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

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

Post by jimydog000 » 06 Feb 2017 16:09

Hey, sometimes in threads about numbers people use the term "sub-base" I can guess what it means but not for sure as there's nothing written about it except for a mysterious red Wikipedia link on the quinary page.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by eldin raigmore » 07 Feb 2017 09:04

Iyionaku wrote:I once read in the wikipedia article about Serbo-Croatian that Swadesh stated if two languages share 81 per cent of a basic 100 wordlist, they can be considered to be identical languages. I don't know if that helps, though. I guess the less the core vocabulary differs, the more it is possible for two mutual speakers to understand each other.

(Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrinian share 100 from 100 words, by the way.)
I think the list was expanded to 200 or 207 words.
You might enjoy this.
Also see the whole article containing this.
The Lingua Questionnaire probably will help a lot, if you want a really thorough answer.
The "Lexicon" portion of the LinguaQ might give a quicker answer (though only for the vocabularies).
The 'basic vocabulary' part -- 5.2 -- is the 207 word list I had in mind. wrote:
Spoiler:
5.2.1. all
5.2.2. and
5.2.3. animal
5.2.4. ashes
5.2.5. at
5.2.6. back
5.2.7. bad
5.2.8. bark
5.2.9. because
5.2.10. belly
5.2.11. big
5.2.12. bird
5.2.13. bite
5.2.14. black
5.2.15. blood
5.2.16. blow
5.2.17. bone
5.2.18. breast
5.2.19. breathe
5.2.20. burn
5.2.21. child
5.2.22. claw
5.2.23. cloud
5.2.24. cold
5.2.25. come
5.2.26. count
5.2.27. cut
5.2.28. day
5.2.29. die
5.2.20. dig
5.2.31. dirty
5.2.32. dog
5.2.33. drink
5.2.34. dry
5.2.35. dull
5.2.36. dust
5.2.37. ear
5.2.38. earth
5.2.39. eat
5.2.40. egg
5.2.41. eye
5.2.42. fall
5.2.43. far
5.2.44. fat/grease
5.2.45. father
5.2.46. fear
5.2.47. feather
5.2.48. few
5.2.49. fight
5.2.50. fire
5.2.51. fish
5.2.52: five
5.2.53. float
5.2.54. flow
5.2.55. flower
5.2.56. fly
5.2.57. fog
5.2.58. foot
5.2.59. four
5.2.60. freeze
5.2.61. fruit
5.2.62. full
5.2.63. give
5.2.64. good
5.2.65. grass
5.2.66. green
5.2.67. guts
5.2.68. hair
5.2.69. hand
5.2.70. he
5.2.71. head
5.2.72. hear
5.2.73. heart
5.2.74. heavy
5.2.75. here
5.2.76. hit
5.2.77. hold/take
5.2.78. horn
5.2.79. how
5.2.80. hunt
5.2.81. husband
5.2.82. I
5.2.83. ice
5.2.84. if
5.2.85. in
5.2.86. kill
5.2.87. knee
5.2.88. know
5.2.89. lake
5.2.90. laugh
5.2.91. leaf
5.2.92. leftside
5.2.93. leg
5.2.94. lie (i.e. be in lying position)
5.2.95. live
5.2.96. liver
5.2.97. long
5.2.98. louse
5.2.99. man/male
5.2.100. many
5.2.101. meat/flesh
5.2.102. moon
5.2.103. mother
5.2.104. mountain
5.2.105. mouth
5.2.106. name
5.2.107. narrow
5.2.108. near
5.2.109. neck
5.2.110. new
5.2.111. night
5.2.112. nose
5.2.113. not
5.2.114. old
5.2.115. one
5.2.116. other
5.2.117. person
5.2.118. play
5.2.119. pull
5.2.120. push
5.2.121. rain
5.2.122. red
5.2.123. right/correct
5.2.124. rightside
5.2.125. river
5.2.126. road
5.2.127. root
5.2.128. rope
5.2.129. rotten
5.2.130. round
5.2.131. rub
5.2.132. salt
5.2.133. sand
5.2.134. say
5.2.135. scratch
5.2.136. sea
5.2.137. see
5.2.138. seed
5.2.139. sew
5.2.140. sharp
5.2.141. short
5.2.142. sing
5.2.143. sit
5.2.144. skin
5.2.145. sky
5.2.146. sleep
5.2.147. small
5.2.148. smell
5.2.149. smoke
5.2.150. smooth
5.2.151. snake
5.2.152. snow
5.2.153. some
5.2.154. spit
5.2.155. split
5.2.156. squeeze
5.2.157. stab/pierce
5.2.158. stand
5.2.159. star
5.2.160. stick
5.2.161. stone
5.2.162. straight
5.2.163. suck
5.2.164. sun
5.2.165. swell
5.2.166. swim
5.2.167. tail
5.2.168. that
5.2.169. there
5.2.170. they
5.2.171. thick
5.2.172. thin
5.2.173. think
5.2.174. this
5.2.175. thou
5.2.176. three
5.2.177. throw
5.2.178. tie
5.2.179. tongue
5.2.180. tooth
5.2.181. tree
5.2.182. turn
5.2.183. two
5.2.184. vomit
5.2.185. walk
5.2.186. warm
5.2.187. wash
5.2.188. water
5.2.189. we
5.2.190. wet
5.2.191. what
5.2.192. when
5.2.193. where
5.2.194. white
5.2.195. who
5.2.196. wide
5.2.197. wife
5.2.198. wind
5.2.199. wing
5.2.200. wipe
5.2.201. with
5.2.202. woman
5.2.203. woods
5.2.204. worm
5.2.205. ye
5.2.206. year
5.2.207. yellow
It's probably not as scientific as the Leipzig-Jakarta list https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leipzig–J ... ist#Ranked; but it may be more familiar to more people.


[hr][/hr]
Edit: https://www.google.com/search?q=conlang ... r+analysis
You might get your con-speakers each to say to the other, in the speaker's own 'lang, each of the "graded sentences for analysis"; and see what fraction of them were correctly understood.
If they understand each other some minimum amount of the time -- say, each understands at least 85% of the sentences as spoken by the other without any additional clarification -- then they count as mutually intelligible, and as dialects of the same language rather than as different languages.
Or you may want a bigger fraction; 90% or 95% or 99%, maybe. Or you may be satisfied with a smaller fraction; 75% or 67% or 60% or something.
Anyway, there are 1200 sentences; graded from easy ones at the beginning of the list to more difficult ones toward the end of the list.
Presumably they should have less trouble understanding each other when they speak the earlier sentences, than when they speak the later sentences.

Some of the sentences reference ideas that are current only in the Americas. Some of them reference ideas that are current only in English-speaking countries. You may want to leave those sentences out of your sample. Gary Shannon produced a subset of those sentences which might be preferable for conlanging to the full list.

In a real-life experiment, you might assign one speaker to speak all the odd-numbered sentences, and assign the other speaker to speak all the even-numbered sentences. That would eliminate the problem of recognizing a sentence because the addressee had just said it himself/herself. But as long as your con-speakers are figments of your own imagination anyway, you probably don't need to worry about that.
[hr][/hr]

jimydog000 wrote:Hey, sometimes in threads about numbers people use the term "sub-base" I can guess what it means but not for sure as there's nothing written about it except for a mysterious red Wikipedia link on the quinary page.
Look at WALS.info's features and chapters about numeral systems.
http://wals.info/chapter/131
http://wals.info/feature/131A#2/25.5/146.1

Comrie decided, when talking about the multiplicative base for a language which had one (or more) in its numeral system, to emphasize as "the main base" the one which was most productive in expressing natural numbers between what we would call "one" in English and what we would call "one hundred" in English. (He explains exactly what "most productive" means, as he uses that phrase in that chapter.)

He found that many languages use a decimal system (base ten) and many others use a vigesimal system (base twenty).

He found that, for any language that uses a base of twenty or greater, and also for many languages which use a base smaller than twenty, the numbers smaller than the main base are expressed via a smaller multiplicative base that is a divisor of the main base. He called this a "sub-base" of that main base.

Even if you can't find that terminology anymore in Comrie's writing in that chapter, that's what conlangers mean when they talk about a "sub-base"; it is a base for a numeral system that is smaller than (and, usually, a divisor of) some other base.

There are also "super-bases".
Comrie found that many languages have a base that is most-productive in the range of numbers from "twenty" to "four hundred", that is larger than what he'd decided to call the main base, and usually a multiple of the main base.
For instance, if the main base is twenty, then one-hundred might be a superbase and five might be a subbase.
Whole numbers between one hundred and four hundred might get expressed analogously to
x*hundred + y*twenty + z*five + w,
with one <= x <= four and zero <= y < five and zero <= z < four and zero <= w <= four.

Edit: (text in red added in edit 2017/03/07 14:05 Tue Mar 7 2:05 PM)


Comrie has actual examples from real natlangs in chapter 131.
Last edited by eldin raigmore on 07 Mar 2017 20:05, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by loglorn » 07 Feb 2017 17:19

eldin raigmore wrote:
Iyionaku wrote:I once read in the wikipedia article about Serbo-Croatian that Swadesh stated if two languages share 81 per cent of a basic 100 wordlist, they can be considered to be identical languages. I don't know if that helps, though. I guess the less the core vocabulary differs, the more it is possible for two mutual speakers to understand each other.

(Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrinian share 100 from 100 words, by the way.)
I think the list was expanded to 200 or 207 words.
You might enjoy this.
It's probably not as scientific as the Leipzig-Jakarta list; but it may be more familiar to more people.

[hr][/hr]
Edit: https://www.google.com/search?q=conlang ... r+analysis
You might get your con-speakers each to say to the other, in the speaker's own 'lang, each of the "graded sentences for analysis"; and see what fraction of them were correctly understood.
If they understand each other some minimum amount of the time -- say, each understands at least 85% of the sentences as spoken by the other without any additional clarification -- then they count as mutually intelligible, and as dialects of the same language rather than as different languages.
Or you may want a bigger fraction; 90% or 95% or 99%, maybe. Or you may be satisfied with a smaller fraction; 75% or 67% or 60% or something.
Anyway, there are 1200 sentences; graded from easy ones at the beginning of the list to more difficult ones toward the end of the list.
Presumably they should have less trouble understanding each other when they speak the earlier sentences, than when they speak the later sentences.

Some of the sentences reference ideas that are current only in the Americas. Some of them reference ideas that are current only in English-speaking countries. You may want to leave those sentences out of your sample. Gary Shannon produced a subset of those sentences which might be preferable for conlanging to the full list.

In a real-life experiment, you might assign one speaker to speak all the odd-numbered sentences, and assign the other speaker to speak all the even-numbered sentences. That would eliminate the problem of recognizing a sentence because the addressee had just said it himself/herself. But as long as your con-speakers are figments of your own imagination anyway, you probably don't need to worry about that.
[hr][/hr]
That was all quite helpful, thank you. I have decided how i'll determine intelligibility and it sounds to me decent, even if i have no way of knowing if it'd correspond to the results if i actually had two speakers.

And the subset you mentioned is probably this: https://cofl.github.io/mirror/cstc.html
Diachronic Conlanging is the path to happiness, given time. [;)]

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

Post by alynnidalar » 08 Feb 2017 00:41

Yes, that's the list.

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

Post by eldin raigmore » 08 Feb 2017 01:46

loglorn wrote:That was all quite helpful, thank you.
Excellent!

loglorn wrote:I have decided how i'll determine intelligibility ...
How? The suspense is killing me!



[hr][/hr]


Creyeditor wrote:... I think there was one using an algorithm of some sort, where you look at the Leipzig-Jakarta list and then you compare.
If two words are the same, you add one to the score.
If two words have systematic difference you add 0.5 to the score.
If two words have unsystematic differences you do not add anything.
Unfortunately I do not know which score meant closely related, somewhat related and so on.
....
Iyionaku's post suggests that 81% or more might qualify them as mutually intelligible.
My instructor for "Scientific and Technical Reading German", when I was in graduate school, mentioned the figure 85% (though IIRC what he said was something along the lines of "most grammatical rules are true about 85% of the time" or something like that).
So maybe the cutoff is somewhere between 81% and 85%.

But based on my managers in my various past jobs, I think some interlocutors will start to lose patience if the degree of mutual intelligibility is below 90%;
and I bet some lexicostatisticians will think the dialects are "significantly" different if they aren't at least 95% "identical".
Last edited by eldin raigmore on 08 Feb 2017 01:58, edited 2 times in total.

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

Post by loglorn » 08 Feb 2017 02:15

eldin raigmore wrote:
loglorn wrote:That was all quite helpful, thank you.
Excellent!
loglorn wrote:I have decided how i'll determine intelligibility ...
How? The suspense is killing me!


[hr][/hr]
Creyeditor wrote:... I think there was one using an algorithm of some sort, where you look at the Leipzig-Jakarta list and then you compare.
If two words are the same, you add one to the score.
If two words have systematic difference you add 0.5 to the score.
If two words have unsystematic differences you do not add anything.
Unfortunately I do not know which score meant closely related, somewhat related and so on.
....
Iyionaku's post suggests that 81% or more might qualify them as mutually intelligible.
My instructor for "Scientific and Technical Reading German", when I was in graduate school, mentioned the figure 85% (though IIRC what he said was something along the lines of "most grammatical rules are true about 85% of the time" or something like that).
So maybe the cutoff is somewhere between 81% and 85%.

But based on my managers in my various past jobs, I think some interlocutors will start to lose patience if the degree of mutual intelligibility is below 90%;
and I bet some lexicostatisticians will think the dialects are "significantly" different if they aren't at least 95% "identical".
I'll do a lexical similarity analysis, which is not that complicated even if a slightly time-consuming to do by hand, to account for lexical and phonological difference, and then do a similar process with the syntax test cases, translate them all, and then note how many have identical syntax or not and score that too, for syntactical distance. If i get an overall score over 85% similarity i'll declare them dialects.

Time consuming indeed, but we can't materialize native speakers, can we?
Diachronic Conlanging is the path to happiness, given time. [;)]

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

Post by eldin raigmore » 08 Feb 2017 02:25

Frislander wrote:Both of these language families exhibit polypersonal marking consistently.
But do the Bantu languages mark person of agent and patient via a prefix? (I don't yet have the opportunity to look up the answer.)
I was only talking about the prefix part.
If the person, as well as the gender and number, of the agent and patient are marked on the prefix, then I was wrong about Bantu.
Nevertheless I think that the idea might do for a conlang.
Frislander wrote:If you want examples of languages which do not mark person on the verb but encode other categories such as gender you'll have to look elsewhere (Northeast Caucasian is a decent place to start).
Thanks.
Frislander wrote:And I've no idea where you got the Algonquian stuff from:
From a voluminous and hard-for-me-to-understand book on Nishnaabemwin by Randolph Valentine. It's likely I misunderstood it.
Frislander wrote:you're probably thinking of the stem alternations (which alternate to intransitive-inanimate, intransitive-animate, transitive-inanimate and transitive-animate),
I'm sure I was.
I thought those were shown by a prefix, not by a stem-alternation; and I can't tell that your examples are stem-alternations.
That doesn't mean that they aren't; maybe I'm just dense.
Frislander wrote:but the prefix only encodes the person of the highest-ranked participant,
Didn't know that.
Frislander wrote:with further suffixes (emphasis mine -- er) for person/number/gender of both the higher ranked and a lower-ranked participant where present,
Oh. Suffixes.
Frislander wrote:with a large set of portmanteau suffixes to encode these features in transitive-animate verbs.
I must have thought they were general, rather than only on the Transitive-Animate clauses.
Frislander wrote:And then there's the direct-inverse morphology for when the higher-ranked participant is acting on the lower-ranked participant
I knew about the direct-inverse voice; I just didn't think it was relevant for discussing the O.P.'s (i.e. LinguoFranco's) conlang.

So I was quite wrong about details of Algonquian (sp?) languages.
Still, the basic idea that one can avoid marking the person of a participant, by conflating 1st person with 2nd person, and/or using a portmanteau morpheme to mark the persons of agent-and-patient combinations without distinguishing which of them was which person (i.e. conflating 1>3 with 3>1 etc.), might be a "cheat" or "dodge" or "work-around" to mark the verb with some information depending on the persons of the participants, without actually making the verb agree with the person of one particular participant.

How do you tell 1>2 (1st person agent, 2nd person patient) from 2>1 (1st person patient, 2nd person agent)?
How do you tell 1>3 (1st agent 3rd patient) from 2>3 (2nd agent 3rd patient)?
Or 3>1 from 3>2?
Or 1>3 from 3>1, or 2>3 from 3>2?
Don't you need the "voice"-marking to tell the difference?
Frislander wrote:
Spoiler:
e.g. from PA (I may have got a few of the details of the inflection wrong here, but the point still stands)

*waapantamwa
0-waapant-am-wa
3-see.TI-INA-3
He sees it

*newaapamaawa
ne-waapam-aa-wa
1-see.TA-DIR-ANI.SG
I see him/her

*newaapamekwenaanaki
ne-waapam-ekw-enaan-aki
1-see.TA-INV-1.PL-ANI.PL
They see us (excl)

*kewaapami
ke-waapam-i
2-see.TA-1
You (sg.) see me

*kewaapameθwaa
ke-waapam-eθ-waa
2-see.TA-1.INV-PL
I see you (pl.)
Thanks for the examples, and the corrections.

(Not that it's relevant to your larger point, but, I still can't see in your examples how what's happening counts as "stem-alteration".)



[hr][/hr]


clawgrip wrote:I would say that the reason there are few or no V-initial topic-comment languages is because topics and comments are distinct elements of a sentence or clause and naturally should be separated. Something like VSTO or VTSO awkwardly splits the comment in two halves; it's like putting the title of a book on page 30. VSOT is also awkward, because you're giving the details of someone you haven't introduced yet (book title on back cover only). I suppose a TVSO order could work, as it could be created through topic fronting.
loglorn wrote:If you take a germanic-y V2 structure and stretch it a little you could fairly easily get a TVSO.
Both of the above posts make sense to me.

(I didn't think of the "germanicy" verb-second thing until loglorn posted it.)


[hr][/hr]
loglorn wrote:I'll do a lexical similarity analysis, which is not that complicated even if a slightly time-consuming to do by hand, to account for lexical and phonological difference, and then do a similar process with the syntax test cases, translate them all, and then note how many have identical syntax or not and score that too, for syntactical distance. If i get an overall score over 85% similarity i'll declare them dialects.
Sounds great!
I look forward to reading the results.

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

Post by Frislander » 08 Feb 2017 14:19

eldin raigmore wrote:
Frislander wrote:Both of these language families exhibit polypersonal marking consistently.
But do the Bantu languages mark person of agent and patient via a prefix? (I don't yet have the opportunity to look up the answer.)
I was only talking about the prefix part.
If the person, as well as the gender and number, of the agent and patient are marked on the prefix, then I was wrong about Bantu.
Nevertheless I think that the idea might do for a conlang.
Swahili

Ninamwona mtoto
ni-na-m-wona m-toto
1.SUB-DEF-3.sg-see I-child
I see the child

Zulu

Ngiyambona
ngi-ya-m-bona
1.SUB-PRES-3.OBJ-see
I see him
Frislander wrote:And I've no idea where you got the Algonquian stuff from:
From a voluminous and hard-for-me-to-understand book on Nishnaabemwin by Randolph Valentine. It's likely I misunderstood it.
Well the Wikipedia page is pretty clear.
Frislander wrote:And then there's the direct-inverse morphology for when the higher-ranked participant is acting on the lower-ranked participant
I knew about the direct-inverse voice; I just didn't think it was relevant for discussing the O.P.'s (i.e. LinguoFranco's) conlang.

So I was quite wrong about details of Algonquian (sp?) languages.
Still, the basic idea that one can avoid marking the person of a participant, by conflating 1st person with 2nd person, and/or using a portmanteau morpheme to mark the persons of agent-and-patient combinations without distinguishing which of them was which person (i.e. conflating 1>3 with 3>1 etc.), might be a "cheat" or "dodge" or "work-around" to mark the verb with some information depending on the persons of the participants, without actually making the verb agree with the person of one particular participant.

How do you tell 1>2 (1st person agent, 2nd person patient) from 2>1 (1st person patient, 2nd person agent)?
How do you tell 1>3 (1st agent 3rd patient) from 2>3 (2nd agent 3rd patient)?
Or 3>1 from 3>2?
Or 1>3 from 3>1, or 2>3 from 3>2?
Don't you need the "voice"-marking to tell the difference?
You do, yes: you just use different combinations of prefixes/suffixes and inverse morphology to differentiate them.
Frislander wrote:you're probably thinking of the stem alternations (which alternate to intransitive-inanimate, intransitive-animate, transitive-inanimate and transitive-animate),
I'm sure I was.
I thought those were shown by a prefix, not by a stem-alternation; and I can't tell that your examples are stem-alternations.
That doesn't mean that they aren't; maybe I'm just dense.
Frislander wrote:
Spoiler:
e.g. from PA (I may have got a few of the details of the inflection wrong here, but the point still stands)

*waapantamwa
0-waapant-am-wa
3-see.TI-INA-3
He sees it

*newaapamaawa
ne-waapam-aa-wa
1-see.TA-DIR-ANI.SG
I see him/her

*newaapamekwenaanaki
ne-waapam-ekw-enaan-aki
1-see.TA-INV-1.PL-ANI.PL
They see us (excl)

*kewaapami
ke-waapam-i
2-see.TA-1
You (sg.) see me

*kewaapameθwaa
ke-waapam-eθ-waa
2-see.TA-1.INV-PL
I see you (pl.)
Thanks for the examples, and the corrections.

(Not that it's relevant to your larger point, but, I still can't see in your examples how what's happening counts as "stem-alteration".)
Waapant- is the transitive-inanimate stem, waapam- the transitive-animate stem. For more on this see the bits on intransitive and transitive derivations in Bloomfield's Proto-Algonquian sketch.

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

Post by qwed117 » 10 Feb 2017 04:43

What's a good list of romlang diachronic "test words"?
Preferably a set of 20 words with different pronunciations in at least the Iberian languages, Oïl or Oc languages, Romanian, and Italian.
Spoiler:
My minicity is Zyphrazia and Novland
What is made of man will crumble away.

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

Post by Jampot911 » 10 Feb 2017 19:55

I'm busy making a phonology for a namelang to include in a book or short story. To make it feel more "unique", I want to replace [k] with [q]. Is this attested in any natlang - to have a uvular stop instead of a velar one?
What can I say? I like making stuff up.

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

Post by Iyionaku » 10 Feb 2017 20:27

It is attested, yes, but very rare; in almost all languages that have /q/ it constrasts with /k/. In the languages that lack /k/ as a phoneme it mostly occurs as an allophone of /q/ (while [q] being more usual). WALS states the language Qawesqar (and highlights that the phoneme is found in the language's name; however, Wikipedia names the language Kawésqar and explicitly highlights that it has a phoneme /k/ [o.O] )

I'd say, it's attested, but very rare. However, I can tell you that Standard German has [χ], but no [x], if that helps.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Jampot911 » 10 Feb 2017 20:40

Iyionaku wrote:It is attested, yes, but very rare; in almost all languages that have /q/ it constrasts with /k/. In the languages that lack /k/ as a phoneme it mostly occurs as an allophone of /q/ (while [q] being more usual). WALS states the language Qawesqar (and highlights that the phoneme is found in the language's name; however, Wikipedia names the language Kawésqar and explicitly highlights that it has a phoneme /k/ [o.O] )

I'd say, it's attested, but very rare. However, I can tell you that Standard German has [χ], but no [x], if that helps.
Cheers mate. That's what I thought but I wasn't entirely sure. [:O] I was thinking of using [k] as an allophone of /q/, and now I know it's possible. Thanks!
What can I say? I like making stuff up.

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

Post by Frislander » 10 Feb 2017 23:28

Jampot911 wrote:
Iyionaku wrote:It is attested, yes, but very rare; in almost all languages that have /q/ it constrasts with /k/. In the languages that lack /k/ as a phoneme it mostly occurs as an allophone of /q/ (while [q] being more usual). WALS states the language Qawesqar (and highlights that the phoneme is found in the language's name; however, Wikipedia names the language Kawésqar and explicitly highlights that it has a phoneme /k/ [o.O] )

I'd say, it's attested, but very rare. However, I can tell you that Standard German has [χ], but no [x], if that helps.
Cheers mate. That's what I thought but I wasn't entirely sure. [:O] I was thinking of using [k] as an allophone of /q/, and now I know it's possible. Thanks!
It's found in languages of the PNW and in North-west Caucasian, but they've also got contrastive labiisatiln for both velars and uvulars and it's only the plain velars that front, so you have no /k/ but you do have /kʷ q qʷ/

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

Post by Jampot911 » 11 Feb 2017 14:31

Frislander wrote:
Jampot911 wrote:
Iyionaku wrote:It is attested, yes, but very rare; in almost all languages that have /q/ it constrasts with /k/. In the languages that lack /k/ as a phoneme it mostly occurs as an allophone of /q/ (while [q] being more usual). WALS states the language Qawesqar (and highlights that the phoneme is found in the language's name; however, Wikipedia names the language Kawésqar and explicitly highlights that it has a phoneme /k/ [o.O] )

I'd say, it's attested, but very rare. However, I can tell you that Standard German has [χ], but no [x], if that helps.
Cheers mate. That's what I thought but I wasn't entirely sure. [:O] I was thinking of using [k] as an allophone of /q/, and now I know it's possible. Thanks!
It's found in languages of the PNW and in North-west Caucasian, but they've also got contrastive labiisatiln for both velars and uvulars and it's only the plain velars that front, so you have no /k/ but you do have /kʷ q qʷ/
That's quite cool - I may consider stealing that! As I'm not American I often forget about the variety of American languages out there - it's good having all the people here to remind me! Thanks.
What can I say? I like making stuff up.

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

Post by jimydog000 » 11 Feb 2017 14:36

Thanks for the answer and message Aldin, I forgot I posted here.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Iyionaku » 11 Feb 2017 21:52

Is it possible for a language to develop a Singular/Dual/Plural number system to a Singular/Plural/Collective system without any morphological change? Or vice versa, from SG/PL/COL to SG/DU/PL?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by gestaltist » 12 Feb 2017 09:30

Iyionaku wrote:Is it possible for a language to develop a Singular/Dual/Plural number system to a Singular/Plural/Collective system without any morphological change? Or vice versa, from SG/PL/COL to SG/DU/PL?
I know that Singular/Dual/Plural has developed into Singular/Plural/Greater Plural in some languages (don't remember which ones, though). I don't see why the "greater plural" couldn't shift to a collective later, so that sounds plausible.

The shift in the other direction doesn't sound likely without morphological change - at least I can't think of a situation where it would make sense to start only using the plural for pairs...

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

Post by holbuzvala » 12 Feb 2017 18:33

I've decided that my language has adjectives following nouns, and (mostly) SOV word order. The verbs have subject and object prefixes, and don't decline for tense or mood (yet).

The verbs thus look like this:

kítavuha
kí-ta-vuha
human.male.subj-inan.obj-HEAR
He heard it.

My question is then, for 'adjustments' to the verb like making it negative, should those follow the verb stem, or come between the stem and the prefixes? I have a paradigm where adjectives are affixed to verbs to change their meaning (much like how prepositions are added onto verbs in English or Latin), so here's an example highlighting my choices using 'nekse' (crooked) which functions like the English 'mis-'

Choice 1: kítanuksavuha = he misheard it

OR

Choice 2: kítavuhanuksa = he misheard it

Should the adjective adjusting the verb come before the stem or after? And does/should the paradigm of having adjectives follow nouns affect this?

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

Post by Frislander » 12 Feb 2017 19:27

holbuzvala wrote:I've decided that my language has adjectives following nouns, and (mostly) SOV word order. The verbs have subject and object prefixes, and don't decline for tense or mood (yet).

The verbs thus look like this:

kítavuha
kí-ta-vuha
human.male.subj-inan.obj-HEAR
He heard it.

My question is then, for 'adjustments' to the verb like making it negative, should those follow the verb stem, or come between the stem and the prefixes? I have a paradigm where adjectives are affixed to verbs to change their meaning (much like how prepositions are added onto verbs in English or Latin), so here's an example highlighting my choices using 'nekse' (crooked) which functions like the English 'mis-'

Choice 1: kítanuksavuha = he misheard it

OR

Choice 2: kítavuhanuksa = he misheard it

Should the adjective adjusting the verb come before the stem or after? And does/should the paradigm of having adjectives follow nouns affect this?
It all depends on your personal preference: do you want more prefixes or suffixes? There's nothing that you've given here that lends itself to one choice over the other. I'd be tempted to put them with the rest of my derivation, i.e. if derivation is otherwise suffixal they are suffixes, if prefixes they are prefixes. Though I would probably treat negation differently from the derivational stuff.

BTW, there's also nothing stopping you putting these things before the person marking if you want.

(Also note: the English mis- prefix isn't a negative, at least not by any of the more strict definitions).

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

Post by KaiTheHomoSapien » 13 Feb 2017 22:20

Does anyone else find a posterori conlanging to be way harder than a priori?

I'm trying to make my conlang's verbal inflection stem from reconstructed PIE forms, but the more I try to make it match, the more confusing and harder it gets and I want to bang my head against my desk and just make everything a priori...seems like it would be a lot easier.

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