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

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

Post by k1234567890y » 19 Aug 2016 18:36

LinguoFranco wrote:
I did something like that with one of my older conlangs where a pitch accent was used to mark a noun's gender and a verb's tense.
sounds nice (:

also, if you feel isolatings are not interesting, you can do more works on the semantics and the phonology like trying some interesting compounds(compound word exist in most languages, I think). (:

speaking of compound words, I have read in a paper about compounding which mentions that in the Turkana language, almost every compound word is exocentric, maybe Turkana people think endocentric compounds are not needed, as one can always replace them with the combination of noun+modifiers, verb+modifiers, etc.
I prefer to not be referred to with masculine pronouns and nouns such as “he/him/his”.

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

Post by LinguoFranco » 19 Aug 2016 21:48

Okay, so I want to add a nominal tense to my conlang.

A nominal tense is an affix (maybe a particle could be, too) that is attached to a noun to make it past or future tense. Guarani does this by adding a suffix -kue or rã (IIRC) to make ex- president and president-elect. Other than that, I believe Guarani is a tenseless language.

Nãmãsan, my conlang, already has a past tense and a non-past tense for verbs. I really like what Guarani does, but I don't know if it is pointless to add nominal tense.

Also, could I have a future nominal tense when verb tenses are past and non-past?

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

Post by Imralu » 20 Aug 2016 02:12

LinguoFranco wrote:Nãmãsan, my conlang, already has a past tense and a non-past tense for verbs. I really like what Guarani does, but I don't know if it is pointless to add nominal tense.
Guaraní having it proves that it's not pointless.
LinguoFranco wrote:Also, could I have a future nominal tense when verb tenses are past and non-past?
Well, if Guaraní doesn't have tense distinctions elsewhere, it shows that you can distinguish tenses on nouns that are not distinguished on verbs. I say do it if it makes you happy. It doesn't strike me as unbelievably outlandish (and there are things in natlangs that do seem unbelievably outlandish) and it wouldn't set of the "this is a terrible conlang" alarm in my head. (Actually, the only things that do that are things that make me think "This person has no idea how languages other than [language] work." I'm not very judgemental.)

In any case, if these don't look like your tense markers on nouns, they're really just derivational affixes. I've never heard anyone describe "ex-" as a tense marker ... but if we said "presidented" for "ex-president", then we would talk about tense on nouns.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by elemtilas » 20 Aug 2016 03:23

Imralu wrote:I've never heard anyone describe "ex-" as a tense marker ... but if we said "presidented" for "ex-president", then we would talk about tense on nouns.
Or more likely an example of the extent to which English verbs nouns. Given its ambivalence in this regard, I'd think a verbal reading would be far more likely than a tensed nominal one.

Anyway, I do think English most elegantly skirts the edges of the nominal tense issue, even if grammarians can't or won't admit to it. I tend to think of English nominal tense as distinct from verbal: it's not an action that happens in the past or future, but a state or office that exists in the past or future. So, "she was the king's mistress" and "she is the king's ex-mistress" point to the same reality, but from differing perspectives. The one focuses on action with relation to time while the other focuses on office with relation to time.

Similar would be "past-" as in "past-president".

"-to-be" and the Latin participial forms as are used in English I would argue are future & present tense nouns: "husband-to-be" (future); "communicant" (present); "confirmand" or "dividend" (future).

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

Post by LinguoFranco » 20 Aug 2016 03:30

elemtilas wrote:
Imralu wrote:I've never heard anyone describe "ex-" as a tense marker ... but if we said "presidented" for "ex-president", then we would talk about tense on nouns.
Or more likely an example of the extent to which English verbs nouns. Given its ambivalence in this regard, I'd think a verbal reading would be far more likely than a tensed nominal one.

Anyway, I do think English most elegantly skirts the edges of the nominal tense issue, even if grammarians can't or won't admit to it. I tend to think of English nominal tense as distinct from verbal: it's not an action that happens in the past or future, but a state or office that exists in the past or future. So, "she was the king's mistress" and "she is the king's ex-mistress" point to the same reality, but from differing perspectives. The one focuses on action with relation to time while the other focuses on office with relation to time.

Similar would be "past-" as in "past-president".

"-to-be" and the Latin participial forms as are used in English I would argue are future & present tense nouns: "husband-to-be" (future); "communicant" (present); "confirmand" or "dividend" (future).
So it wouldn't be redundant?

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

Post by elemtilas » 20 Aug 2016 05:08

LinguoFranco wrote:
elemtilas wrote:I tend to think of English nominal tense as distinct from verbal: it's not an action that happens in the past or future, but a state or office that exists in the past or future. So, "she was the king's mistress" and "she is the king's ex-mistress" point to the same reality, but from differing perspectives. The one focuses on action with relation to time while the other focuses on office with relation to time.
So it wouldn't be redundant?
And why would this be a problem?

It is redundant in that, like any synonymous structure, it conveys the same or a very similar or a parallel idea. It is not redundant in that the two structures focus on different aspects of the thing under consideration; so while it conveys the "same idea" it doesn't do so in an identical fashion.

Redundancy is no bad thing in language, and any language worth its salt has back-up plans for expressing ideas in different ways. For example:

he served as president from 1957 to 1968
he was president from 1957 to 1968
he is one of three living ex-presidents, having served from 1957 to 1968
he presided over the government during the 1960s
he is a past-head-of-state
he was formerly president

Essentially, the fact presented in each sentence is identical: there is a guy and this guy ran a government some years ago. My temporal focus changes in each example, sometimes it's on the verb - "served", "was" - and sometimes it's on the noun "ex-president", "past-head-of-state". This kind of redundancy is a very good thing, in my opinion, a sign of a robust language. This whether or not you agree with the notion of nominal tense in English.

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

Post by clawgrip » 20 Aug 2016 06:46

LinguoFranco wrote:Any tips on making an isolating/analytical language grammatically interesting?

I think isolating languages are ideal as an auxlang or lingua Franca but I find them boring to create.
Some suggestions:
1. Place certain markers in phrases other than the one they modify, e.g.:

Have two nominative markers, one for past, one for nonpast. Don't mark tense on the verb at all.*
Mark definiteness of the subject or object within the verb phrase.

2. Make word interactions vary depending on inherent semantic qualities of the words (e.g. gender/animacy/transitivity/telicity/aktionsart/etc.)

Maybe you can have different definite articles depending on animacy:
o gu - "the stone"
o sik - "the tree"
ya zir - "the man"
ya hut - "the woman"

Maybe your language has say, 15 different TAM particles and three different classes of verbs, and each class can only use 6 or 7 of those 15 TAM particles.

Maybe certain noun classes require the verb to take a certain auxiliary, like an inanimate subject requires an unintentionality auxiliary on the verb:

Mi ya zir la mamu?
Q DEF.ANIM man NOM.PST fall
Did the man fall?

Mi o sik la nak mamu?
Q DEF.INAN tree NOM.PST UNINTEN fall
Did the tree fall/get knocked over?

Maybe when there is an auxiliary, you can drop the main verb in answers, but when there isn't, you can't:

Mi ya zir la mamu?
Did the man fall?

Mamu.
fall
Yes, he did.

Mi o sik la nak mamu?
Did the tree fall/get knocked over?

Nak.
yes UNINTEN
Yes, it did.

*3. If you want to keep the isolating nature of the language, but don't mind moving away from analytic languages, you can have words that represent multiple grammatical categories at once, like the nominative-tense markers above. You could give this a defective paradigm too, so for example, maybe the past and future are marked using the same element, while the present has a different one:

Ya zir la ontor.
The man wrote.

Ya zir do ontor.
The man is writing.

Ya zir la ki ontor.
The man is going to write.

There are plenty of weird things you can do.

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

Post by LinguoFranco » 20 Aug 2016 15:45

clawgrip wrote:
LinguoFranco wrote:Any tips on making an isolating/analytical language grammatically interesting?

I think isolating languages are ideal as an auxlang or lingua Franca but I find them boring to create.
Some suggestions:
1. Place certain markers in phrases other than the one they modify, e.g.:

Have two nominative markers, one for past, one for nonpast. Don't mark tense on the verb at all.*
Mark definiteness of the subject or object within the verb phrase.

2. Make word interactions vary depending on inherent semantic qualities of the words (e.g. gender/animacy/transitivity/telicity/aktionsart/etc.)

Maybe you can have different definite articles depending on animacy:
o gu - "the stone"
o sik - "the tree"
ya zir - "the man"
ya hut - "the woman"

Maybe your language has say, 15 different TAM particles and three different classes of verbs, and each class can only use 6 or 7 of those 15 TAM particles.

Maybe certain noun classes require the verb to take a certain auxiliary, like an inanimate subject requires an unintentionality auxiliary on the verb:

Mi ya zir la mamu?
Q DEF.ANIM man NOM.PST fall
Did the man fall?

Mi o sik la nak mamu?
Q DEF.INAN tree NOM.PST UNINTEN fall
Did the tree fall/get knocked over?

Maybe when there is an auxiliary, you can drop the main verb in answers, but when there isn't, you can't:

Mi ya zir la mamu?
Did the man fall?

Mamu.
fall
Yes, he did.

Mi o sik la nak mamu?
Did the tree fall/get knocked over?

Nak.
yes UNINTEN
Yes, it did.

*3. If you want to keep the isolating nature of the language, but don't mind moving away from analytic languages, you can have words that represent multiple grammatical categories at once, like the nominative-tense markers above. You could give this a defective paradigm too, so for example, maybe the past and future are marked using the same element, while the present has a different one:

Ya zir la ontor.
The man wrote.

Ya zir do ontor.
The man is writing.

Ya zir la ki ontor.
The man is going to write.

There are plenty of weird things you can do.
There is a language called Khasi, which supposedly has gender, but I thought gender was only possible in synthetic languages as there has to be agreement with the noun's gender, adjectives, articles, etc and that is inflection.

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

Post by clawgrip » 20 Aug 2016 17:00

Gender does not require inflection. Instead of having a single morpheme that inflects for the gender of the noun it modifies, you can instead express agreement through suppletion, as in my made-up example language above, where inanimate nouns take the definite article o, while animate nouns take the definite article ya.

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

Post by LinguoFranco » 20 Aug 2016 20:33

clawgrip wrote:Gender does not require inflection. Instead of having a single morpheme that inflects for the gender of the noun it modifies, you can instead express agreement through suppletion, as in my made-up example language above, where inanimate nouns take the definite article o, while animate nouns take the definite article ya.
That's natural gender, I meant grammatical gender.

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

Post by Frislander » 20 Aug 2016 21:32

LinguoFranco wrote:
clawgrip wrote:Gender does not require inflection. Instead of having a single morpheme that inflects for the gender of the noun it modifies, you can instead express agreement through suppletion, as in my made-up example language above, where inanimate nouns take the definite article o, while animate nouns take the definite article ya.
That's natural gender, I meant grammatical gender.
No it is definitely grammatical gender. The definite article is a grammatical morpheme which appears as part of a noun phrase: natural gender on pronouns, as in English, is different because the pronoun is standing in for a noun phrase, and is not necessarily "agreeing" in the same way (in English: in languages with gender it definitely is). Are you saying that because you don't consider definite article alternations to be "agreement", or because you don't consider animate/inanimate to be "gender" as such?

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

Post by LinguoFranco » 20 Aug 2016 21:55

Frislander wrote:
LinguoFranco wrote:
clawgrip wrote:Gender does not require inflection. Instead of having a single morpheme that inflects for the gender of the noun it modifies, you can instead express agreement through suppletion, as in my made-up example language above, where inanimate nouns take the definite article o, while animate nouns take the definite article ya.
That's natural gender, I meant grammatical gender.
No it is definitely grammatical gender. The definite article is a grammatical morpheme which appears as part of a noun phrase: natural gender on pronouns, as in English, is different because the pronoun is standing in for a noun phrase, and is not necessarily "agreeing" in the same way (in English: in languages with gender it definitely is). Are you saying that because you don't consider definite article alternations to be "agreement", or because you don't consider animate/inanimate to be "gender" as such?
I saw it as a particle for some reason, which was something I was contemplating with my conlang since it lacks articles.

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

Post by clawgrip » 21 Aug 2016 02:26

Agreement is simply the mandatory alteration of a word or phrase triggered by the inherent properties of a different phrase. In this case, the inherent property of the noun (animacy) triggered mandatory alteration of the form of the direct article. Since it is suppletion rather than inflection, it works for an isolating language, but not as much for an analytic one, since we end up with DEF.ANIM and DEF.INAN, (two properties within a single morpheme).

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

Post by Ælfwine » 21 Aug 2016 04:45

Not directly related to a conlang, but are there ligature versions of ʈʂ and ɖʐ? I know there is ligature versions of ts and dz: (ʦ ʣ).
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by opipik » 21 Aug 2016 11:13

Ælfwine wrote:Not directly related to a conlang, but are there ligature versions of ʈʂ and ɖʐ? I know there is ligature versions of ts and dz: (ʦ ʣ).
No, there aren't

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

Post by Frislander » 21 Aug 2016 13:47

opipik wrote:
Ælfwine wrote:Not directly related to a conlang, but are there ligature versions of ʈʂ and ɖʐ? I know there is ligature versions of ts and dz: (ʦ ʣ).
No, there aren't
Actually I don't think the International Phonetic Association really likes ligatures anymore: they'd prefer people to use the tie-bars (ʈ͡ʂ, ɖ͡ʐ).

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

Post by Creyeditor » 21 Aug 2016 14:00

I guess it's just handy for sound change appliers like SCA2. You could use ƾ and ƻ. They were used for [ts] and [dz], but if you use real ligatures for them, you could use the vertical ligatures for the retroflex ones. I think they look somehow retroflex [:D]
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ælfwine » 21 Aug 2016 19:35

Frislander wrote:
opipik wrote:
Ælfwine wrote:Not directly related to a conlang, but are there ligature versions of ʈʂ and ɖʐ? I know there is ligature versions of ts and dz: (ʦ ʣ).
No, there aren't
Actually I don't think the International Phonetic Association really likes ligatures anymore: they'd prefer people to use the tie-bars (ʈ͡ʂ, ɖ͡ʐ).
Unfortunately that doesn't work for the SCA2.
Edit: I also forgot I could use rewrite rules.
Creyeditor wrote:I guess it's just handy for sound change appliers like SCA2. You could use ƾ and ƻ. They were used for [ts] and [dz], but if you use real ligatures for them, you could use the vertical ligatures for the retroflex ones. I think they look somehow retroflex [:D]
I guess that can work.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Imralu » 21 Aug 2016 22:51

elemtilas wrote:
Imralu wrote:I've never heard anyone describe "ex-" as a tense marker ... but if we said "presidented" for "ex-president", then we would talk about tense on nouns.
Or more likely an example of the extent to which English verbs nouns. Given its ambivalence in this regard, I'd think a verbal reading would be far more likely than a tensed nominal one.
No, I meant (and said!) if we used "presidented" as we use "ex-president" (ie. as a noun, not as a verb).
Eg.
  • "Bill Clinton is a Presidented of the United States of America"
    "My wifed is still not talking to me."
    "I saw my high school English teachered in the supermarket.
LinguoFranco wrote:
clawgrip wrote:Gender does not require inflection. Instead of having a single morpheme that inflects for the gender of the noun it modifies, you can instead express agreement through suppletion, as in my made-up example language above, where inanimate nouns take the definite article o, while animate nouns take the definite article ya.
That's natural gender, I meant grammatical gender.
I thought it was almost a trope that languages with an animate/inanimate gender system have some funny exceptions, like fire, lightning, water or other things being unexpectedly in one class or the other.
Frislander wrote:Actually I don't think the International Phonetic Association really likes ligatures anymore: they'd prefer people to use the tie-bars (ʈ͡ʂ, ɖ͡ʐ).
Which would be great if Xipa would let us use tie bars.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by loglorn » 21 Aug 2016 23:32

Why use xipa? Use this.
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