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

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

Post by WeepingElf » 10 May 2019 23:14

Tuyono wrote:
10 May 2019 22:05
WeepingElf wrote:
09 May 2019 18:19
It at least appears to have been that way in (Late) Proto-Indo-European: stative verbs ("perfects") are a third category besides imperfective ("present") and perfective ("aorist") verbs.
Thanks for the answer! So in that system, how do you describe a state that's in the past and no longer true? Also, was "to be" a stative verb or not?
The thing was already quite fouled up in Late PIE, and 'to be' was not a morphologically stative verb. Things also were fouled up in Hittite, though in a different way - which endings a verb used was specified lexically.

In my conlang Old Albic, which represents a branch of IE which diverged before these things were fouled up, stative verbs are inflected for tense normally. I am not sure yet about aspect, but stative verbs at least have a gnomic aorist (a perfective form used to make statements that are always true). Old Albic has two verbs 'to be', roughly equivalent to Spanish ser and estar, and both are stative.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Reyzadren » 11 May 2019 00:27

CarsonDaConlanger wrote:
10 May 2019 16:23
Speaking of which, how do langs with no tense and only aspect convey a generic past tense? Do they use perfective aspect? Wouldn't that just make it a tense anyways? For example how would they say "John fought the snake?"
Langs without tenses don't convey tenses because they don't need to. Most conlangers place too much value on tense and assume that tenseless langs need to somehow express them whenever a tense language does, especially with regards to tense agreement, which is false. The strategy and usage depends on the specific language really.

Relevant example from that other natlang that I speak: There are several things that one could use which would cause a resemblance of past tense. Using the word "already" (which I assume is what you mean by "perfective"), using a generic word that means "I am a past tense", add an additional clause such as "and this happened in the past", 0 (ie, do nothing). Which do you think is the most common method to translate "John fought a snake"?

The answer is 0. Ie, "John fight snake". This might seem strange to you, but nobody speaking this natlang ever spams "I am a past tense" (or the other ways) in every sentence, even when it is obvious from the translation that there was a past tense involved. The natlang simply doesn't care. In fact, my conlang does this too.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by yangfiretiger121 » 12 May 2019 00:09

I know I want my setting's current lang's (near-)high vowel(s) to palatalize [t d s z} > [ȶɕ ȡʑ ɕ ʑ]. For simplicity, [s-] morae will be used hereafter. Is <ϲύ> ([ɕuː])/<ϲώ> ([ɕoː]; formerly, <ϲύα>)/<ϲί> ([ɕʊː]; formerly, <ϲύε>), <ϲύ> ([ɕuː])/<ϲὕ> ([ɕi̥ː]; formerly, <ϲέυ>)/<ϲί> ([ɕʊː]; formerly, <ϲύε>), or <ϲύ> ([ɕuː])/<ϲὕ> ([ɕi̥ː]; formerly, <ϲέυ>)/<ϲώ> ([ɕoː]; formerly, <ϲύα>)/<ϲί> ([ɕʊː]; formerly, <ϲύε>) more natural with [u(ː)] being its only native high vowel?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Creyeditor » 12 May 2019 00:32

Sorry, I don't understand your question. Could you rephrase it?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by yangfiretiger121 » 12 May 2019 01:24

The language has a total of eight distinct vowel phones [ɑ(ː) æ̥(ː) ɛ̥(ː) i̥(ː) o(ː) ɔ(ː) ʊ(ː) u(ː)] with allophonic length when preceded by a pulmonic consonant, such as [ s], but nine orthographic vowels (short orthographies omitted) <ά (á) ἅ (éa) έ (é) ὕ (éu) ό (áu)/ώ (úa) ή (áe) ί (úe) ύ (ú)> due to coalescence. Is it more natural for them to start by palatalizing coronal stops/fricatives before <ύ> (<ϲύ> [suː > ɕuː], etc.) or have the coalescence cause the palatalization thereby palatalizing <ϲὕ/ϲέυ> [si̥ː > ɕi̥ː], etc., for example?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by shimobaatar » 12 May 2019 01:40

I'm not sure what you mean about "coalescence", but palatalization tends to be conditioned by front vowels or [j], so it seems much more natural to me for it to occur before the voiceless [i] than before [u]. I'm sure you could find a way to justify it historically, but without any such explanation, having palatalization occur before [u] seems strange to me.

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

Post by spanick » 12 May 2019 01:47

I think coalensence is two historical vowels merging.(?)

My first choice would be to go for the conditioned change before the vowel merger if I wanted to produce a bunch of minimal pairs. I'd only do it after the vowel merge if I was going to lots of homophones and potentially going to distinguish these by tone or some such.

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

Post by yangfiretiger121 » 12 May 2019 01:56

Okay. Thanks. Just to confirm, the palatalization begins as <ϲέ> [sɛ̥ː > ɕɛ̥ː], etc. and expands to <ϲὕ/ϲέυ> [si̥ː > ɕi̥ː], etc. because it's meant to be limited, correct?

Historically, <ϲέυ> was [ɕɛ̥ː.u].
Last edited by yangfiretiger121 on 12 May 2019 02:02, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by spanick » 12 May 2019 02:02

yangfiretiger121 wrote:
12 May 2019 01:56
Okay. Thanks. Just to confirm, the palatalization begins as <ϲέ> [sɛ̥ː > ɕɛ̥ː], etc. and expands to <ϲὕ/ϲέυ> [si̥ː > ɕi̥ː], etc. because it's meant to be limited, correct?
Sorry, I think your orthography is throwing me off. What I was saying is that if <ϲὕ> and <ϲέυ> has historically different vowels, then I'd palatalize before the vowels merge so those two words would contrast. But yes, I think it's very natural for palatalization to spread from before front mid vowels to other front vowels.

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

Post by yangfiretiger121 » 12 May 2019 02:13

spanick wrote:
12 May 2019 02:02
yangfiretiger121 wrote:
12 May 2019 01:56
Okay. Thanks. Just to confirm, the palatalization begins as <ϲέ> [sɛ̥ː > ɕɛ̥ː], etc. and expands to <ϲὕ/ϲέυ> [si̥ː > ɕi̥ː], etc. because it's meant to be limited, correct?
Sorry, I think your orthography is throwing me off. What I was saying is that if <ϲὕ> and <ϲέυ> has historically different vowels, then I'd palatalize before the vowels merge so those two words would contrast. But yes, I think it's very natural for palatalization to spread from before front mid vowels to other front vowels.
I edited the first part of this in above.

Historically, <ε/έυ> was [ɛ̥(ː).u]. Then, [ɛ̥ː <-> u > i̥ː]. The same is true for historical [ɛ̥(ː).ɑ], which coalesced into [ḁ(ː)]
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by sangi39 » 12 May 2019 02:25

shimobaatar wrote:
12 May 2019 01:40
I'm not sure what you mean about "coalescence", but palatalization tends to be conditioned by front vowels or [j], so it seems much more natural to me for it to occur before the voiceless [i] than before [u]. I'm sure you could find a way to justify it historically, but without any such explanation, having palatalization occur before [u] seems strange to me.
IIRC, there are languages where palatalisation has happened before /u/, though. Coatzospan Mixtec, O'odham, Sentani, and Maori, according to this source (and I've found other papers backing up those claims for at least Coatzospan Mixtec, Sentani, and Maori).

That same paper, though, does point out that those were the only four languages in their sample that should palatalisation triggered by a high back vowel, and further that in those four languages palatalisation was also triggered by high vowels further forward in the mouth (/i/ and /ɨ/). In other words, as far as it looks, palatalisation triggered by /u/ implies that palatalisation triggered by /i/ (the author also notes a similar trend amongst front vowels by height, e.g. if /ɛ̥/ triggers palatalisation, then it's also expected that /i/ will as well).

What I also found interesting was that in, Coatzospan Mixtec, /i/ and /u/ triggered palatalisation to different degrees (the former triggering [t] > [tʃ], the latter [t] > [tʲ], for example)
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by yangfiretiger121 » 12 May 2019 02:32

sangi39 wrote:
12 May 2019 02:25
shimobaatar wrote:
12 May 2019 01:40
I'm not sure what you mean about "coalescence", but palatalization tends to be conditioned by front vowels or [j], so it seems much more natural to me for it to occur before the voiceless [i] than before [u]. I'm sure you could find a way to justify it historically, but without any such explanation, having palatalization occur before [u] seems strange to me.
IIRC, there are languages where palatalisation has happened before /u/, though. Coatzospan Mixtec, O'odham, Sentani, and Maori, according to this source (and I've found other papers backing up those claims for at least Coatzospan Mixtec, Sentani, and Maori).

That same paper, though, does point out that those were the only four languages in their sample that should palatalisation triggered by a high back vowel, and further that in those four languages palatalisation was also triggered by high vowels further forward in the mouth (/i/ and /ɨ/). In other words, as far as it looks, palatalisation triggered by /u/ implies that palatalisation triggered by /i/ (the author also notes a similar trend amongst front vowels by height, e.g. if /ɛ̥/ triggers palatalisation, then it's also expected that /i/ will as well).

What I also found interesting was that in, Coatzospan Mixtec, /i/ and /u/ triggered palatalisation to different degrees (the former triggering [t] > [tʃ], the latter [t] > [tʲ], for example)
My idea is/was for /i̥ː/, /uː/, and, potentially, the near-high /ʊː/ to trigger palatalization.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by shimobaatar » 12 May 2019 02:40

spanick wrote:
12 May 2019 01:47
I think coalensence is two historical vowels merging.(?)
Right, I just wasn't sure how it was relevant, but I think I see now.
sangi39 wrote:
12 May 2019 02:25
[…]
Oh, wow, that's fascinating. Thank you!

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

Post by Ælfwine » 12 May 2019 02:45

Can sound changes skip words if they are common/popular enough? For example, my definite article resists the raising of o: > u: in my language.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by spanick » 12 May 2019 02:47

Ælfwine wrote:
12 May 2019 02:45
Can sound changes skip words if they are common/popular enough? For example, my definite article resists the raising of o: > u: in my language.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ælfwine » 12 May 2019 02:57

spanick wrote:
12 May 2019 02:47
Ælfwine wrote:
12 May 2019 02:45
Can sound changes skip words if they are common/popular enough? For example, my definite article resists the raising of o: > u: in my language.
The neo-grammarians are spinning in their graves.
The more I immerse myself in linguistics, the more it seems that certain dogma, such as "sound change is exceptionless" is false. (But what do I know.)
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by spanick » 12 May 2019 03:05

Ælfwine wrote:
12 May 2019 02:57
spanick wrote:
12 May 2019 02:47
Ælfwine wrote:
12 May 2019 02:45
Can sound changes skip words if they are common/popular enough? For example, my definite article resists the raising of o: > u: in my language.
The neo-grammarians are spinning in their graves.
The more I immerse myself in linguistics, the more it seems that certain dogma, such as "sound change is exceptionless" is false. (But what do I know.)
I'm just giving you a hard time. I tend to agree.

I'm not certain that I can think of an example where a very common word resisted phonological change. Common words do tend to retain irregular forms longer than other verbs, so there's that.

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

Post by eldin raigmore » 12 May 2019 06:43

CarsonDaConlanger wrote:
10 May 2019 16:23
Speaking of which, how do langs with no tense and only aspect convey a generic past tense? Do they use perfective aspect? Wouldn't that just make it a tense anyways? For example how would they say "John fought the snake?"
That means they have Aspect morphology but not tense morphology.
They’d assume imperfective were present and perfective were nonpresent.
They’d distinguish between past and future lexically, with a temporal auxiliary word.
For maximum economy they’d probably have a future auxiliary, and indicate simple past with just perfective aspect and no auxiliary.

They might do it the other way round, but in my opinion not likely.
Or they might have both a past auxiliary and a future auxiliary, but again in my opinion not likely.

You didn’t say they don’t have Modality/mode/mood morphology.
If they do, they probably assume irrealis means future and realis means nonfuture.
So they might use perfective irrealis for future, perfective realis for past, and imperfective realis for present.

Does that seem understandable, and probably right?
(It’s a lot like what Dormouse said.)


—————

There are other ways. Maybe suppletion e.g.

Or, like Reyzadren said, just occasionally or even usually don’t bother to indicate tense.

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

Post by Dormouse559 » 12 May 2019 09:41

spanick wrote:
12 May 2019 03:05
Ælfwine wrote:
12 May 2019 02:57
spanick wrote:
12 May 2019 02:47
Ælfwine wrote:
12 May 2019 02:45
Can sound changes skip words if they are common/popular enough? For example, my definite article resists the raising of o: > u: in my language.
The neo-grammarians are spinning in their graves.
The more I immerse myself in linguistics, the more it seems that certain dogma, such as "sound change is exceptionless" is false. (But what do I know.)
I'm just giving you a hard time. I tend to agree.

I'm not certain that I can think of an example where a very common word resisted phonological change. Common words do tend to retain irregular forms longer than other verbs, so there's that.
And those irregular forms often emerge from regular application of sound changes. [xP]

There are some words in French which have seemingly avoided certain sound changes, but I've found explanations for that based on their past environment. Latin illac became /la/ in modern French, which is surprising because the word often appears in a stressed position, and Latin /a/ would've normally become /ɛ/ or /e/ in that environment. The case of is explained by its use in phrases like là-dedans "therein", where historically it was unstressed and /a/ didn't shift. Since stress is no longer phonemic in French, that fact isn't obvious.

So all that's a long way of saying that a condition in an older form of the language might be responsible for an apparently unmotivated exception in the modern language.

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

Post by yangfiretiger121 » 12 May 2019 14:45

I definitely should've asked my question much differently than I did. My idea is for /i̥ː/, /uː/, and, potentially, the near-high /ʊː/ to trigger palatalization of coronal stops/fricatives in my setting's current language. Is a near-high vowel, such as /ʊː/, likely to do so?
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