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

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

Post by Zekoslav » 14 Aug 2019 13:00

It would be interesting to see that. Since my language preserves cases, I'm inclined to place it in a Greek-speaking area: adapting Greek nouns, especially masculines in -ēs and -ās, to Latin declension, could generate interesting results.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Nloki » 14 Aug 2019 17:30

Hi again. Recently I decided to create a language family tree for my future conlangs I'm trying to develop (for the first time), not having tried before because of the many factors that would lead me to a conworlding dead end, even those times I used to get stuck the most.

Although, I'm not sure if this language family tree I've sketched is even slightly naturalistic, it seems like an analogue to PIE branching but with fewer sound changes and too many unnamed languages within it.
In fact, the only things I've named are indeed the main three branches within the language family, Jehoeian, Jhaesian and Qatsewan, which result in the language family to be called Jhekhu-Qatsaic. The word in the slot is an example of phonological evolution during at least five millennia, more specifically the most common word for "child" among the vast majority of the Jhekhu-Qatsaic languages, [pʰɯːʔɴ̩] in the proto-language.

https://pasteboard.co/IsFHM4D.jpg

That's how the paper looks like. I don't have access to any computer right now, thus I had to write it by hand despite my handwriting being a complete mess. Anyway, for the same reason I'll transcript into IPA all the forms on each branch.

¶Jehoeian branch:
[pʰʊːʔɴ̩̊]
[pʰuoqə̥] [pʰuɴ]
[pʊq] [poːkɤ̥] [pɤ̝ŋ] [ˀm̥ʊɲ̟]
[pɤk]
[bɵʊ̯k]
[βøk] [bʊ̞ːk̚] [pok]
[vøx] [bɵɰ̊]
¶Jhaesian branch:
[pʰɯːʔŋ̩]
[ˀm̥ʊʔɲ̩] [pʰɤ̝ʔɲ̟̩]
[ˀm̥ɤ̝i̯ɲ]
[mɵːɲ] [ˀm̥ɤɪɲ]
[mʊ̞ːn]
¶Qatsewan branch:
[pʰɯˀᶰɢə]
[pʰʊʔɴ̩̊] [pʰɯ̃ɴ]
[pʰʊʔɴ̩] [pʰɯ̃ᵝᶰq]
[pʰũŋ] [pʰɤ̝ᵝŋkʰə̥] [pʰɯ̃ᵝɴqʰə̥]
[pʰɨ̃ᵝqχe̝]
[ɸõ̝ŋ] [pʰʉ̃qχ]
[fɤ̝̃ŋ] [ɸõŋ]

Some feedback please?

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

Post by Zekoslav » 14 Aug 2019 17:51

The only thing that seems unrealistic to me is that some sound changes seem to reverse, for example [pʰʊːʔɴ̩̊] > [pʰɯˀᶰɢə] > [pʰʊʔɴ̩̊]. Otherwise it looks fine. As far as similarity goes, even if this word remains relatively similar, others may become unrecognizable, depending on the exact sound changes.
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yangfiretiger121
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by yangfiretiger121 » 14 Aug 2019 18:02

Is [e, i, o, ø, ɶ, ɔ, ɯ] or [a~æ, ɑ, e, o, ø, u, y] the more natural inventory?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ælfwine » 14 Aug 2019 18:15

yangfiretiger121 wrote:
14 Aug 2019 18:02
Is [e, i, o, ø, ɶ, ɔ, ɯ] or [a~æ, ɑ, e, o, ø, u, y] the more natural inventory?
I would say the latter, if only because all spaces are equally distributed by phonemes.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Nortaneous » 14 Aug 2019 20:20

yangfiretiger121 wrote:
14 Aug 2019 18:02
Is [e, i, o, ø, ɶ, ɔ, ɯ] or [a~æ, ɑ, e, o, ø, u, y] the more natural inventory?

Code: Select all

i   ɯ
e ø o
ɶ   ɔ

  y u
e ø o
æ ɑ
neither - almost all languages have /a/ and either /i/ or (in the case of VVSes) a high vowel unmarked for [+/-front]. /y/ necessarily implies /i/, and /ɶ/ is an artifact of the IPA trying to be logical, not a real phoneme that can actually happen

/a ɔ e ø o i u/ and /æ ɑ e ø o i y u/ are the closest inventories to those that are natural, and in the first one you could maybe have /ɯ/ instead of /u/ but I think that would lead to a shift of ɔ > o > u, ɯ > i or schwa or something, maybe also ø > y but if you only have one front rounded vowel it can just vary between mid and high (cf. Kentish y > e, Souletin Basque y~ø, Polish central unrounded ɨ~ə... are there phonetic studies of Hopi?)

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

Post by yangfiretiger121 » 14 Aug 2019 21:46

Nortaneous wrote:
14 Aug 2019 20:20
yangfiretiger121 wrote:
14 Aug 2019 18:02
Is [e, i, o, ø, ɶ, ɔ, ɯ] or [a~æ, ɑ, e, o, ø, u, y] the more natural inventory?

Code: Select all

i   ɯ
e ø o
ɶ   ɔ

  y u
e ø o
æ ɑ
neither - almost all languages have /a/ and either /i/ or (in the case of VVSes) a high vowel unmarked for [+/-front]. /y/ necessarily implies /i/, and /ɶ/ is an artifact of the IPA trying to be logical, not a real phoneme that can actually happen

/a ɔ e ø o i u/ and /æ ɑ e ø o i y u/ are the closest inventories to those that are natural, and in the first one you could maybe have /ɯ/ instead of /u/ but I think that would lead to a shift of ɔ > o > u, ɯ > i or schwa or something, maybe also ø > y but if you only have one front rounded vowel it can just vary between mid and high (cf. Kentish y > e, Souletin Basque y~ø, Polish central unrounded ɨ~ə... are there phonetic studies of Hopi?)
Ah. Okay. However—regarding the second inventory, this Gaelic hybrid isolate wouldn't contrast the low front unrounded vowels. The low front vowel, /æ̞/, will be Romanized <æ/ä>, whereas the low back vowel, /ɑ/, will be Romanized <a>, if I use that one. Native linguists will have, simply, used the chosen an unambiguous transcription for the phone not wanting to confuse native speakers.

Is there a way to get [fˠ → ʍ], with [ʍ] being a true fricative?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Nloki » 14 Aug 2019 22:09

Zekoslav wrote:
14 Aug 2019 17:51
The only thing that seems unrealistic to me is that some sound changes seem to reverse, for example [pʰʊːʔɴ̩̊] > [pʰɯˀᶰɢə] > [pʰʊʔɴ̩̊]. Otherwise it looks fine. As far as similarity goes, even if this word remains relatively similar, others may become unrecognizable, depending on the exact sound changes.
Thank you Zekoslav. Besides this matter, I've come up with another doubt (I mean, for everyone):

•Does any natlang feature (a set of) preglottalized (voiceless) nasals? I don't know how did I come up these phonemes, but unexplainably I've fell in love with them. In fact, within both the Jehoeian and Qatsewan branches of the Jhekhu-Qatsaic language family there is a phonemic set of these consonants (/ˀm̥ ˀn̪̊ ˀɲ̊ ˀŋ̊/) throughout all the phonological evolution on each branch (with some variations during phonological history of course), despite their respective speaker communities being separated from each other by the mountainous ice cap to the north and a vast ocean to the south (diachronically speaking of my conworlding project).

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

Post by Omzinesý » 14 Aug 2019 22:35

I'm wondering subject properties of chain verb constructions. In (1), come and give share the subject and subject marking is straightforward, but in (2), the subject of die is the object of hit. How do languages with serial verbs mark it or should it just be understood from the context? I understand different languages do it differently but what strategies there are?

(1)
[ X ] [ [ come ] [ give Y ] ]
'X brought Y.'

(2)
[ X hit ( Y ] die )
'X killed Y.'

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

Post by Nloki » 15 Aug 2019 02:25

Zekoslav wrote:
14 Aug 2019 17:51
The only thing that seems unrealistic to me is that some sound changes seem to reverse, for example [pʰʊːʔɴ̩̊] > [pʰɯˀᶰɢə] > [pʰʊʔɴ̩̊]. Otherwise it looks fine. As far as similarity goes, even if this word remains relatively similar, others may become unrecognizable, depending on the exact sound changes.
Thank you Zekoslav. Besides this matter, I've come up with another doubt (I mean, for everyone):

•Does any natlang feature (a set of) preglottalized (voiceless) nasals? I don't know how did I come up these phonemes, but unexplainably I've fallen in love with them. In fact, within both the Jehoeian and Qatsewan branches of the Jhekhu-Qatsaic language family there is a phonemic set of these consonants (/ˀm̥ ˀn̪̊ ˀɲ̊ ˀŋ̊/) throughout all the phonological evolution on each branch (with some variations during phonological history of course), despite their respective speaker communities being separated from each other by the mountainous ice cap to the north and a vast ocean to the south (diachronically speaking of my conworlding project).
Omzinesý wrote:
14 Aug 2019 22:35
I'm wondering subject properties of chain verb constructions. In (1), come and give share the subject and subject marking is straightforward, but in (2), the subject of die is the object of hit. How do languages with serial verbs mark it or should it just be understood from the context? I understand different languages do it differently but what strategies there are?

(1)
[ X ] [ [ come ] [ give Y ] ]
'X brought Y.'

(2)
[ X hit ( Y ] die )
'X killed Y.'
Despite worthless half an hour research I couldn't really find anything on how natural languages deal with such issues on rather semantically "catenative" verb constructions. However, there could be some approaches to this matter independently from naturalism:

•If thinking on a moderately high degree of sythesis, I would rather have some sort of switch reference marking on the Y argument’s verb, in this case die.

•If your ideas are to make it isolating, even if slightly, use a causative. If barely isolating however, then split the construction into two clauses instead, linking them with "and" (which I'd never do for my grammatical taste's sake but... Well, that's up to you).
Last edited by Nloki on 15 Aug 2019 16:29, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Ahzoh » 15 Aug 2019 03:39

Can a language have /ʝ ɣʷ/ without /j w/?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by LinguoFranco » 15 Aug 2019 19:39

How are prenasalized consonants treated in between vowels? Are they considered separate or the same. For example, let's say you have /kamba/, would it be /ka.mba/ or /kam.ba/? I know that prenasalized consonants are treated as one phoneme at the beginning of the word instead of a syllabic nasal followed by a cosnont (/mba/ and not /m.ba/), but could/does the rule change under other circumstances?

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

Post by Zekoslav » 15 Aug 2019 20:23

My understanding of prenasalised consonants is that /kamba/ would be syllabified as /ka.mba/. If for example your only consonant clusters were intervocallic /mb/, /nd/ and /ŋg/, then it would be feasible to analyse these as prenasalised consonants and your syllable structure as CV
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by LinguistCat » 15 Aug 2019 21:07

LinguoFranco wrote:
15 Aug 2019 19:39
How are prenasalized consonants treated in between vowels? Are they considered separate or the same. For example, let's say you have /kamba/, would it be /ka.mba/ or /kam.ba/? I know that prenasalized consonants are treated as one phoneme at the beginning of the word instead of a syllabic nasal followed by a consonant (/mba/ and not /m.ba/), but could/does the rule change under other circumstances?
This is usually the difference between prenasalized consonants and homorganic nasal/consonant clusters. In all cases, prenasalized consonants are treated as phonemes, while nasal/consonant clusters are treated as, well, clusters. While I was researching prenasalized consonants for my own conlang project, someone even pointed me to evidence that, in languages with prenasalized consonants and gemination, geminated prenasalized consonants most often become nasal/consonant clusters.

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

Post by Nortaneous » 16 Aug 2019 06:08

yangfiretiger121 wrote:
14 Aug 2019 21:46
Is there a way to get [fˠ → ʍ], with [ʍ] being a true fricative?
Woleaian had *f *pʷ > f ɸʷ (and Proto-Micronesian *f patterned as palatalized - cf. *f > ɦʲ in Marshallese), and Irish Gaelic has vʲ/w - so yes, you can just do that
Nloki wrote:
14 Aug 2019 22:09
Does any natlang feature (a set of) preglottalized (voiceless) nasals?
Preglottalized nasals are attested, but I don't know if there are any attestations of a voicing contrast in preglottalized nasals. Partial voicelessness could be a phonetic detail, maybe - 'voiceless' nasals usually still have negative VOT.
Zekoslav wrote:
15 Aug 2019 20:23
My understanding of prenasalised consonants is that /kamba/ would be syllabified as /ka.mba/. If for example your only consonant clusters were intervocallic /mb/, /nd/ and /ŋg/, then it would be feasible to analyse these as prenasalised consonants and your syllable structure as CV
In some Papuan languages, the nasal component of a prenasalized stop can close a preceding syllable where possible, except in particularly slow speech.
Ahzoh wrote:
15 Aug 2019 03:39
Can a language have /ʝ ɣʷ/ without /j w/?
This isn't attested in PHOIBLE, but /ʝ β/ without /j w/ is (Pisamira, Chiriguano, Koryak), and /ɣʷ/ without /w/ is (Hiw). Analyzing these as fricatives would probably come down to phonotactic detail - Hiw is conventionally analyzed as having /w/, but it patterns phonotactically with the voiced fricatives rather than with /j/.

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

Post by Nloki » 18 Aug 2019 13:55

Nortaneous wrote:
16 Aug 2019 06:08
Nloki wrote:
14 Aug 2019 22:09
Does any natlang feature (a set of) preglottalized (voiceless) nasals?
Preglottalized nasals are attested, but I don't know if there are any attestations of a voicing contrast in preglottalized nasals. Partial voicelessness could be a phonetic detail, maybe - 'voiceless' nasals usually still have negative VOT.
I meant a set of preglottalized nasals alone, not a contrastive difference among phonemic voiceless and voiced ones. For example: /ˀm̥ ˀn̪̊ ˀɲ̊ ˀŋ̊/ which would turn into plain voiced nasal allophones between vowels, and also a phonemic set of the latter ones turning into approximants intervocallically (again).
Last edited by Nloki on 19 Aug 2019 09:41, edited 2 times in total.

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

Post by Ser » 18 Aug 2019 21:51

LinguoFranco wrote:
15 Aug 2019 19:39
How are prenasalized consonants treated in between vowels? Are they considered separate or the same. For example, let's say you have /kamba/, would it be /ka.mba/ or /kam.ba/? I know that prenasalized consonants are treated as one phoneme at the beginning of the word instead of a syllabic nasal followed by a cosnont (/mba/ and not /m.ba/), but could/does the rule change under other circumstances?
The Wikipedia article "prenasalized consonant" contains a pair of beautiful spectrograms showing how Sri Lankan Malay distinguishes /a.mba/ from /am.ba/ (it has something like /a.mba/ [amba] with a very short [m] versus /am.ba/ [amba] with a very short [a] before the pre-nasalized consonant).

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

Post by yangfiretiger121 » 19 Aug 2019 21:26

Is {i, y, ɨ → y} but {j, j˗ → ʝ̞˗} with separate [ɥ] plausible, or would {j, ɥ, j˗ → ɥ} happen as well?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Davush » 20 Aug 2019 20:59

Ahzoh wrote:
15 Aug 2019 03:39
Can a language have /ʝ ɣʷ/ without /j w/?
Arguably some dialects of Spanish have this, where initial /w/ is fortified to /gw/ or /ɣw/ which is most notable in loans but also things like huevo as /gwevo/.

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

Post by Zekoslav » 21 Aug 2019 12:10

Davush wrote:
20 Aug 2019 20:59
Ahzoh wrote:
15 Aug 2019 03:39
Can a language have /ʝ ɣʷ/ without /j w/?
Arguably some dialects of Spanish have this, where initial /w/ is fortified to /gw/ or /ɣw/ which is most notable in loans but also things like huevo as /gwevo/.
/w/ and /j/ could easily fortify and become /ɣʷ/ and /ʝ/, which would lead to the exact situation you're describing. Although, the languages I know of that fortified /w/ and /j/ usually go further and end up with stops and affricates. Maybe if you have preexisting /ɣʷ/ and /ʝ/ the development would stop at that point.
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