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

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

Post by Sumelic » 14 Aug 2017 21:11

DesEsseintes wrote: And I have another unrelated question.

TLFKAT has the following plain nasal stops: /m n ŋ ŋʷ ɴ ɴʷ/. I'm considering a morphophonological process whereby the sequence /nw/ becomes m, but /ŋw ɴw/ would just become the labialised nasals. Is it unnatural that it's the alveolar/n/ that becomes m? I feel like /ŋw/ is much likelier to do that (but I don't want that cos I want ŋʷ/. Thoughts?
That seems OK. I'm not sure. In many languages, like English, coronals behave like they are less marked than velars. But it's true that velars fairly often assimilate to following labials in a number of languages. One example I started thinking of was Latin, where /dw/ became /b/ word-initially, but then I realized that doesn't really give a clear answer to your question because Latin had already lost word-initial /gw~gʷ/ via converting it to /w/.

I think the fact that it is morpho-phonology probably gives you a bit more latitude, also, so I would say to go for it!

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

Post by Taurenzine » 14 Aug 2017 21:17

Is there a point in having a pronouns for "it" in my language if I have a demonstrative pronoun that means "the thing"? like, I don't need it right?

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

Post by Taurenzine » 14 Aug 2017 21:23

also, in the sentance "the car is blue" is the object of that sentance "blue"? or is the entire verb "to be blue" and there's only one argument?

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

Post by shimobaatar » 14 Aug 2017 21:39

Taurenzine wrote:Is there a point in having a pronouns for "it" in my language if I have a demonstrative pronoun that means "the thing"? like, I don't need it right?
No, I guess you don't need both, but if you're going for naturalism, natlangs are full of redundancy.
Taurenzine wrote:also, in the sentance "the car is blue" is the object of that sentance "blue"? or is the entire verb "to be blue" and there's only one argument?
In English, the "blue" in "the car is blue" is a predicative adjective. "to be" can't take an object; it's a copula. I guess you could say the verb is "to be blue", but I've never seen English analyzed that way.

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

Post by Sumelic » 14 Aug 2017 21:43

Taurenzine wrote:also, in the sentance "the car is blue" is the object of that sentance "blue"? or is the entire verb "to be blue" and there's only one argument?
"The car is blue" is not considered to have an object, because the word "object" generally can only refer to a noun phrase. "Blue" is an adjective. The verb "is" and other forms of "be" are the English "copula", which is used to form predicative expressions. In "The car is blue", the adjective "blue" is part of the predicate, so it is called a "predicative adjective". The copula "is" functions in English as an auxiliary verb (the same class of words as "have", "do", "will", "would"). The predicate is considered to be a "complement" of the copula. "Is"/to be can take various kinds of predicative complements: adjectives, like "blue"; noun phrases, like "a vehicle"; prepositional phrases, like "in the garage".

The word "argument" seems to have various meanings (according to Wikipedia). My understanding is that a predicative complement is considered to be one type of argument; a direct object, another. Both may be classified as complements, of different types.

Summary of my understanding: in "The car is blue", "is blue" is the predicate and a verb phrase; "is" is an auxiliary verb; "blue" is the complement (but not an object) of the verb "is", and so an argument of the predicate. "Blue" is a predicative adjective, which is one type of predicative complement.

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

Post by Jackk » 14 Aug 2017 22:12

What are words languages use for "opening/closing your eyes" or having "open/closed eyes"?

I'm struggling to think of alternative metaphors since the only other language I speak, French, does the same thing: ouvrir/fermer les yeux.

Is "show/hide your eyes" attested anywhere? If not, does it seem plausible?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Taurenzine » 15 Aug 2017 10:18

Sumelic wrote:
Taurenzine wrote:also, in the sentance "the car is blue" is the object of that sentance "blue"? or is the entire verb "to be blue" and there's only one argument?
"The car is blue" is not considered to have an object, because the word "object" generally can only refer to a noun phrase. "Blue" is an adjective. The verb "is" and other forms of "be" are the English "copula", which is used to form predicative expressions. In "The car is blue", the adjective "blue" is part of the predicate, so it is called a "predicative adjective". The copula "is" functions in English as an auxiliary verb (the same class of words as "have", "do", "will", "would"). The predicate is considered to be a "complement" of the copula. "Is"/to be can take various kinds of predicative complements: adjectives, like "blue"; noun phrases, like "a vehicle"; prepositional phrases, like "in the garage".

The word "argument" seems to have various meanings (according to Wikipedia). My understanding is that a predicative complement is considered to be one type of argument; a direct object, another. Both may be classified as complements, of different types.

Summary of my understanding: in "The car is blue", "is blue" is the predicate and a verb phrase; "is" is an auxiliary verb; "blue" is the complement (but not an object) of the verb "is", and so an argument of the predicate. "Blue" is a predicative adjective, which is one type of predicative complement.
I think it would make most sense if for my language I had a morphological system where the adjective and the verb "to be" became one verb. The sentence "the car is blue" would be stated in two words for my language, if that were the case. Two words that I haven't fully set up yet but whatever in due time

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

Post by eldin raigmore » 15 Aug 2017 15:56

Taurenzine wrote:I think it would make most sense if for my language I had a morphological system where the adjective and the verb "to be" became one verb. The sentence "the car is blue" would be stated in two words for my language, if that were the case. Two words that I haven't fully set up yet but whatever in due time
Two words?
"Thecar blues"? or "Carthe blues"? (Or possibly "Blues thecar" or "Blues carthe".)
Perfectly naturalistic and realistic.
Many languages don't have "adjectives" as a separate word-class or part-of-speech.
For many such languages, what some other languages express with adjectives, that language expresses with a sub-class of "stative" verbs.
(For other such languages, what some other languages express with adjectives, that language expresses with a subtype of nouns.)

Also, there are four different broad purposes for copulas ("couplers"); and not every language uses the same strategy for all four.
(Let's see whether I can remember those four purposes!)
1. "Predicate nominatives"; to say that some proper noun in the subject can also be referred to by some common noun in the predicate. (Sometimes the other way around; or sometimes the subject is also a (definite, usually) common noun; or sometimes the predicate is a specific, or even definite, common noun, or is even another proper noun.)
2. "Predicate adjectives"; to say that the (usually definite, always specific) noun in the subject is describable by the adjective in the predicate.
3. Location; "there it is!" or "it is there!".
4. Existence marker; "there is ..." in English, "es gibt ..." ("it gives ...") in German, "il y a ..." ("it there has ...") in French, etc. Note of these three languages only English uses a form of "the" copular verb "to be" for this purpose.

Copulas don't have to be verbs.
In some languages, at least some of the four kinds of "copulative" clauses are expressed by mere juxtaposition. IIRC Russian is one of these? at least in present indicative?
In some languages, at least some of the four kinds of "copulative" clauses use a pronoun for the copula -- not a verb.
Etc.

It's not hard to look all that stuff up. That's how I found it. (But I didn't do it again for purposes of this post.)
I encourage you to do that; it's more rewarding, more fun, and more informative (you'll find out other stuff besides what you were looking for), if you do it yourself.
Last edited by eldin raigmore on 16 Aug 2017 09:06, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Lambuzhao » 16 Aug 2017 01:35

I was wondering,

Is there a (case-heavy) natlang that uses the Dative for indirect objects of a positive verb, but some other case for the indirect object of a negative verb?
If so, what case(s) are used in that situation?
:wat: :?:

Googling a little, I think what I am looking for is possible cases (e.g. Genitive? Instrumental? Locative? Allative?) that represent the Malefactive.

I might be really splitting hairs here, but any suggestions are welcome.

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

Post by Imralu » 16 Aug 2017 02:50

@Lambuzhao: I don't know of any precedents, but an ablative would feel semilogical to me.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Sumelic » 16 Aug 2017 03:13

Lambuzhao wrote:I was wondering,

Is there a (case-heavy) natlang that uses the Dative for indirect objects of a positive verb, but some other case for the indirect object of a negative verb?
If so, what case(s) are used in that situation?
:wat: :?:

Googling a little, I think what I am looking for is possible cases (e.g. Genitive? Instrumental? Locative? Allative?) that represent the Malefactive.

I might be really splitting hairs here, but any suggestions are welcome.
Hmm, I'm not sure. The languages that I am familar of with a case for indirect objects tend to use it for "malefactive" situations anyway (even in positive clauses) so it doesn't seem to me like there would be much semantic motivation for avoiding the dative in these languages. E.g. if you use the dative for "I gave him a punch", "I threw a rock at him" or "I shot [a gun] at him", these uses don't really seem any less hostile than "I didn't give him a present"!

Direct objects can or must be replaced with a genitive/partitive in (some) negative clauses in a number of languages, but that seems a bit different. In the language I'm most familar with that does this, French, this only happens with indefinite noun phrases, and I think animate indirect objects are very unlikely to be indefinite! ("I threw a rock at a person"/"I didn't give a gift to a person"?) In Finnish, the partitive case is used instead of the accusative in negatives, but rather than being related to the definiteness of the object, it seems to have a lot to do with the aktionsart of the verb. Maybe the case you are thinking of would work similarly; if so, maybe it would also be used in some non-negative situations, like the ones Wikipedia lists for the Finnish partitive case.

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

Post by Lambuzhao » 16 Aug 2017 03:30

@ Sumelic -
Thanks for the prompt response!
Direct objects can or must be replaced with a genitive/partitive in (some) negative clauses in a number of languages, but that seems a bit different.
In my :con: Rozwi, the direct object of a negative clause is put into the Ablative. In this sense, I know of what you speak.

But I was just wondering if a similar situation existed for a Benefactive of a negative clause. I was thinking specifically of the translation challenge
"Don't speak to me or my son ever again!".

I was thinking along the lines of a Locative
≅ 'Don't speak at me / Don't speak in my direction'.
PROHIB speak.2SG<IMPTV> 1SG.LOC
:?: :?: :?:

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

Post by jimydog000 » 16 Aug 2017 13:43

I tried creating a sentence.
The present participle has a form where the speaker doesn't know how long, the verb, the action, will last for.

Problem is I don't know what it would be called if I used gloss, or if it could ever happen in natlangs... I can almost see it working in an agglutinative language.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Davush » 16 Aug 2017 13:58

A quick question about stress and syncope: In the language I am currently working, Qutrussan, I am considering having some form of syncope as a morphological process, so things like:

ˈtsǝ.bal > ˈtsǝ.ba.la > ˈtsǝb.la

Which is basically CvCvCa > CvCCa

This process also happens with some verb forms:

'i:.θi.mǝn > 'i:θ.mǝn
v:CvCvC > v:CCvC

However, I don't want unstressed vowels to actually reduce or change quality, and I only want syncope to appear in certain places, not as an actual productive phonological process. Is it realistic to have such a process without overall vowel reduction and/or only appearing in certain parts of the morphology?

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

Post by Lambuzhao » 16 Aug 2017 14:01

@jimydog000:

Methinks that's called 'ATELIC'.
Otherwise ¿Continuous? ¿Imperfective?

Usually, in :grc: & :lat: at least, present participles pretty much function like what you describe. IMHO, in those langs, one would prolly have to mark a PRS.PTCP that was to be understood as behaving telically. Probably some deponent verbs would behave in such cases, because it's their job to misbehave grammatically.

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

Post by Creyeditor » 16 Aug 2017 14:05

Davush wrote:A quick question about stress and syncope: In the language I am currently working, Qutrussan, I am considering having some form of syncope as a morphological process, so things like:

ˈtsǝ.bal > ˈtsǝ.ba.la > ˈtsǝb.la

Which is basically CvCvCa > CvCCa

This process also happens with some verb forms:

'i:.θi.mǝn > 'i:θ.mǝn
v:CvCvC > v:CCvC

However, I don't want unstressed vowels to actually reduce or change quality, and I only want syncope to appear in certain places, not as an actual productive phonological process. Is it realistic to have such a process without overall vowel reduction and/or only appearing in certain parts of the morphology?
I think having no vowel reduction makes sense, especially if syncope is a fossilized, not fully productive process. Maybe there was vowel reduction in these contexts at some point in time.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Lambuzhao » 16 Aug 2017 14:10

Davush wrote:A quick question about stress and syncope: In the language I am currently working, Qutrussan, I am considering having some form of syncope as a morphological process, so things like:

ˈtsǝ.bal > ˈtsǝ.ba.la > ˈtsǝb.la

Which is basically CvCvCa > CvCCa

This process also happens with some verb forms:

'i:.θi.mǝn > 'i:θ.mǝn
v:CvCvC > v:CCvC

However, I don't want unstressed vowels to actually reduce or change quality, and I only want syncope to appear in certain places, not as an actual productive phonological process. Is it realistic to have such a process without overall vowel reduction and/or only appearing in certain parts of the morphology?
I might be completely off here, but, at least in the first example, I might have expected a Compensatory Lengthening:

ˈtsǝ.bal > ˈtsǝ.ba.la > ˈtsǝ:b.la

Which is basically CvCvCa > Cv:CCa

But, thenne agayne, my anti-eclipse goggles are heavily tinted with :grc: and :lat:.

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

Post by jimydog000 » 16 Aug 2017 15:08

Thank you, I think what I mean is Telicity but perfectiveness is also related to it.
I tried to make a gloss:

'um apetëwaku

/ˈʔum ˈapɛtɜwaˌku/

Translation: we are flying (I don't know how long for)

1PL ATEL.PRESP-fly
or:
1PL TEL.PRESP-fly
or :
1PL PART.PRESP-fly
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Omzinesý » 16 Aug 2017 19:42

jimydog000 wrote:I tried creating a sentence.
The present participle has a form where the speaker doesn't know how long, the verb, the action, will last for.

Problem is I don't know what it would be called if I used gloss, or if it could ever happen in natlangs... I can almost see it working in an agglutinative language.
What other aspects verbs or participles can have?
It's much easier to name it as a part of a system.

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

Post by LinguoFranco » 16 Aug 2017 19:48

I'm thinking about replacing most nouns with stative verbs, where instead of just having "person" or "rock", there are verbs that translate into "to be a person" or "to be a rock."

I'm wondering how to conjugate for this. I was thinking something along the lines of adding a pronoun to the verb. 'Kasu' means 'to be a person', and 'pava' is the masculine 3rd person pronoun, so 'pakusa' could mean "he is a person' or simply 'he-person', essentially meaning 'man.' Idk if this is the best way to go about this. The only true nouns that aren't actually verbs are the pronouns themselves.

How do other languages go about this? How would you do it?

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