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

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

Post by Creyeditor » 11 Jun 2018 20:33

LinguoFranco wrote:
11 Jun 2018 17:34
I'm trying to understand how morae work. If I'm understanding it correctly, then a basic syllable such as V or CV are 1 mora, or a light syllable, while something like VV or CVV or even CVC in some languages are 2 morae, or a heavy syllable. I'm guessing this is the basis for stress in a word? What if a word had, say, a total of 4 morae (like CVV.CVV) or something, would they both be stressed?

Also, why do something languages treat a CVC syllable with a coda sonorant as heavy, while those with an obstruent coda are light?
Just wanted to add: Mora-based stress is often something like: stress the rightmost heavy syllable. In other cases you can have something like: stress the syllable that containts the third mora from the right (Latin, IIRC). Mora are often also handy for describing tone languegs (especially, but not exclusively in Africa). If you have falling and rising tones only on heavy syllables, this can be reformulated by saying that each mora is either high or low toned, yielding the same result.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by wintiver » 12 Jun 2018 00:19

I am trying to orthographize a conlang, specifically its vowel system without using digraphs. Right now I am using the IPA characters because I don't know what else to do. I was wondering if you had any suggestions.

The vowel system is:

i ɯ u
e ɤ o
ɛ ʌ ɔ
a

There is a length distinction on all vowels. There is a high versus low tone distinction in the language as well. I'll take any suggestions at all. I'm sort of stalled out here. Thank you for your time.

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

Post by Pabappa » 12 Jun 2018 00:42

Im not sure that syllagble counting rule is common. In Japanese the syllabic nasal counts as a mora because it originated from a syllable. But so does the checked syllable, so I dont think Jap[anese is an example of counting nasals & stops differently. both are moraic. If presssed I'd guess that languages that treat them differently do so because they evolved differently. e.g. if Japanese had retained its ancient prenasalized stops, we could have a contrast today between Japanese /n.d/ and /nd/, and perhaps even /n.nd/. I think the nasal mora is pronounced as a nasal vowel in some environments, such as before /j/. Thus Japanese /n.ya/ does not resemble /nya/. likewise /ju.n.ichiro/ does not sound like /junichiro/.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by sangi39 » 12 Jun 2018 02:08

wintiver wrote:
12 Jun 2018 00:19
I am trying to orthographize a conlang, specifically its vowel system without using digraphs. Right now I am using the IPA characters because I don't know what else to do. I was wondering if you had any suggestions.

The vowel system is:

i ɯ u
e ɤ o
ɛ ʌ ɔ
a

There is a length distinction on all vowels. There is a high versus low tone distinction in the language as well. I'll take any suggestions at all. I'm sort of stalled out here. Thank you for your time.
I would have said:

/i ɯ u/ <i ï u> OR <i eu u>
/e ɤ o/ <e ë o> OR <e eo o>
/ɛ ʌ ɔ/ <ä~e̥ ë̥ ǫ~o̥> OR <ea ao oa>
/a/ <a> OR <a>

You could also replace the central vowel digraphs <eu eo ao> with <ŭ ŏ ă>.

On the other hand, you could treat the mid-open vowels as the default and have something like:

/i ɯ u/ <i ï u> OR <i iu~ŭ u>
/e ɤ o/ <ei ëï ou> OR <ei eu~ŏ ou>
/ɛ ʌ ɔ/ <e ë o> OR <e eo~ă o>
/a/ <a> OR <a>

Similarly, you could have the mid-close vowels marked as if they were close vowels, and treating them as some sort of default, giving something like:

/i ɯ u/ <ie ïe uo> OR <í ŭ ú>
/e ɤ o/ <i ï u> OR <i ŏ u>
/ɛ ʌ ɔ/ <e ë o> OR <e ă o>
/a/ <a> OR <a>

I think generally it's up to you, though, and what sort of aesthetic you're going for, the phonotactics of the language (if vowel clusters are a thing, then if you choose to use digraphs, you might have to find a way to disambiguate, say, /e.u/ from /ɯ/ if the latter is written <eu>) as well as your own feelings regarding diacritics.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by LinguistCat » 12 Jun 2018 02:24

Pabappa wrote:
12 Jun 2018 00:42
Im not sure that syllable counting rule is common. In Japanese the syllabic nasal counts as a mora because it originated from a syllable. But so does the checked syllable, so I dont think Japanese is an example of counting nasals & stops differently. both are moraic. If pressed I'd guess that languages that treat them differently do so because they evolved differently. e.g. if Japanese had retained its ancient prenasalized stops, we could have a contrast today between Japanese /n.d/ and /nd/, and perhaps even /n.nd/. I think the nasal mora is pronounced as a nasal vowel in some environments, such as before /j/. Thus Japanese /n.ya/ does not resemble /nya/. likewise /ju.n.ichiro/ does not sound like /junichiro/.
If there is a difference between moraic N and checked syllables, it's that most checked syllables are from compounding and compound words have their own rules regarding accent. The second vowel in a series (C)VV is also moraic but they rarely take the accent in Japanese either. In fact there's a rule for that diachronically that if a series of vowels resulted from losing a consonant between them, and the second mora would have carried the accent, the accent shifts to be between the two vowels. When something carrying the pitch drop gets reduced, the accent likes to shift to the left. Or maybe the accent shift happened and causes things to reduce. Either way, there's a connection there. ETA: At least that's what I've been reading while looking into how pitch accent has changed over time.
Last edited by LinguistCat on 12 Jun 2018 08:56, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by cedh » 12 Jun 2018 08:26

wintiver wrote:
12 Jun 2018 00:19
i ɯ u
e ɤ o
ɛ ʌ ɔ
a
Low tone:
i ĭ u
e ŭ o
ĕ ă ŏ
a


High tone:
í î ú
é û ó
ê â ô
á

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

Post by sangi39 » 12 Jun 2018 13:09

cedh wrote:
12 Jun 2018 08:26
wintiver wrote:
12 Jun 2018 00:19
i ɯ u
e ɤ o
ɛ ʌ ɔ
a
Low tone:
i ĭ u
e ŭ o
ĕ ă ŏ
a


High tone:
í î ú
é û ó
ê â ô
á
Oh fudge monkeys, I completely missed the part about tone [:O]
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by LinguoFranco » 12 Jun 2018 16:00

Creyeditor wrote:
11 Jun 2018 20:33
LinguoFranco wrote:
11 Jun 2018 17:34
I'm trying to understand how morae work. If I'm understanding it correctly, then a basic syllable such as V or CV are 1 mora, or a light syllable, while something like VV or CVV or even CVC in some languages are 2 morae, or a heavy syllable. I'm guessing this is the basis for stress in a word? What if a word had, say, a total of 4 morae (like CVV.CVV) or something, would they both be stressed?

Also, why do something languages treat a CVC syllable with a coda sonorant as heavy, while those with an obstruent coda are light?
Just wanted to add: Mora-based stress is often something like: stress the rightmost heavy syllable. In other cases you can have something like: stress the syllable that containts the third mora from the right (Latin, IIRC). Mora are often also handy for describing tone languegs (especially, but not exclusively in Africa). If you have falling and rising tones only on heavy syllables, this can be reformulated by saying that each mora is either high or low toned, yielding the same result.
I’m not good with tones or pitch accent, as I find it kinda hard to pronounce, honestly, which is why I wanted to go with a stress based system.

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

Post by eldin raigmore » 12 Jun 2018 21:07

Languages just do different things. I don’t think there’s any consensus why. But you’ll have fun finding the theories!

Weight-sensitive stress-assignment systems usually assign more weight to syllables that take longer to say.
A (C)VT syllable is usually shorter than a (C)VR syllable (T=sTop R=sonoRant). Some languages say all (C)VC are heavy; some say CVT are light and CVR are bimoraic.
OTOH some say all CVC are light and all CVCC are heavy. That’s not usual but I don’t think it’s very rare.

Some languages let the onset influence the syllable-weight. For such languages usually
The LESS sonorant the onset the HEAVIER the syllable—just the opposite for codas.

Usually there’s a rule that two consecutive syllables in the same word can’t both be stressed. Exceptions might be made if both are superheavy (>= 3 morae) or ultraheavy (>= 4 morae).

The rule for weight-sensitive stress is that an unstressed syllable shouldn’t be next to a lighter stressed syllable; that is, a stressed syllable shouldn’t be next to a heavier unstressed syllable.

HTH. I have to go. I can tell you more, but by the time I can sign on again I bet others will have gotten you satisfactorily started.

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

Post by wintiver » 14 Jun 2018 17:17

sangi39 wrote:
12 Jun 2018 13:09

Oh fudge monkeys, I completely missed the part about tone [:O]
No worries! I can always keep your suggestions in mind for another conlang.
cedh wrote:
12 Jun 2018 08:26
wintiver wrote:
12 Jun 2018 00:19
i ɯ u
e ɤ o
ɛ ʌ ɔ
a
Low tone:
i ĭ u
e ŭ o
ĕ ă ŏ
a


High tone:
í î ú
é û ó
ê â ô
á
Thank you that's a really elegant solution! I like that a lot!

Sorry for the delay in responses but you all are so great. Thank you.

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

Post by wintiver » 14 Jun 2018 17:39

If one had let's say a vowel system with contours and phonemic length then if some vowel, /a˦˩/ has a falling tone while short and then its long counter part /aː˦˩/ does that mean that the phonemically long version just takes a slower tonal descent?

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

Post by Creyeditor » 14 Jun 2018 20:06

Yes, that's possible. Another possibility is that it stays low longer.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ahzoh » 14 Jun 2018 20:18

What consonant clusters can I derive these three clicks /ǀ ǁ ǂ/ from?

At the present, I've got:
/ǀ/ < /t̪k/
/ǁ/ < /t̪l/ or /t̪ˡk/
/ǂ/ < /t̪ʲk t̪ʲkʲ t̪kʲ/
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Shemtov » 14 Jun 2018 22:47

Is a base-seven numerical system unnauturalistic? If so, what can I do to it?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Nachtuil » 15 Jun 2018 22:20

Shemtov wrote:
14 Jun 2018 22:47
Is a base-seven numerical system unnauturalistic? If so, what can I do to it?
It does strike me as unnatural in so much that I've never heard of one. I've heard of base 5, 8, 10, 12 and 20. Don't ask me for examples of 5 and 8 because I don't know them off hand. Maybe you could make it base 8, but make 8 derived from "7+1" or some such. You could still try to have a base 7 system. No reason it can't work.


I have a question regarding classifiers and case systems. Does anyone know any such languages?

In constructions like "five head of cattle" where head is a classifier, the "of cattle" does seem associative as if it might be genitive. For a language I have been working I had been thinking to inflect the "of cattle" noun and leave the classifier uninflected but it has now occurred to me I could do the reverse and it might make more sense. Thoughts?


Edit: It appears Bengali has both case and classifiers so I am going to investigate that.
Last edited by Nachtuil on 17 Jun 2018 16:31, edited 2 times in total.

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

Post by hoeroathlo » 17 Jun 2018 02:02

How would /tθ/ naturally form in a language, and would it be feasible not to have /θ/ in the same phonology?

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

Post by shimobaatar » 17 Jun 2018 02:07

hoeroathlo wrote:
17 Jun 2018 02:02
How would /tθ/ naturally form in a language, and would it be feasible not to have /θ/ in the same phonology?
[tʰ] > [t͡θ], for instance.

I'd think it would be alright to have only one of /t͡θ θ/ in a language's inventory, since those sounds are so rare cross-linguistically. I think there are some language varieties (including, I believe, some dialects of English) with a single phoneme that can be realized as either the affricate or fricative.

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

Post by elemtilas » 17 Jun 2018 15:20

shimobaatar wrote:
17 Jun 2018 02:07
hoeroathlo wrote:
17 Jun 2018 02:02
How would /tθ/ naturally form in a language, and would it be feasible not to have /θ/ in the same phonology?
[tʰ] > [t͡θ], for instance.

I'd think it would be alright to have only one of /t͡θ θ/ in a language's inventory, since those sounds are so rare cross-linguistically. I think there are some language varieties (including, I believe, some dialects of English) with a single phoneme that can be realized as either the affricate or fricative.
The Font of All Knowledge seems to concur and provides some other examples.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Lambuzhao » 18 Jun 2018 15:05

Shemtov wrote:
14 Jun 2018 22:47
Is a base-seven numerical system unnauturalistic? If so, what can I do to it?
Unnaturalistic?

Well, it has been put forth that the proto-lang of the Ob-Ugrian languages may have used a septimal numeral system.

Q.V.
Jadranka Gvozdanovic, edit. , Number Types and Changes Worldwide
László Honty, "The numeral system of the Uralic Languages" ( pp. 244-247)

https://books.google.com/books?id=9W8R9 ... em&f=false

So at the very least there's that, though The Font of All Knowledge proffers a Senary system for Proto-Uralic.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_numeral_systems

[;)]

And here's a link to a video of a septimal handsign system
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGfiFQCydWM

If it's not umpossible to count by hands using a septimal/septenary system (at least until 49), than it could be considered naturalistic.

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

Post by gach » 18 Jun 2018 21:03

Lambuzhao wrote:
18 Jun 2018 15:05
Shemtov wrote:
14 Jun 2018 22:47
Is a base-seven numerical system unnauturalistic? If so, what can I do to it?
Unnaturalistic?

Well, it has been put forth that the proto-lang of the Ob-Ugrian languages may have used a septimal numeral system.

Q.V.
Jadranka Gvozdanovic, edit. , Number Types and Changes Worldwide
László Honty, "The numeral system of the Uralic Languages" ( pp. 244-247)

https://books.google.com/books?id=9W8R9 ... em&f=false
I like Honti's take on these suggested wilder numeral bases in language reconstructions:
László Honti wrote:The supporters of these theories generally stated their views on the numeral systems of the various linguistic states by noting paradoxically that they had paid no regard to the method of numeral formation or to the data which could be gathered from the numeral systems of present-day languages.
Such odd numeral bases could well turn up but usually their accounts are best viewed as wishful thinking or questionable analysis. The Wikipedia article lists for example the supposed base-27 in Telefol and Oksapmin wich actually are no more than body part tally systems. I don't recall ever seeing any evidence that a body part counting system would have evolved into a full blown number system with a formalised additive or multiplicative base. The base here is simply the extent of the tally system.
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