMatriarch » 25 Apr 2016 06:54

OK, I'm concerned my verb agreement table is completely bonkers. There are special forms for 1S/1S, 1PL/1PL, 2S/2S, 2PL/2PL, and 4S/4S (there is no 4PL as I don't know what that would stand for, it's just an indefinite conjugation like with "one" or "you" or German „man“ or French «on», which don't seem to get plural forms), every single suffix is one syllable and either has a schwa or syllabic consonant as the nucleus, and 2 of 121 of the forms are potentially homophonous depending on what the vowel preceding them is, so I'm concerned I'm going to have to redo those so I don't end up with a language where you have to actually use pronouns (which defeats the whole purpose, I want sentence-words, and I've structured a lot of the language around making the coolest sentence-words possible). Are any of those things issues?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Dormouse559 » 25 Apr 2016 07:11

None of those features sounds in and of itself like a Bad Thing™. Especially the homophony thing. Unless those two homophonous forms are used as much as the other 119 put together, I can't imagine them being a barrier to pro-drop. But if you find something unsatisfying about your conlang, you have complete control over it; you can change it any time you want.

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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Keenir » 25 Apr 2016 08:35

HoskhMatriarch wrote:OK, I'm concerned my verb agreement table is completely bonkers. There are special forms for 1S/1S, 1PL/1PL, 2S/2S, 2PL/2PL, and 4S/4S (there is no 4PL
, so I'm concerned I'm going to have to redo those so I don't end up with a language where you have to actually use pronouns (which defeats the whole purpose, I want sentence-words, and I've structured a lot of the language around making the coolest sentence-words possible).
I'm not sure I understand - why can't the language have both pronouns and sentence-words? (can we see how it looks?)
Are any of those things issues?
nope; tables can be a starting point, if you like, from which you can eliminate any items you don't want to keep. (not everything in the table has to be distinct)
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Shemtov » 26 Apr 2016 07:09

Can an earlier honorific system evolve into different verb classes?
Or if I want to go the opposite way:
How can a productive honorific verb system (like Korean's "speech levels": -yo -seyo -ipnida etc.) evolve, ie. where can such a thing come from?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by qzorum » 26 Apr 2016 07:36

Shemtov wrote:How can a productive honorific verb system (like Korean's "speech levels": -yo -seyo -ipnida etc.) evolve, ie. where can such a thing come from?
I'm not an expert, but I suspect it would involve either a large/open set of pronouns, or formal circumlocutions, getting grammaticalized, fused, and crushed over time by the twin hammers of historical sound change and analogy. Going the pronoun route seems straightforward enough, though I know next to nothing about everyone's favorite example Japanese - maybe someone else has good advice there. In terms of circumlocutions, I would think it involves extra adverbs or auxiliary verbs, or maybe pulling something like the Classical Nahuatl trick of causative + applicative (to cause oneself to verb). In Dutch you can sometimes diminutivize adverbs, maybe if diminutives convey respect as in Nahuatl that could be something you do.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Keenir » 26 Apr 2016 08:11

Shemtov wrote:Can an earlier honorific system evolve into different verb classes?
Or if I want to go the opposite way:
How can a productive honorific verb system (like Korean's "speech levels": -yo -seyo -ipnida etc.) evolve, ie. where can such a thing come from?
I'm pretty sure Qzorum's right, but here's my guess, which I think reinforces Qzorum's post:

though its been a while since I read about pragmatics, maybe have words which are strongly associated with one age group and-or social status...

"I want to help you, kiddo." (talking to a child or lower-social-status person)
"I'm hungry now, how about you, buddy?" (talking to a friend or person of equal status)
"Thank you, sir." (talking to a senior officer or higher-social-status person)

...and then just regularize(?) it to the point that at least the word "you" isn't spoken without one of those three alongside it.
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