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

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

Post by sangi39 » 18 Jul 2018 21:02

TwistedOne151 wrote:
18 Jul 2018 19:24
So, I have geminate voiced fricatives, and want to remove them by merging them with existing sounds while preserving their length (i.e. no degemination /vː zː ʒː/ > /v z ʒ/). Which fortition process seems more plausible:
1. "hardening" to the corresponding plosive/affricate: /vː zː ʒː/ > /bː d͡zː d͡ʒː/
2. devoicing: /vː zː ʒː/ > /fː sː t͡ʃː/?
(Note that /bː d͡zː d͡ʒː fː sː t͡ʃː/ already all exist in the language)
Or perhaps, given the interaction between palatalization and affrication, have /ʒː/ > /d͡ʒː/ but /vː zː/ > /fː sː/?
Personally, I'd say option 1 is the best :) I think both 1 and 2 (not sure about 3) are plausible, but 1 sticks out to me as the one that feels best.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ahzoh » 19 Jul 2018 02:33

sangi39 wrote:
18 Jul 2018 21:00
Ahzoh wrote:
18 Jul 2018 18:54
sangi39 wrote:
18 Jul 2018 17:22
I came up with something like this:
Thanks, you always deliver.
I wonder if high vowels can be derived from non-high, hetero-organic vowel clusters like /a.e/ and /o.ø/ too.
I honestly hadn't even thought of that... I just went with a CV(C) structure, but, yeah, if you allow vowels adjacent to each other with no intervening consonant, then you could certainly have different vowels arise from that.
Well, how might I derive:
/a e i o u/
/ʲa ʲe ʲi ʲo ʲu/
/ai̯ ei̯ oi̯/
/ʲai̯ ʲei̯ ʲoi̯/

From?:
/e.e e.ø e.o e.ɤ/
/ø.e ø.ø ø.o ø.ɤ/
/o.e o.ø o.o o.ɤ/
/ɤ.e ɤ.ø ɤ.o ɤ.ɤ/
/a.e a.ø a.o a.ɤ/
/e.a ø.a o.a ɤ.a/

The double homo-organic vowels could certainly develop into high vowels (and this is how I plan on deriving the iotated vowels):
ee > i > ʲi
øø > y > ʲu
ɤɤ > ɯ > i
oo > u > u
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by holbuzvala » 19 Jul 2018 17:19

Hi all, I'm having a go dabbling with diachronics. I was wondering, how might I create a voiced/non-voiced distinction in my conlang if the protolanguage phonology looks likes this?:

stops: p t k
(af)fricatives: t͡s s h
nasals: m n ŋ
trills: r ʀ
liquids: l
approximants: w j

vowels: a u i
diphthongs: au ai

Syllables: V CV VC CVC
N.B. syllable nuclei can be any vowel, diphong, or: r ʀ l m n ŋ s

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

Post by Creyeditor » 19 Jul 2018 17:44

My idea is always: intervocalic voicing and loss of some unstressed vowels, works everytime.

Example: penultimate stress, (C)V(C) syllables only, no voicing distinction in stops.
Spoiler:
itaka
pika
kapi
tuko
takta
takita

First change: intervocalic voicing

idaga
piga
kabi
kudo
takta
tagida

Loss of unstressed i

daga
pga
kab
kudo
takta
tagida
Another option is to fuse certain clusters into voiced stops. Nasal stop clusters e.g. can become voiced stops.

Example
Spoiler:
ampa
apa

Stop voicing after nasals

amba
apa

Coda nasal deletion

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

Post by holbuzvala » 19 Jul 2018 18:46

@Creyeditor

Great! I had had these ideas too - nice to have them corroborated.

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

Post by holbuzvala » 19 Jul 2018 18:49

New Question:

I am thinking of having no intransitive verbs in my conlang. Is this feasible and/or attested in natural languages? I would include a 'dud' object in all sentences that have unspecified objects. For instance:

He eats -> He eats something.
He cries -> He cries something (i.e. tears)
He walks -> He walks somewhere.

Am I overlooking examples of intransitive verbs that could never have a dud object inserted next to them?

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

Post by eldin raigmore » 19 Jul 2018 20:38

holbuzvala wrote:
19 Jul 2018 18:49
New Question:

I am thinking of having no intransitive verbs in my conlang. Is this feasible and/or attested in natural languages? I would include a 'dud' object in all sentences that have unspecified objects. For instance:

He eats -> He eats something.
He cries -> He cries something (i.e. tears)
He walks -> He walks somewhere.

Am I overlooking examples of intransitive verbs that could never have a dud object inserted next to them?
It is definitely not attested in natlangs. All natlangs have monovalent root-form verbs and all natlangs have bivalent root-form verbs.
However the ratios vary widely and can be extreme. So there’s a really good chance what you want, or something like it, could be feasible in a conlang.

You could have all root-form verbs be at least bivalent, and have all monovalent verbs derived from them by valency-reducing or detransitivizing morphology such as passivization or antipassivization.
(There are natlangs without root-form ditransitive verbs that do have ditransitive verbs, all of which are formed by valency-raising morphology on monotransitive verbs. The above idea just takes that the other direction.)

There are also natlangs with few (say, a dozen or fewer) grammatical verbs, all of them light-verbs, in which all other “verbs” are formed by a content-word (such as a verbnoun), often as an argument of the light verb. The contentwords are often grammatically nouns but don’t have to be.

You could have something similar. Maybe pick just two light transitive verbs, and create a raft of content-words; then gloss another languages’ intransitive clauses as lightverb+subject+verbnoun or something. I think that’s similar to an idea you mentioned above. (They don’t have to be as few as two! Any transitive verb you can reasonably treat as “light” is a candidate!)

The “dummy object” idea could easily fit with the above.

So, IMHO, it’s looking very feasible.
In spite of not being attested in natlangs.

Good luck and keep us posted!

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

Post by holbuzvala » 20 Jul 2018 12:14

@eldin raigmore

Thanks! I think I'll just have to have intransitive verbs. I'm trying to make my grammatical system have as few initial axioms as possible, and derive the rest of things from that, but when I consider it within the context of its largely non-concatenative morphology, I think I'm trying to accomplish too much with too little. I'll tinker some more, but I think I'll just need to have a set of intransitives, and a set of transitives.

Another question:

How does one designate the heaviness of syllables? My syllables can be, where C=consonant, V=vowel, and W=diphthong:

Code: Select all

V     W
CV    CW
VC    WC
CVC   CWC
CCV   CCW
VCC   WCC
CCVC  CCWC
CVCC  CWCC
CCVCC CCWCC
I've ordered them in what I think is a reasonable order, reading left-to-right and then down the list going light to heavy, i.e: V->W->CV->CW...etc. But really I have no idea what I'm doing. I'd like to know how to do this properly, because I want the heaviest syllable in a word to be stressed, which will trigger various sound changes around it when I apply some tasty diachronics. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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

Post by Salmoneus » 20 Jul 2018 12:58

Regarding intransitives: consider the "object" of verbs like "he dies", "he vibrates", "he sleeps", "he expands", "he vanishes" and so on. Consider that if you makes these into, say, "he dies a death", "he vanishes a disappearance" and so on, you're essentially just repeating yourself unnecessarily. You could have a language with no intransitives by using auxiliaries for intransitives - "he suffers death", "he performs a vanishing" and so on. Some languages do have only a couple of pure verbs. But is this really that meaningful? Or does doing this just mean that the verb "to die" has two syntactic parts to it in such a language?

Then consider that even verbs with an obvious potential objects will usually have a way to drop them when the object is obvious - why waste words? But many intransitives will always have obvious 'objects', so the object will always be dropped, at which point... well, they're intransitive, aren't they? [eg why would people waste breath saying "he cried tears" every time, when 100% of their listeners would know what he cried because they know what crying is?]

-----


On weight: different languages measure weight differently. Vowel length and dipthongisation, and the presence of sonorant or non-sonorant codas, are the usual factors. I don't think it's usual for onset complexity to be a factor. I've a feeling I've seen it in one of those "it's not a universal, look, here's an unheard of papuan language that does it!" lists, but I'm at least confident that it's not the norm.

The more important point, though, is that languages don't rank weights like that. Languages may distinguish 'light' and 'heavy' syllables, and some languages may sometimes have 'super-heavy' syllables. But that's about it. They don't have 18-step gradations of weight. So the rules don't work like "stress goes to the heaviest syllable"; they go "stress goes to the first super-heavy syllable, or, if there are no super-heavy syllables, to the first heavy syllable" and things like that.

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

Post by holbuzvala » 20 Jul 2018 17:28

@Salmoneus

Good to know. If I were then to group my syllables into light, heavy, and super-heavy, what might be a good order for that? I'm thinking:

Code: Select all

Light: (C)(C)V
Heavy: (C)(C)VC (C)(C)W
Super: (C)(C)VCC (C)(C)W(C)C

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

Post by eldin raigmore » 21 Jul 2018 05:51

holbuzvala wrote:
20 Jul 2018 17:28
If I were then to group my syllables into light, heavy, and super-heavy, what might be a good order for that? I'm thinking:

Code: Select all

Light: (C)(C)V
Heavy: (C)(C)VC (C)(C)W
Super: (C)(C)VCC (C)(C)W(C)C
That’s not the only good one, but it’s definitely one of the good ones, (maybe even the best one).

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

Post by lsd » 21 Jul 2018 09:27

holbuzvala wrote:
19 Jul 2018 18:49
I am thinking of having no intransitive verbs in my conlang. Is this feasible and/or attested in natural languages? I would include a 'dud' object in all sentences that have unspecified objects. For instance:
He eats -> He eats something.
He cries -> He cries something (i.e. tears)
He walks -> He walks somewhere.
Am I overlooking examples of intransitive verbs that could never have a dud object inserted next to them?
when I used verbs none were intransitive ...
All intransitive verbs have transitive verbs close to ... and transitive verbs do not necessarily have a specified object ...
For example I used "to be killed (by something)" for "to die", "travel (something)" for 'to move", ...
In a priori conlangs, the first principles are central, and the derivation can be done only on a regular basis ...
it' s more simple to have only one construction... especially now in root concatenations...

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

Post by Ælfwine » 22 Jul 2018 02:13

In my north germanic conlang Mannish, I have a set of initial mutations, one of which causing lenition of the initial consonant and the other causing nasalization. Right now I have initial fricatives merge with initial voiced plosives into nasal consonants through nasalization, but I am wondering if instead, they should merge into nasalized fricatives, much like in Old Irish. I know that /β̃/ is attested in Old Irish, but what about /ð̃/? /ɣ̃/? (NB probably better for the linguistics and natlangs Q&A thread, but still tangibly related to a conlang)
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Pabappa » 22 Jul 2018 02:20

Ælfwine wrote:
22 Jul 2018 02:13
In my north germanic conlang Mannish, I have a set of initial mutations, one of which causing lenition of the initial consonant and the other causing nasalization. Right now I have initial fricatives merge with initial voiced plosives into nasal consonants through nasalization, but I am wondering if instead, they should merge into nasalized fricatives, much like in Old Irish. I know that /β̃/ is attested in Old Irish, but what about /ð̃/? /ɣ̃/?
I dont believe in nasal fricatives, so I vote for keeping them as nasal stops. Old Irish may have had /w~/, /mv/, or something with wide allophony rather than the /v~/ that is claimed on Wikipedia. i think the other nasal fricatives claimed on Wikipedia are better explained as paradigms, where e.g. /v~/ appears in a phonology without /v/ because all of the voiced stops are always prenasalized.

Another alternative is to shift all to /ŋ/, saying that they first changed into approximants, then were nasalized, and that all three were then re-interpreted as a solid /ŋ/. perhpas this could go to /ñ/ near front vowels.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by shimobaatar » 22 Jul 2018 02:27

Ælfwine wrote:
22 Jul 2018 02:13
In my north germanic conlang Mannish, I have a set of initial mutations, one of which causing lenition of the initial consonant and the other causing nasalization. Right now I have initial fricatives merge with initial voiced plosives into nasal consonants through nasalization, but I am wondering if instead, they should merge into nasalized fricatives, much like in Old Irish. I know that /β̃/ is attested in Old Irish, but what about /ð̃/? /ɣ̃/? (NB probably better for the linguistics and natlangs Q&A thread, but still tangibly related to a conlang)
Probably more suited for the "Yay or Nay" thread, actually, but whatever. Anyway, I would go with the fricatives, at least at first. Maybe you could merge them at a later stage of the language if you wanted to.

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

Post by Ælfwine » 22 Jul 2018 02:32

Pabappa wrote:
22 Jul 2018 02:20
Ælfwine wrote:
22 Jul 2018 02:13
In my north germanic conlang Mannish, I have a set of initial mutations, one of which causing lenition of the initial consonant and the other causing nasalization. Right now I have initial fricatives merge with initial voiced plosives into nasal consonants through nasalization, but I am wondering if instead, they should merge into nasalized fricatives, much like in Old Irish. I know that /β̃/ is attested in Old Irish, but what about /ð̃/? /ɣ̃/?
I dont believe in nasal fricatives, so I vote for keeping them as nasal stops. Old Irish may have had /w~/, /mv/, or something with wide allophony rather than the /v~/ that is claimed on Wikipedia. i think the other nasal fricatives claimed on Wikipedia are better explained as paradigms, where e.g. /v~/ appears in a phonology without /v/ because all of the voiced stops are always prenasalized.

Another alternative is to shift all to /ŋ/, saying that they first changed into approximants, then were nasalized, and that all three were then re-interpreted as a solid /ŋ/. perhpas this could go to /ñ/ near front vowels.
So these guys don't exist? [O.o]

Even in English we have a nasalized flap consonant, I don't see nasalized fricatives as impossible, just very rare. Your idea is interesting though, I recall a similar shift in some North Italian langs, though personally I think that might be a bit overkill.
shimobaatar wrote:
22 Jul 2018 02:27
Ælfwine wrote:
22 Jul 2018 02:13
In my north germanic conlang Mannish, I have a set of initial mutations, one of which causing lenition of the initial consonant and the other causing nasalization. Right now I have initial fricatives merge with initial voiced plosives into nasal consonants through nasalization, but I am wondering if instead, they should merge into nasalized fricatives, much like in Old Irish. I know that /β̃/ is attested in Old Irish, but what about /ð̃/? /ɣ̃/? (NB probably better for the linguistics and natlangs Q&A thread, but still tangibly related to a conlang)
Probably more suited for the "Yay or Nay" thread, actually, but whatever. Anyway, I would go with the fricatives, at least at first. Maybe you could merge them at a later stage of the language if you wanted to.
Maybe.

Though thinking about it, if I were to keep any "weird" element in my conlang (despite initial mutations ofc), nasalized fricatives would be one of them.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Porphyrogenitos » 22 Jul 2018 02:39

You know what's odd? My phonetics professor told me that nasalized fricatives are physically impossible and no language has your nasalized fricatives. I've also heard this on conlanging forums. But they seem pretty easy to articulate to me...

Edit: Oops, yeah, I missed the actual conversation just upthread about the existence of nasal fricatives.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Pabappa » 22 Jul 2018 02:49

Ælfwine wrote:
22 Jul 2018 02:32
So these guys don't exist? [O.o]
Right, I believe Wikipedia is mistaken. Nothing in the article about South Arabian languages suggests that there is a /z~/ in any of them, I;ve already addressed Umbundu's /v~/, /h~/ is not really a fricative, and the others are just allophones of other sounds. So I don't believe in phonemic nasal fricatives, and for that reason I also doubt the standard reconstruction of Old Irish. My impression is that Old Irish was given a /v~/ because it's what made the most sense and it was more important to have a list of phonemes than a precise description of all of the allophones. /w~/ would make more sense, i think, and it may have simply shifted all the way to [v] early on, with only nasalization of the preceding vowel distinguishing it from the sound written bh. (Initial mh vs bh would be still distinct since it comes from transparent grammatical processes.)

To calrify, i wasnt saying that phonetic nasal fricatives are impossible to pronounce, but just that i dont believe there are any languages that have even one nasal fricative as a properly contrastive phoneme.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ælfwine » 22 Jul 2018 04:26

That's somewhat disappointing as it would interrupt the harmony (e.g. I have p -> m̥, b -> m, but can't have v -> ṽ). Of course, I could cheat and say the phoneme is actually /mv/ sometimes realized as [ṽ], but eh.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by KaiTheHomoSapien » 22 Jul 2018 04:59

Do you guys have defective nouns/verbs in your conlangs? A defective word being one that is missing certain case or tense forms that it could plausibly have. An example being how the English word can has no infinitive, so you have to say to be able, or the Latin verb inquit, which is limited to only a few forms (not to mention the noun fās, which for some reason isn't declined at all).
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