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

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

Post by MrKrov » 18 Oct 2016 19:45

There's not a time limit on agglutination.

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

Post by Frislander » 18 Oct 2016 20:38

If you have some sound changes acting on an agglutinative language which cause certain forms to merge, there are several courses of action. You could keep the portmanteau form as is; you could regularise again by analogy with other parts of the paradigm; or you could lose parts of the paradigm altogether, and either have the language lose some categories completely, or bring in material from elsewhere to reintroduce them as separate affixes.

For example, if you have a noun paradigm which, after some sound changes, ends up looking like this:

Code: Select all

    SING PLUR
NOM -a   -u
ACC -at  -ot
GEN -ek  -onk
DAT -i   -oin
Option 1 keeps the paradigm as is. The language remains fusional.

Option 2 regularises the paradigm, in this instance based on applying the nominative plural to the singulars of the other cases (mostly).

Code: Select all

    SING PLUR
NOM -a   -u
ACC -at  -atu
GEN -ek  -eku
DAT -i   -inu
Option 3 loses parts of the paradigm. Let's say this reduces the 4 original cases to 2: direct/nominative and oblique. You could keep a few fused features if you feel like it (no language is wholly fusional/agglutinative, after all).

Code: Select all

    SING PLUR
NOM -a   -u
OBL -at  -atu
You could then bring in stuff from other places. Let's say you introduce a dative, instrumental and a locative from postpositions. The dative then takes over the functions of the accusative as well (becoming a new oblique), and the pure oblique is repurposed as a new genitive. The paradigm may now look like this.

Code: Select all

    SING  PLUR
NOM -a    -u
GEN -at   -atu
OBL -anai -unai
INS -aste -uste
LOC -amo  -umo

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

Post by Aleks » 18 Oct 2016 20:52

Is it unheard of to have a letter represent a different sound it normally represents with certain rules? This thought occurred to me while seeing this artist's name who is spelt as chvrches. My question is say for example if you don't want to add diacritics could you say for example make <v> before <r> become a [ə]? Is there even any case of this where a letter can act differently then what it normally represents. Like in this case <v> usually being a voiced labiodental fricative changing to a schwa before <r>?

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

Post by Ebon » 18 Oct 2016 20:55

Thanks, MrKrov and Frislander. Option 2 in particular is something I'll probably do.

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

Post by Isfendil » 18 Oct 2016 21:41

Ebon wrote:If the speakers of an agglutinative language were separated into two groups and isolated from each other completely 2000 years ago, would it be reasonably for group A to still speak a mostly agglutinative language (albeit perhaps not quite as much as before), while group B's language became mostly fusional in the same time span? Or is 2000 years too long for a language to stay agglutinative?
I speak english and farsi. Both are indo european languages, but farsi is agglutinative and english is analytical.

I believe PIE was a fusional language, so draw what conclusions from that which you can.

Also, some families just don't change their underlying structure no matter how much time passes- take the semitic family for example.

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

Post by Ælfwine » 18 Oct 2016 23:23

Ebon wrote:If the speakers of an agglutinative language were separated into two groups and isolated from each other completely 2000 years ago, would it be reasonably for group A to still speak a mostly agglutinative language (albeit perhaps not quite as much as before), while group B's language became mostly fusional in the same time span? Or is 2000 years too long for a language to stay agglutinative?
there is no time span for these things.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by GrandPiano » 19 Oct 2016 03:13

Ælfwine wrote:
Ebon wrote:If the speakers of an agglutinative language were separated into two groups and isolated from each other completely 2000 years ago, would it be reasonably for group A to still speak a mostly agglutinative language (albeit perhaps not quite as much as before), while group B's language became mostly fusional in the same time span? Or is 2000 years too long for a language to stay agglutinative?
there is no time span for these things.
[+1]

From a diachronic perspective, there is no difference between a language that just became agglutinative in the last decade and a language that has been agglutinative for 2000 years. While a language may be unlikely to remain completely unchanged in any given aspect for 2000 years, once a language has been agglutinative for 1000 years, it's no more likely or unlikely to change than it was 1000 years ago.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Isfendil » 19 Oct 2016 05:45

So far I have been able to bind four grammatical identities to nominal ending- case/adposition, number, gender, and definiteness. Besides these, are there any other very important, universal nominal grammatical modifiers that I can bind to noun cases?

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

Post by Micamo » 19 Oct 2016 08:46

If you're just going for maximum kitchen sink overdrive, some ideas.

- Possessor agreement markers
- Associative number
- Distributive number
- Nominal tense
My pronouns are <xie> [ʒiː] / <xer> [ʒɚ]

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

Post by Isfendil » 19 Oct 2016 13:47

Micamo wrote:If you're just going for maximum kitchen sink overdrive, some ideas.

- Possessor agreement markers
- Associative number
- Distributive number
- Nominal tense
I'm sorry but besides the first item, I have heard of none of these.

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

Post by Frislander » 19 Oct 2016 16:49

Isfendil wrote:
Micamo wrote:If you're just going for maximum kitchen sink overdrive, some ideas.

- Possessor agreement markers
- Associative number
- Distributive number
- Nominal tense
I'm sorry but besides the first item, I have heard of none of these.
OK, allow me to explain.

Associative number is where you have a plural, most commonly on common nouns, which means that person and their "group", as it were, like the expression "X and co." in English. WALS Chapter 36 does a decent job explaining this.

Distributive number is actually a part of grammar more associated with numerals than the nouns themselves, but can be marked on the noun if you want to. Basically it means where you have a number of something and it is distributed among a group of people: it's the difference between "They had five spears" and "They had five spears each". Again, WALS Chapter 54.

Nominal tense (surely you could have worked this out?) is where you mark some form of tense on the noun. So you have some markers which say that the noun is past, present or future. English actually has this in the form of the prefix "ex-" (as in "ex-president"), which has a past meaning, and several strategies with a future meaning, e.g. "president-elect", "bride-to-be/fiancée". In a true nominal tense system these are more systematic, e.g. "what was a river", "house under construction/house-plans" would be marked like river-PAST and house-FUT.

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

Post by Isfendil » 19 Oct 2016 19:19

The last one I could not work out because I interpreted it as an aspect having to do with nominative case. I will never confuse nominative with nominal again.

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

Post by Micamo » 19 Oct 2016 22:27

Distributive number when applied to nouns can also mean that the group the noun refers to are spread out in space (dogs spread out in multiple places) or in kind (dogs of different breeds). Some languages with distributive plurals allow only one or the other.

Also demonstratives can be noun affixes, with all the distinctions available to them (distances, visibility, familiarity, specificity, etc.)
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by DesEsseintes » 20 Oct 2016 04:20

Frislander wrote:Nominal tense (surely you could have worked this out?)

So unnecessary, frislander, like so many of your snide comments.

If you feel people's questions are too stupid to bother with, there's a very simple solution: don't bother with them.

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

Post by Frislander » 20 Oct 2016 09:27

DesEsseintes wrote:
Frislander wrote:Nominal tense (surely you could have worked this out?)

So unnecessary, frislander, like so many of your snide comments.

If you feel people's questions are too stupid to bother with, there's a very simple solution: don't bother with them.
To be honest, I often do have that feeling; it comes from my Asperger's. I still answer, though, because I know that I have to accept that a lot of people don't know what I know and that I can't presume prior knowledge. So I just swallow my pride and answer the question as best I can, because it's only through answering questions that people can learn from them. Sometimes, however, this slips through, in this case in the form this aside, making me sound arrogant. Don't imagine that I enjoy mucking up like this.

Isfendil, I'm sorry if I have offended you.

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

Post by Isfendil » 20 Oct 2016 14:07

You didn't offend me at all, it was a fair judgement to make in my opinion. Also, I'm hardly unfamiliar- one of my closest friends is the same way, it helps that I know it doesn't actually have much behind-the-curtain meaning.

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

Post by Solarius » 21 Oct 2016 14:40

Should I make my plural marker reduplication or a prefix?
Check out Ussaria!

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

Post by Isfendil » 21 Oct 2016 14:44

Solarius wrote:Should I make my plural marker reduplication or a prefix?
Try each, and see what sounds better. If you want us to decide for you maybe show us each?

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

Post by Solarius » 21 Oct 2016 15:04

Isfendil wrote:
Solarius wrote:Should I make my plural marker reduplication or a prefix?
Try each, and see what sounds better. If you want us to decide for you maybe show us each?
Sure!

So first the prefix. Or, more specifically, two prefixes, since there are two allomorphs, conditioned by the animacy of the noun they're attaching to. Humans and certain other high-animacy nouns (chimps, lightning) get un- and the rest get u-.

u-lalmita
['u.lɐl.mɪ.tɐ]
PL-language
"languages"

un-ps'orselí
['um.ps'ɞr.sælʲ]
PL-surgeon
"surgeons"

You'd also get some fun historical alternations; unstressed schwas were lost early on in this language and stressed schwas merged with /a/. But since stress is initial, you'd get stuff like:

apta "cup" --> upt "cups"

The alternative, reduplication, would be a bit simpler and cleaner. You'd just have full replication.

Looking at this, I'm leaning towards the prefix, especially since reduplication is used for nominalization and so you could get kind of wacky strings that were twice reduplicated.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by cedh » 21 Oct 2016 15:39

Solarius wrote:apta "cup" --> upt "cups"
This is awesome.

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