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

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

Post by Pabappa » 15 Jan 2019 18:12

The languages with pure CV often allow prenasals, though. Glottal stop codas can be analyzed as a feature of the vowel, and therefore also CV.

I think if there is only one type of consonant allowed in coda position, it's usually a nasal. Though Aui and Eskimo are exceptions. I don't know a language with /k s/ and no others offhand... I'm curious where it is.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by shimobaatar » 15 Jan 2019 18:21

Excellent answers, Frislander and sangi39.
Pabappa wrote:
15 Jan 2019 18:12
The languages with pure CV often allow prenasals, though. Glottal stop codas can be analyzed as a feature of the vowel, and therefore also CV.
That's a good point. Some things can be a matter of analysis.
Pabappa wrote:
15 Jan 2019 18:12
I think if there is only one type of consonant allowed in coda position, it's usually a nasal. Though Aui and Eskimo are exceptions.
Isn't Aui a conlang? Do any Inuit languages allow coda consonants other than stops?
Pabappa wrote:
15 Jan 2019 18:12
I don't know a language with /k s/ and no others offhand... I'm curious where it is.
If I had to hazard a guess, I'd probably say Papua New Guinea, but I'm curious what the correct answer is, too.

Keenir wrote:
10 Jan 2019 22:28
update...however small...
shimobaatar wrote:
30 Dec 2018 15:14
Keenir wrote:
30 Dec 2018 06:16
I'd be content with a copper vein. Any texts I find, I will inform you of.
Well said. I'll do the same, of course.
I got ahold of my library's copy of The Story of Spanish by Jean-Benoit {the I with a ^ over it} Nadeau and Julie Barlow...

It says the modern name Gonzalo has the root gunthis = fight.
...and that Fernando comes from frithu = peace.....and ninth = audacity.

Early Visigothic loans include
* spy = espia (with a / over the I)
* clothing = ropa
* site = sitio

Late Visigothic loans include
* to adorn = ataviar
* to pour wine = escanciar
* goose = ganso (I assume this is the bird, not the action)
* lid = tapa

Visigothic names of early Spain: Reccared, Wamba, Recceswinth, Chindasuinth {a connection between -swi- and -swui-?}, Seisebut, Leovigild, Roderic, Athanagild.

Visigothic provided a suffix for Spanish as well: -engo <-- from -ing (belonging to)
Thanks for the update!
Lambuzhao wrote:
12 Jan 2019 21:53
This may be a copper vein worth spelunking:
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10. ... 9.11435671
I'll have to give this a closer look when I have time.

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

Post by Frislander » 15 Jan 2019 18:31

shimobaatar wrote:
15 Jan 2019 18:21
Pabappa wrote:
15 Jan 2019 18:12
I think if there is only one type of consonant allowed in coda position, it's usually a nasal. Though Aui and Eskimo are exceptions.
Isn't Aui a conlang? Do any Inuit languages allow coda consonants other than stops?
I think that's a typo of Iau. And as for the Inuit question, most varieties do allow coda-n, as shown by names such as Inuktun, Inuvialuktun, Siglitun etc., though iirc it's not that common due to the morphological forms of most suffixes.
Pabappa wrote:
15 Jan 2019 18:12
I don't know a language with /k s/ and no others offhand... I'm curious where it is.
If I had to hazard a guess, I'd probably say Papua New Guinea, but I'm curious what the correct answer is, too.
It's Rotinese in the Moluccas, so not far off.

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

Post by Pabappa » 15 Jan 2019 18:36

shimobaatar wrote:
15 Jan 2019 18:21
Pabappa wrote:
15 Jan 2019 18:12
I think if there is only one type of consonant allowed in coda position, it's usually a nasal. Though Aui and Eskimo are exceptions.
Isn't Aui a conlang?
sorry i meant Iau. Http://enwp.org/iau_language .
Do any Inuit languages allow coda consonants other than stops?
some dialects have turned the stop codas into nasals, but i don't think there exists a dialect where the two coexist.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Frislander » 16 Jan 2019 11:21

Pabappa wrote:
15 Jan 2019 18:36
shimobaatar wrote:
15 Jan 2019 18:21
Do any Inuit languages allow coda consonants other than stops?
some dialects have turned the stop codas into nasals, but i don't think there exists a dialect where the two coexist.
Not true - Kalaallisut has some cases of final /n/, Iñupiat allows both final stops and nasals, and other dialects also allow both.

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

Post by Omzinesý » 16 Jan 2019 18:19

Frislander wrote:
16 Jan 2019 11:21
Pabappa wrote:
15 Jan 2019 18:36
shimobaatar wrote:
15 Jan 2019 18:21
Do any Inuit languages allow coda consonants other than stops?
some dialects have turned the stop codas into nasals, but i don't think there exists a dialect where the two coexist.
Not true - Kalaallisut has some cases of final /n/, Iñupiat allows both final stops and nasals, and other dialects also allow both.
ʁ is also a very common coda consonant in Kalaallisut.

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

Post by Keenir » 17 Jan 2019 08:46

Lambuzhao wrote:
12 Jan 2019 21:53
Keenir wrote:
30 Dec 2018 06:16
shimobaatar wrote:
30 Dec 2018 04:28
Even if my understanding is completely off, the end result is that we don't really have many surviving records of the language of the Visigoths, if we have any at all.
While quite true, your statement reminded me of a language book (I think it was just Spanish(subtitle escapes me), a history of the language, whose first (second? prologue?) chapter talked about the Carthaginian linguistic past - and how "Hispania" comes from the word for conies and hyraxes. I'll see if I can find that as well.
{EDIT: https://www.amazon.com/Story-Spanish-Je ... h+language }

:D Visigothic...RL's naming language. :D
I'd certainly like for this information to be out there somewhere, though, so I wish you the best of luck. Maybe you'll stumble across a goldmine, so to speak, somewhere I've never thought to look.
I'd be content with a copper vein. Any texts I find, I will inform you of.
This may be a copper vein worth spelunking:
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10. ... 9.11435671
:wat:
thank you! much appreciated.
At work on Apaan: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4799

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

Post by eldin raigmore » 17 Jan 2019 16:49

Don’t reconstructed languages, count as constructed languages?

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

Post by holbuzvala » 17 Jan 2019 18:13

Don’t reconstructed languages, count as constructed languages?
My gut answer is no, because reconstructed languages are attempting to recreate something that (theoretically) once was, like PIE, with whatever accuracy. Meanwhile, conlangs, even those very closely based on real langs or real language families (I'm looking at you, Romlangers) were never 'real', and are not an attempt to recreate something that was ever real. I think it has to do with the goal of the process, as opposed to the process itself.

But I could be swayed to think otherwise.

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

Post by LinguistCat » 17 Jan 2019 22:47

cross-posted from the ZBB

How realistic would it be for a language to go from SOV to VSO, possibly by fronting the verb for some kind of emphasis? What other parts of grammar would be likely to change early on?

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

Post by eldin raigmore » 18 Jan 2019 00:03

LinguistCat wrote:
17 Jan 2019 22:47
cross-posted from the ZBB

How realistic would it be for a language to go from SOV to VSO, possibly by fronting the verb for some kind of emphasis? What other parts of grammar would be likely to change early on?
My guess is, not unlikely.
The change would probably happen faster for main clauses than for subordinate clauses.
It might be less usual to go from SOV to VSO, than from SVO to VSO. That’s just a guess.
SV languages and OV languages presumably favor suffixes over prefixes. (That includes SVO languages.)
VS languages are supposed to be about equally as suffixing as prefixing.
OV languages are supposed to put noun-modifiers before nouns and put verb-modifiers after verbs. (I don’t know how true that is of SV languages.)
VO languages are supposed to put verb-modifiers before verbs and put noun-modifiers after nouns. (I don’t know how true that is of VS languages.)

I don’t know how rapid or thorough those word-order changes would be for a language that goes from SOV to VSO. I would imagine prefixes would grow to equality with suffixes slowly, if at all.

WALS.info can help you a lot.
So can the Language Universals Archive.
Also, do a Google Books search for books with the phase “Word-Order Change” in the title.
Or something like that.
Last edited by eldin raigmore on 19 Jan 2019 20:09, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Shemtov » 18 Jan 2019 04:07

If a language is split-erg based on person, that is, if the A or P is 1P or 2P, the alignment shifts to Nom-Acc, how would P be handled if the "activator" is A? Would it be naturalistic to have the Accusative be the same as the Ergative, or an different affix, or something else entirely (1 and 2P As trigger fixed word order, while ergative utterances have free word order in regards to A, V, and P)? Given that the pronoun is marked as either nominative or accusative, could the form of the P be the same as the Absolutive, as it must be P, as the Nominative noun is marked as A (and vice versa)?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by holbuzvala » 18 Jan 2019 15:13

@Shemtov

Not sure if I've understood your question correctly (especially about "activators"), but there is a neat system in amman iar which you can look at here under the heading 'A System to be Reckoned With': https://dedalvs.com/smileys/2010.html

It uses affixes, and you could adapt the system so yours marks the patient for nom-acc environments, and marks the agent in erg-abs environments. You'd kinda have four sorts of sentences then:

1. A is 1p/2p; P is 1p/2p;; P is marked (accusative)
2. A is 1p/2p; P is 3p;; nothing is marked
3. A is 3p; P is 1p/2p;; P is marked (accusative)
4. A is 3p; P is 3p;; A is marked (ergative)

OR, if you like strict word orders, come up with a general rule, then apply it. For instance 'the more 1p/2p a thing is, the closer to the front of the utterance it is' might yeild:

1. A=1p/2p; P=1p/2p;; -> A P V = 1p 2p see = I see you
2. A=1p/2p; P=3p ;; -> A V P = 1p see 3p = I see him
3. A=3p, P=1p/2p;; -> P A V = 1p 3p see = "me he sees" = he sees me
4. A=3p; P=3p;; -> A P V/ A V P = 3p 3p see/ 3p see 3p = he sees him

N.B. For #4, you could use either word order depending on the salience of the objects mentioned (like Russian kinda uses word order to indicate definiteness), as 1p and 2p are already 'definite' in the exampels including them in #1-3.

Hope this helps!

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

Post by Ælfwine » 19 Jan 2019 04:10

How likely is it that a language could borrow vowel harmony? I am aware of Cappadochian Greek, although that language is odd as it is more or less a strongly mixed language.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Frislander » 19 Jan 2019 15:44

[quote="eldin raigmore" post_id=287717 time=1547766209 user_id=99]
[quote=LinguistCat post_id=287715 time=1547761667 user_id=3650]
cross-posted from the ZBB

How realistic would it be for a language to go from SOV to VSO, possibly by fronting the verb for some kind of emphasis? What other parts of grammar would be likely to change early on?
[/quote]

My guess is, not unlikely.
The change would probably happen faster for [b]main[/b] clauses than for [b]subordinate[/b] clauses.
It might be less usual to go from SOV to VSO, than from SVO to VSO. That’s just a guess.
SV languages and OV languages presumably favor suffixes over prefixes. (That includes SVO languages.)
VS languages are supposed to be about equally as suffixing as prefixing.
OV languages are supposed to put noun-modifiers before nouns and put verb-modifiers after verbs. (I don’t know how true that is of SV languages.)
VO languages are supposed to put verb-modifiers before verbs and put noun-modifiers after nouns. (I don’t know how true that is of VS languages.)

I don’t know how rapid or thorough those word-order changes would be for a language that goes from SOV to VSO. I would imagine prefixes would grow to equality with suffixes slowly, if at all.

WALS.info can help you a lot.
So can the Language Universals Archive.
Also, do a Google Books search for books with the phase “Word-Order Change” in the title.
Or something like that v
[/quote]

I don't know how suffixing vs. prefixing tendencies are relevant here, because if anything it's the other way around - one way to shift to VSO word order might be if pronouns in the original SOV order start to glomp onto the verb as prefixes, freeing up word order for nouns, which then later resets as VSO with prefixing polypersonal marking.

Alternatively, you could try a Germanic road - innovate a verb-second word order on the original SOV (afaict this can happen just because quite easily, it's happened in Germanic, Dardic and Piman among others). From there you could then have the first position later fix as a position for adverbial expressions which later grammaticalise as tense prefixes, forcing other constituents to follow the verb, and then move the rest of the verb complex to the main verb position à la English, and bingo VSO word order from SOV again.

It's not helpful to just talk about prefixing vs. suffixing in the abstract, because those prefixes and suffixes have to come from somewhere, and most of the time (perhaps even all of the time) the relative prominence of prefixes vs. suffixes in a language reflects its word-order history. So if many verb-initial languages are prefixing, then you can explain both their prefixing and their verb-initial nature through these kinds of mechanisms.

[quote=Ælfwine post_id=287758 time=1547867447 user_id=3311]
How likely is it that a language could borrow vowel harmony? I am aware of Cappadochian Greek, although that language is odd as it is more or less a strongly mixed language.
[/quote]

Depends how you define "borrowing". In a mixed-language like that, if there's morphology being borrowed along with lexical material, then I think it's easy to see how such a system present at first only in foreign material could be extended. But even without that I still think it could be developed entirely natively by a process of convergence, and in fact under certain circumstances might be somewhat inevitable. For example I can easily see how a language starting off with a simple four or five vowel system under contact from a language something like Turkish, could undergo some umlaut-based vowel shifts, which then later becomes effectively repurposed as true vowel harmony.

For example, let's assume an original five-vowel system /i e a o u/, and some nonce roots /kita/, /boke/, /tomu/, /pilu/, /dime/, /pane/. Then we have some sound changes, with both rounding and fronting spreading bidirectionally, giving the following forms: /kɨta/, /bøkø/, /tomu/, /pyly/, /dime/, /panə/. Then we have a plural suffix /-ler/, which in the original language is regular giving the following: /kitaler/, /bokeler/, /tomuler/, /piluler/, /dimeler/, /paneler/. After the sound changes these give the following: /kɨtalər/, /bøkølør/, /tømylør/, /pylylør/, /dimeler/, /panələr/. See how most of these forms appear to be following a harmony pattern, except /tømylør/ where the root undergoes umlaut? So by analogy the speakers could regularize this to /tomulor/, and then we merge /a ə/, giving the following forms: /kɨtalar/, /bøkølør/, /tomulor/, /pylylør/, /dimeler/, /panalar/. And hey presto, a vowel harmony system!

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

Post by LinguistCat » 19 Jan 2019 20:02

Frislander wrote:
19 Jan 2019 15:44
eldin raigmore wrote:
18 Jan 2019 00:03
LinguistCat wrote:
17 Jan 2019 22:47
*My original query*
*Eldin's answer to my question*
*Useful info about historical word order changes and how they happened*
I don't know if the pronoun-affixing would work, tbf. The language I'm starting with is pro-drop for various word parts like its irl descendant. I thought the "move the verb for emphasis" thing might work since historically, a verb FORM that was used for emphasis was used so much it became the default form of the verb used sentence finally. So I thought doing something similar, but with verb movement could be fun. Especially since the emphatic form would require at least one of the nouns or pronouns to stick around in the sentence when they might not otherwise.

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

Post by MysteryMan23 » 20 Jan 2019 02:02

Hey there!

I'm toying with this idea for a set of conlangs. You see, they all descended from a common language spoken by a now-fallen empire; this language had a system of masculine, feminine, and neuter gender. However, only some of the descendant languages preserve this system; others have changed it into a masculine/feminine system, and yet others have changed it into a common/neuter system. Most importantly, these languages have these systems upon first being written, at a point as far removed from the fall of the empire as the first writings in Romance languages were from the end of the Western Roman Empire.

How plausible is this? Has anything like it happened in our world?

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

Post by sangi39 » 20 Jan 2019 02:31

MysteryMan23 wrote:
20 Jan 2019 02:02
Hey there!

I'm toying with this idea for a set of conlangs. You see, they all descended from a common language spoken by a now-fallen empire; this language had a system of masculine, feminine, and neuter gender. However, only some of the descendant languages preserve this system; others have changed it into a masculine/feminine system, and yet others have changed it into a common/neuter system. Most importantly, these languages have these systems upon first being written, at a point as far removed from the fall of the empire as the first writings in Romance languages were from the end of the Western Roman Empire.

How plausible is this? Has anything like it happened in our world?
Simplification/collapse of grammatical gender is attested well enough (the Romance languages, for example, typically see the neuter merge in with the masculine, and, if I remember correctly, Danish has merged the Old Norse masculine and feminine into a "common" gender).

I'm not sure I understand the bit about the writing system, though. Are you saying that the language of the empire precedes these developments in grammatical gender in daughter languages, or that there was no writing until several hundred years after the fall of the empire? If it's the former (writing within the age of the empire), then, again, there's a precedent in the Romance languages. If it's the former, then I can't see how the lack of writing would have any impact on how the gender system develops, and chances are you can find several instances of languages having different gender systems that their unwritten descendants (IIRC, Classical Armenian has no grammatical gender at all, and that was, from what I can tell, the first instance of the language being written down, meaning it had lost gender completely from PIE).
You can tell the same lie a thousand times,
But it never gets any more true,
So close your eyes once more and once more believe
That they all still believe in you.
Just one time.

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

Post by Frislander » 20 Jan 2019 14:05

If there was a continuous writing tradition with the empire (which I think is probably more likely than losing writing completely, unless the descendant languages borrow a new script from a different family - this is an entirely separate question to the gender system one though.) then I could see the written forms of these languages being conservative and marking the three-way gender contrast, but if there was a clean break then I don't see why those that merged some genders shouldn't reflect as such, and in either case the orthography has no bearing at all on the spoken language.

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

Post by gestaltist » 20 Jan 2019 17:08

MysteryMan23 wrote:
20 Jan 2019 02:02
Hey there!

I'm toying with this idea for a set of conlangs. You see, they all descended from a common language spoken by a now-fallen empire; this language had a system of masculine, feminine, and neuter gender. However, only some of the descendant languages preserve this system; others have changed it into a masculine/feminine system, and yet others have changed it into a common/neuter system. Most importantly, these languages have these systems upon first being written, at a point as far removed from the fall of the empire as the first writings in Romance languages were from the end of the Western Roman Empire.

How plausible is this? Has anything like it happened in our world?
I think it's plausible to keep the original gender contrast in writing under the proviso that people would mix that up and it would probably distinguish the "truly learned" elites from the common literate folk. Also, if there is a lot of contact between these descendant languages which don't share a gender system, the preservation of the original system in writing would be more likely. Any language with limited external contact would likely drop the original genders even in writing.

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